Virtuoso Pedal Steel Guitarist Robert Randolph and The Family Band

September 14, 2015

Live at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall February 11, 2016
Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (September 8, 2015) — The Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, in partnership with Flying Saucer Presents, welcomes virtuoso pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph and The Family Band on Thursday, February 11, 2016. Tickets for Robert Randolph and The Family Band will go on sale to the public this Friday, September 11 at 10 a.m.
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 12 tracks from the virtuoso pedal steel guitarist and his longtime accompanists, The Family Band, explode out of the speakers. "My thing is really upbeat, up-tempo, 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 11 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.

Robert Randolph and 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.
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. 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.”
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."
Tickets for Robert Randolph and The Family Band go on sale this Friday, September 11 at 10 a.m. Tickets will be available for purchase at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall and St. Augustine Amphitheatre Box Offices, ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets and by phone at (800) 745-3000.

SHOW: Robert Randolph and The Family Band
DATE: Thursday, February 11, 2016
TIME: Doors 7:00p.m. / Show 8:00p.m. TICKET PRICE: $35.00 – General Admission Standing Room
MEDIA CONTACTS: Dianya Markovits, Marketing and Community Relations Manager
dmarkovits@sjcfl.us / (904) 209-3751
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