Robert Randolph & the Family Band

The collision of sacred and secular doesn't get any more explosive (in a good way) than when sacred steel guitar hero Robert Randolph and his intrepid band crank it up. The gospel fervor, which Randolph grew up on at the House of God Church in Orange, New Jersey, lights a torch under the secular influences—Stevie Ray, Hendrix, Sly, Clapton, Stevie Wonder—he later discovered and that now blaze through his music like a roman candle. The ferocious version of "Purple Haze" on the RRFB's new live album rivals virtually any for sheer intensity and blistering guitar work. The band's last studio album, We Walk This Road, was something of a tribute to the artists Randolph picked up on once the religious blinders were removed. And that continues to a degree on the live disc with fiery covers of Earth, Wind & Fire's "Shining Star" along with Hendrix, as well as gospel standards that crossed to the secular realm from both tradition and the Staple Singers. With Ha Ha Tonka. 18+.
Fri., Oct. 14, 8 p.m., 2011

 
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