Robert Randolph & the Family Band

We Walk This Road (Warner Bros.)

ACL Music Fest Friday Review

Robert Randolph & the Family Band

We Walk This Road (Warner Bros.)

Sacred steel spirit walker Robert Randolph had already fallen prey to the secular after two studio LPs for Warner Bros. – until We Walk This Road reversed course. One of studio Svengali T Bone Burnett's more successful production jobs marries ancient blues and gospel samples that segue between originals penned by a writing team of Randolph, Burnett, former Austinite Tonio K., and Peter Case, with covers of Lennon, Dylan, and Prince chosen smartly to further polish Road's contemporary R&B. Double drums by percussion master Jim Keltner and Jay Bellerose meet Babyface-like beats on "Back to the Wall," over which guitarist Randolph lays crying slide like electric current in water. Case's spiritual "I Still Belong to Jesus" warms 1970s Top 40 soul with Randolph's luminous pedal steel providing the silver lining, but it's the aforementioned Beatle's Imagine exorcism, "I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier Mama," led by Doyle Bramhall II on vox and guitar, that injects the here and now into yesterday's glories. Modernity tarnishes after a while ("Walk Don't Walk," "Dry Bones"), but Leon Russell's piano on closing prayer "Salvation" caresses penitent. We Walk This Road, pathfinder. (7:15pm, Clear 4G stage)


More Robert Randolph & the Family Band
Old Settler's Music Festival Record Reviews
Robert Randolph & the Family Band
Lickety Split (Record Review)

Chase Hoffberger, April 11, 2014

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Johnny Nicholas
Fresh Air (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Sept. 23, 2016

Texas Platters
Meet Your Death
Meet Your Death (Record Review)

Michael Toland, Sept. 16, 2016

More by Raoul Hernandez
Sold-out awards show shucks off TV tropes and triumphs

Oct. 13, 2016

ACL Review: Walker Lukens & the Side Arms
ACL Review: Walker Lukens
Soulful and local electro-pop with a sex beat

Oct. 9, 2016


Robert Randolph & the Family Band

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)