Every now and then I am introduced to music that is truly unique. Robert Randolph redefines the term unique. When first introduced to his music some years ago, I was surprised to find out his specialty was the pedal steel guitar. Not the normal instrument you would expect a band leader to be sitting behind. Robert masters the pedal steel like a man possessed. Being raised around country music, I was familiar with the pedal steel but didn’t know it could produce much more than a weepy twang. Robert's backing band consists of actual family members, hence the Family Band moniker. Robert throws in dashes of funk, rock, gospel, and blues, all of which he cites as musical influences. Robert played two, hour long shows at the Lumiere. I caught the first show.
As I entered the theater, I soon found out quite a few others knew of Robert Randolph as there were very few vacant seats. The band slowly eased their way into an all out assault of the Lumiere audience. By the second song of the set, audience members were being invited on stage by Robert, to show off their dance moves. The band covered classic material from their 2002 release, Live at the Wetlands. Songs such as “Ted’s Jam”, “The March”, “Pressing my Way” had the aisles packed with dancing bodies. During the band's version of “Shake Your Hips”, Robert invited the ladies of St. Louis onstage to show off their hip shaking abilities. At this point, I realized that for a few moments we were all part of the Family Band. Robert’s pedal steel talent’s reigned supreme during a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.” “I Don’t Know What You Came to Do” had the room moving like a congregation from a southern Baptist church with no air conditioning. Robert and company left the stage all too quickly but gave it their all for one hour and five minutes. Thanks to Robert Randolph and the Family Band’s management for allowing me to cover the show. Pictures of the show are below:
Robert Randolph and the Family Band @ Lumiere Casino Theater, St. Louis, MO Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on 12:20:00 AM Rating: