Robert Randolph & The Family Band

Music Farm Productions Present

Robert Randolph & The Family Band

Luke Wade

Fri, May 19, 2017

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Music Farm Columbia

Columbia, SC

$22.00 - $25.00

This event is all ages

$3 Surcharge at the door for those under 21. Cash only.

Robert Randolph & The Family Band
Robert Randolph & The Family Band
When Robert Randolph talks about his new album, Lickety Split, a few words come up over and over—"joy," "freedom," "energy." Which is no surprise, really, because those are the same things that immediately spring into a listener's mind when these twelve tracks from the virtuoso pedal steel guitarist and his longtime accompanists, the Family Band, explode out of the speakers.
"My thing is really upbeat, uptempo, with great guitar riffs," says Randolph, summarizing his musical ambitions, "but also catchy choruses and lyrics that someday will make this music into classic tunes."
"Robert Randolph is an American Original," says Don Was, President of Randolph's new label, Blue Note Records. "He has mastered what is, arguably, the most complex instrument in the world and developed a unique voice that is equal parts street-­‐corner church and Bonnaroo. This album finally captures the energy and excitement of his legendary live performances."
But for Randolph, the road to Lickety Split—his first studio recording in three years—wasn't an easy path. Though his distinctive mix of rock, funk, and rhythm & blues continued to earn a rapturous response from a fervent, international audience, he felt that he had lost some of the enthusiasm and
intensity that had driven him to make music in the first place. "We just weren't being creative musically," he says. "Being on the road 280 days a year, you wind up playing too much and it isn't fun anymore. Soon, you stop being that concerned about how good you can be, how important it is to create and write. You kind of lose sight of that, of being focused on your craft and spending time with your instrument. I've become more in love with my guitar now, and staying relaxed and practicing and trying to create different sounds."
The new album showcases the unique chemistry of the Family Band—comprised of the guitarist's actual family members Marcus Randolph, Danyel Morgan, and Lenesha Randolph, together with guitarist Brett Haas. The eleven original compositions, plus a stomping cover of "Love Rollercoaster" by the Ohio Players, were produced by Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Danyel Morgan, Marcus Randolph, Tommy Sims, Drew Ramsey, and Shannon Sanders; engineered by the legendary Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin); and feature special guest appearances from Trombone Shorty and Carlos Santana.
Randolph notes that the title track of Lickety Split (on which his sister sings the hook) is one of his favorites. "What's great about that one is that it's something we actually played in church, just like that," he says. "There's a section in the service called the 'Jubilee Jam Session Time,' and I can show you video where we played that very same riff."
But if there's one track on the album that captures the band's new spirit, it's one that started as a jam session in a Nashville studio during a break in recording, and later came to be titled "Born Again." "It's about finding the joy again," says Randolph.
"At first it was more of a love song, the sense you get when you find the right person, but then as we were recording this new music with a whole new sense of direction, and feeling free again, that all came into it. It's not a religious thing, it's just new energy—which is really the old energy that I had at the beginning of my career."
Robert Randolph & The Family Band first gained national attention with the release of the album Live at the Wetlands in 2002. The band followed with three studio recordings over the next eight years—Unclassified, Colorblind, and We Walk This Road—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.
"What I've learned from being around those guys—and you never really notice it until the moment is away from you—is that it's really important to them that someone keeps original music going, that you're not just trying to be like everybody else," he says. "Eric really wants to know what's going on now, he's always going 'Show me that lick again!'—they're like little kids, and that's really the great part about it. It makes me think that I need to keep getting better, to stay excited and keep trying to be innovative and keep growing."
Most recently, Randolph has attempted to amplify the tradition from which he came by executive producing the Robert Randolph Presents the Slide Brothers album, a recording which
features some of the older "sacred steel" players from the House of God church who inspired him to pick up an instrument. "This is part of my whole story, which a lot of people don't understand," he says. "In our church organization, playing lap steel in church has been going on since the 1920s. These guys were my mentors, my Muddy Waters and B.B. Kings. Thinking that I started this style is like saying Stevie Ray Vaughan was the first guy to play the blues. I wanted to do this record so that everybody could understand the story and start connecting the dots."
He is also taking a bold new step by remodeling an abandoned school building in his hometown of Irvington, New Jersey and opening the Robert Randolph Music and Arts Program. "There hasn't been any arts in the schools, period, since I was in high school," he says. "So my whole motivation changed to a full-­‐on effort to get these kids into music, and also find out what other passions they have and try to offer that. These kids don't have anything to do, they don't have any hope."
With a new label, a new dedication to his craft, and a new sense of responsibility in his life off-­‐stage, it seems like Lickety Split might also represent the urgency Robert Randolph is bringing to all of his efforts these days. "I'm still undiscovered, and that's really the best thing about it," he says. "Now we have the chance to present the music right, and have the story told right, and for me to be focused on being an ambassador for inner-­‐city kids and a role model, and also an ambassador for my instrument and as an artist. As all these things happened, it got fun again."
Luke Wade
Growing up on Hurt Street in a sultry little Texas town might seem an auspicious beginning for a soul singer. But for Dublin's Luke Wade, it's hard to imagine that it would be anything short of destiny.

