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WMOT CONCERT REPLAY: Robert Randolph & The Family Band at Americanafest 2019

Val Hoeppner
Robert Randolph performing live at the AmericanaFest Day Stage presented by NPR Music, WMOT and World Cafe.

Robert Randolph is a musical force of nature. His ability to create soulful, uplifting music is undeniable. He and his Family Band have been wowing audiences all over the world with their unique blend of gospel, blues, and rock 'n' roll for decades. Rolling Stone included Randolph in their list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time and he's been nominated for a Grammy four times.

Born into a family of musicians in San Francisco, Randolph began playing the pedal steel guitar at the age of four. He was soon performing with his cousins in the Family Band. After moving to New Jersey in his teens, Randolph continued to develop his skills as a player and composer. In 2001, avant-garde jazz organist John Medeski selected Randolph to join him and the North Mississippi Allstars on their jam project. The collaboration between these three musicians was mentioned in Time magazine's cover story about blues guitarists being among those who would be remembered most fondly for influencing future generations. Randolph was also praised in a review from Neil Strauss of New York Times fame, who noted how "even at 15...you can tell this kid has talent."

The band's first album, Live at the Wetlands, was released on Family Band Records in August 2001, and immediately gained the attention of major record labels. Robert Randolph's soulful voice and stellar instrumental performance won over audiences with each song he played. Many other bands were wooed by the young star’s talent also, including The Dave Matthews Band and The Allman Brothers, who offered Randolph & the Family Band an opening slot on their tours.

By 2002, Randolph had written and recorded "We Got Hoops" for the NBA and WNBA. "Thrill of It" was used during the 2007 ABC college football season, and by the NBA. "Ain't Nothing Wrong With That," was used in promos on NBC and the Discovery Channel.

Now, six studio albums later, Robert Randolph and the Family are at the top of their game. They joined us at War Memorial Auditorium in 2019 for our Americanafest Day Stage. You can hear a rebroadcast of that performance on Monday night at 9 PM CST. Listen via WMOT 89.5, WMOT.org - or download the new WMOT app and listen from anywhere.

Rachel Hurley is the Content Manager for WMOT, managing their website content and social media feeds. She currently travels and lives in an RV with her two dogs. She calls home any place she can plug into shore power.
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