STYLE: Blues RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 143363-20971 LABEL: Blue Note FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
The latest offering from New Jersey-born pedal steel virtuoso Robert Randolph sees the man and his funked-up Family Band in full on party mode with the likes of the raucous opener "Amped Up" and the self-explanatory and trombone-infested "Take The Party" setting the scene for an album of searing slide solos and devil-may-care feel good attitude. Keen to reference his musical influences, there are hints of Hendrix in the likes of "Blacky Joe" and the aforementioned opening track whilst the spirit of the Allman Brothers invades the punchy title track to great effect. Elsewhere, a guest appearance from Carlos Santana provides the icing on the cake on the Latin funkfest "Brand New Wayo" with the supremely-talented Randolph effectively running rings around the ageing guitar legend. Randolph disappointingly chooses to only really reference his relationship with God in one song - the punchy gospel number "Born Again" - and the album cover featuring the Devil's horn hand sign and some fiery wings muddies the waters somewhat on the faith front. The contemplative "Welcome Home" - a poignant piece regarding a soldier returning from conflict - provides a brief respite from the musically spellbinding but largely thematically insubstantial material contained in the remainder of the album.
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