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Music Review: Robert Randolph & The Family Band – Colorblind

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In what could very well be the understatement of the century, Robert Randolph is the master of the pedal steel guitar. Just check out one of his live performances, and I think you’ll agree. He sweeps you up in the sheer unbridled joy that he wrenches from an instrument long relegated to country dance halls and Hawaiian luaus.

On his new release, Colorblind, Randolph goes for a tighter and a little more heavily produced sound. Listening to this album, I couldn't help but think that you really have to see this guy play live to fully appreciate the excitement he and his band generate when they play. It's always a challenge to translate an exciting live persona to CD and on Colorblind Randolph gets as close as humanly possible within the confines of the recording studio.

This much anticipated new album features performances by Eric Clapton, Dave Matthews, and LeRoi Moore. Eric Clapton and Randolph team up on the Doobie Brothers classic, "Jesus Is Just Alright." The band had the potential to really explore this song in a new way, but instead it's just, well, alright – not spectacular.

The band delivers some supercharged funk on "Ain't Nothin' Wrong With That" and "Deliver Me" and kicks in the gospel choir on "Blessed," a nod to his roots in the Holiness Church. By the time the band gets to track ten, "Thankful and Thoughtful," the heat is turned up to high and the band is at a rolling boil.

Colorblind is an all-you-can-listen-to musical buffet. Some of the entrees might not be gourmet, but you’re going to walk away from the table satisfied and full.

Robert Randolph & The Family Band
Colorblind (Warner)
Released September 2006

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  • dyrkness

    The only thing I didn’t like about this album was the guest appearances-He just doesn’t need them. It seemed almost as if they were on their because THEY needed HIS cred.I do think it is slightly over produced as you said.Also enough with the cover versions on everybody’s CD! (not just Robert Randolph & The Family Band).