Music Reviews

Robert Randolph and the Family Band

Unclassified

Warner Brothers

“I Need More Love” is the first single off of Robert Randolph and the Family Band’s debut Unclassified, and it showcases just how much talent is infused in this four-piece band. Unclassified is just that, unclassifiable. It’s a perfect blend of blues, funk and gospel led by the amazing Robert Randolph on the pedal steel guitar. This album is a positive upbeat groovefest that makes you stand up and yell, “Hallelujah!”

The beginning of “Nobody” sounds almost like a classic rock riff, but then John Ginty throws in the B-3 Organ and it instantly transforms into a gospel hymn that had me waving my hands in the air and testifying “Nobody!!” at the top of my lungs. I felt like I was in a Southern Baptist church.

There are a few instrumental tracks here. “Squeeze” hinges on Danyel Morgan’s doo-wop bass line, but is highlighted by Randolph’s pedal steel solos. The best instrumental, however, is the rock-fused funk track “Good Times (3 Stroke),” simply because it made me glad to be alive. “Good Time! Good Time! / We gonna have a good time” are the only lyrics in the song. So I guess it’s not a bona fide instrumental. Oh well.

Unclassified is a great album for any music fan open to something new and different that strays from the normal pop crap. For any gospel, blues or funk fan, this is a must-have. Robert Randolph and the Family Band have made a solid debut and at least one life-long fan with this album.

Robert Randolph: http://www.robertrandolph.net/


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