Close out the ski season with Robert Randolph and the Family Band on Sunday in Steamboat Springs
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Renowned pedal steel, vocalist and songwriter Robert Randolph is back this weekend with the invigorating blend of funk, blues and gospel-rock to close out the Springalicious festivities in style.
Robert Randolph and the Family Band will take stage at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, for the last Rock the Boat Free Concert Series show on the Steamboat Stage in Gondola Square.
After playing in a variety of different clubs in New York, Randolph’s career took flight between 2002 and 2003, and though the band has been evolving since, family has always been integral to its success.
This weekend’s performance will showcase five members of the band, but there are times when up to seven family members have been featured.
By the early 2000s, Randolph had begun applying his dazzling pedal steel technique to secular music, and from that grew the Family Band. The group’s sound was so different from anything else around that they were soon packing New York City clubs.
Their first album, 2002’s “Live at the Wetlands,” was followed by four studio albums and another live set, each widening the band’s audience — they’ve long been regulars on the festival circuit — and broadening their stylistic range as well.
Not only that, their label debut for Sony Masterworks, “Got Soul,” is an inspiration to the likes of Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana and Derek Trucks, all of whom have played with him and studied his technique, according to the group’s bio.
“Music has to be heard everywhere. Everybody’s been enjoying the music,” Randolph said. “We sing about great stuff to inspire people.”
Earlier this week, Explore Steamboat caught up with the frontman before this weekend’s performance.
Explore Steamboat: You guys have performed in Steamboat a few times now, what can the crowd at closing day expect?
Robert Randolph: A wild and crazy gig featuring myself and The Family Band. We can’t wait to bring it on stage. It’s always a blast at Steamboat.
ES: How does the pedal-steel evoke that get up and dance type of music that you grew up with?
RR: Its roots are in the church for me, so getting people moving and feeling the spirit is my goal. You can really howl and wail on a pedal steel — that’s what makes it fun. There’s so much emotion in one instrument.
ES: You music from each album is pretty diverse with that dirty, funky, bluesy and edgy type of riffs to each song, is that the sound that you guys envisioned or did it just kind of happen that way?
RR: It just happened that way. I love rock ‘n’ roll, gospel, soul, funk, R&B. Everything just came together to make our sound.
ES: What other projects are you working on right now?
RR: Currently working on the next record, so keep an eye on us for more music soon.
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