The Austin Chronicle

Old Settler's Music Festival Record Reviews

Reviewed by Chase Hoffberger, April 11, 2014, Music

Robert Randolph & the Family Band

Lickety Split (Blue Note)

Last time joyful noise proprietor Robert Randolph walked out the studio, he brandished 2010's star-studded, T Bone Burnett-produced We Walk This Road, a measured reevaluation of the molten gospel funk that the pedal steel guitarist had pushed for the past dozen years. Lickety Split, the Jersey native's first release since a live set in 2011, packs much of that improvisational concert feeling into its 12 tracks, so consider 33-year-old Randolph "Born Again." Action fires from the get-go, "Amped Up" declaring Randolph and his band – cousin Marcus, departed bassist/cousin Danyel, Brett Haas, and Randolph's sister Lanesha, who stars vocally on the slow and pristine "New Orleans" – have arrived to "start a party in here." Said second line continues with Trombone Shorty on "Take the Party," a crack cover of the Ohio Players' "Love Rollercoaster," and the largely instrumental "Get Ready," the album's nearest reminder of career highlights "The March" and "Peekaboo." Sadly, these highlights fit like holes in swiss cheese. Carlos Santana's guest spot on "Brand New Wayo" sounds less than "Smooth," and the entire ethos of "Welcome Home" works like repurposed new country. Ditto two-chord strummer "Blacky Joe" and "All American," which with its "red, white, and blue after all we've been through" rhetoric, will leave you longing for more instrumentals. (Sat., Hill Country stage, 8:45pm)


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