Born of extraordinary artists and self-described 'Hippies', Luke is the product of a home that truly cultivated creativity. The youngest of four children, his music is the modern manifestation of the introspective and enlightened notions instilled by his parents. Bob and Wanda spawned a self- awareness that makes Luke's music inherently reflective, without need of gimmick or novelty. His insightful and thoughtful lyrics make it easy to imagine that if Hurt Street were located in some distant galaxy, this is still the music he would create.

An unlikely series of childhood ailments provided Luke with an early sense of perspective that many never find even as adults. A bout of spinal meningitis proved almost fatal, a paintball accident left him blind in one eye and some years later a severe heatstroke left him struggling to overcome temporary brain damage and amnesia. And though these experiences inevitably influence his music, it is not in the fatalistic way you might expect. While his songs may have that soulful 'written on the porch because the house was too damned hot' feel, the end result is a style that feels ever hopeful.

It is but a few times in a generation that an artist comes along with the potential to reflect so honestly the human condition. Such a calling requires a humility and self-awareness that seldom find an artist until late in his career, when he's turned the corner from idealistic to philosophical. Often young singer-songwriters aspire to draw a picture with words, a melodic expression of the visual, hoping to capture a single meaningful moment in time. Luke aspires to capture our journey through it - and his sophomore album, "The River", speaks to a brilliant departure on that journey.

The spring release of "The River" and a swell of media coverage have prompted renewed comparison to the likes of Ray LaMontagne. Each stylistically unique, Luke surrounds himself with exceptional musicians and remains keenly aware as to his place in the musical equation. His incomparable musicality requires more of the accompaniment than just support of the lyric, he allows it to build a distinctive setting in which to tell his story. When performing with his full band, Luke's boisterous horn section and soulful voice are the perfect paring of audacity and nuance.

Luke's writing is always honest and never self-indulgent, creating music that feels as much a part of the listener as the artist. His 'damaged in transport but absolutely delivered' charm has endeared him to his audience and encouraged a rabid following wherever he performs. Instinctively, Luke seems to realize that his success is always secondary to the song, resulting in a refreshing vulnerability that you couldn't touch with a ten foot pole.

Music is at once frivolous and necessary. That rare artist willing to embrace this idea will become timeless, making the music that comes to describe generations and cultures, not simply as historical narrative, but as a conscious identity by which we willingly choose to define ourselves in real time.

Meet Luke Wade.
Venue Information:
Music Farm Columbia
1022 Senate Street
Columbia, SC, 29201
http://www.musicfarm.com/venues/music-farm-columbia/upcoming-shows/