CD We Walk This Road [Robert Randolph & the Family Band] (CD 6602232),
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We Walk This Road [Robert Randolph & the Family Band]

  • 1. Segue 1: "Traveling Shoes" Interlude
    2. Traveling Shoes
    3. Segue 2: "Traveling Shoes" Interlude
    4. Back to the Wall
    5. Shot of Love
    6. I Still Belong to Jesus
    7. Segue 3: "If I Had My Way I'd Tear This Building Down" Interlude
    8. If I Had My Way
    9. Segue 4: "If I Had My Way I'd Tear This Building Down" Interlude
    10. Don't Change
    11. I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier Mama
    12. Walk Don't Walk
    13. Segue 5: "Them Bones" Interlude
    14. Dry Bones
    15. Segue 6: "Them Bones" Interlude
    16. I'm Not Listening
    17. Salvation
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 511230

  • Credits
    ProducerT-Bone Burnett
    EngineerJason Wormer; Mike Piersante

    Audio Mixer: Jason Wormer.
    Recording information: Electro Magnetic Studios, Los Angeles, CA; The Pass Studio, Los Angeles, CA; Village Recorder, West Los Angeles, CA.
    Photographer: Danny Clinch.
    Even though Robert Randolph & the Family Band had already become famous for blending gospel, blues, and contemporary styles on their first two albums, they decided to bring that same sort of syncretism to their source material for the third, We Walk This Road. Toward that end, they brought in producer T-Bone Burnett, a man who knows a thing or two about reconciling American roots music with the modern world. The results succeed in extending the group's scope in a way that matches its sound. Randolph, who was only allowed to listen to Christian music growing up, has stated that Burnett's deep knowledge of blues history opened up new worlds for him, and the steel guitar star has reckoned that he ended up spending thousands of dollars "catching up" and buying music from iTunes. Ultimately, though, the process isn't important -- what matters is what Burnett and the band achieved together, and We Walk This Road is a consistently surprising tour de force that moves easily through rock, blues, R&B, gospel, and more, sometimes bringing them all together at the same time. "If I Had My Way," for example, modernizes Blind Willie Johnson's gospel-blues classic with touches of rock, electric blues, and hip-hop, as Randolph trades licks with guest Ben Harper. Musical roots of a comparatively more recent vintage are tapped as well, like on the swampy, funked-up version of John Lennon's "I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier Mama," which features some guest guitar from Doyle Bramhall II, and a groove-conscious, pop-savvy take on Prince's "Walk Don't Walk." Naturally, the most striking sonic thread connecting these winding paths together is the visceral but otherworldly "sacred steel" work of Randolph himself, which remains a wonder to behold no matter the context. ~ J. Allen

  • Critic Reviews
    Rolling Stone (p.80) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[P]ure gospel spiced with steel guitar....Randolph finds the sweet, soulful spot covering tunes by three rock legends..."
    Spin - "Throughout, Randolph's playing is joyously flashy, yet never glib or predictable."
    Entertainment Weekly (p.76) - "Ben Harper helps out on a handsome revamp of Blind Willie Johnson's 'If I Had My Way.'"
    Billboard (p.33) - "Randolph's nuanced steel weeps with almost vocal expressiveness behind singers Danyel Morgan and Lenesha Randolph on the gospel closer 'Salvation'..."
    Paste (magazine) - "With his scorching virtuosity and a devotional background his cross-platform appeal makes him equally suitable for Bonnaroo, blues fests and SportsCenter promos..."
    Record Collector (magazine) (p.100) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Randolph has come up with an incredibly focused album that's breathtaking in its energy and execution."
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