Robert Randolph learned his trade as a pedal steel guitarist at his Orange, NJ church and his group made an immediate impact on the jam-band circuit, opening for the North Mississippi All-Stars and Medeski, Martin & Wood. Up until now, their recordings have focused on capturing the group’s dexterous improvisatory skills and their boundless energy. With their second studio album (and third overall), the Family still primarily fly the jam-band flag, but they do so with a greater ear towards making sure the song doesn’t get lost in the maze of solos. A few guests stop by – Eric Clapton, Dave Matthews – and songwriting credits include a number of veteran names, but it’s still Randolph’s show. It’s his thick tone that smothers these tracks and cousin Marcus Randolph’s drums that cement these grooves. While the band play in the here and now, their influences are clearly born from ‘70s textures. “Angels” touches on Gamble & Huff Philly Soul, while “Diane” sources the ghosts of Funkadelic. It’s a soulful brew all around.
Ain't Nothing Wrong With That
Jesus Is Just Alright (Featuring Eric Clapton)
Stronger (Featuring Leela James)
Thrill of It
Love Is the Only Way (Featuring Dave Matthews, Leroi Moore & Rashawn Ross)