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Robert Randolph & The Family Band

Robert Randolph & The Family Band Frontman Robert Randolph was trained as a pedal steel guitarist in the House of God Church and makes prominent use of the instrument in the band's music. The instrument is referred to in many African-American Pentecostal churches as Sacred Steel. Randolph was discovered while playing at a sacred steel convention in Florida. Randolph ‘s family is made up of many talented musicians who all grew up playing together in New Jersey churches. They collaborate as Robert Randolph and The Family Band. Robert Randolph and The Family Band’s sound is inspired by successful 1970s funk bands such as Earth, Wind & Fire and Sly & the Family Stone. Randolph himself has explained that in his adolescent years before his discovery by the secular community, he was almost completely unaware of non-religious music, saying "I never heard of the Allman Brothers Band, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, none of them. I wasn’t into that music, only the church thing." The band first gained national attention with the release of the album Live at the Wetlands in 2002. The band followed with four studio recordings — Unclassified, Colorblind, We Walk This Road, and Lickety Split — which, together with tireless touring and unforgettable performances at such festivals as Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, won them an expanding and passionate fan base. Randolph's unprecedented prowess on his instrument garnered him a spot on Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" list, and also attracted the attention of such giants as Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana, who have collaborated with him on stage and in the studio. Though his distinctive mix of rock, funk, and rhythm & blues Randolph has continued to earn a rapturous response from a fervent, domestic and international audience.

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