Robert Randolph & the Family Band
The phenomenon of cranked and spanked steel guitar spills over from gospel to this powerhouse New Jersey outfit, who look to leap from local hero status with Colorblind. A black group with such dense guitar presence not playing pure blues is rare. The Randophs are more rock than the Isley Brothers, more soul than Living Color and admired by Eric Clapton and Dave Matthews. Matthews turns up on his own “Love is the Only Way,” which in this setting is one of the sweetest grooves you’ll hear. Pressure on the incendiary live act to write has yielded fruit. The strongest, “Deliver Me” and “Blessed” might be called tough gospel.