J. Rod’s Music World

Justin Rodstrom

With their second studio release, Robert Randolph and the Family Band showcase their signature jam-band style and energy with “Colorblind.” This release is a step forward in the band’s studio legacy, showcasing spiritually lifting lyrics, soulful slide guitar and a true ‘homecoming’ for the band.

With a more mainstream sound and much better production values, “Colorblind” is the realization of many years on the road by one of the hardest working and most talented bands in the jam-band circuit.

Having jammed with legends B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Jimmie Vaughan and Robert Cray, Robert Randolph is no stranger to the stage light. On this record, listeners get contributions from friends Dave Matthews, Leela James, LeRoi Moore, Rashawn Ross and Eric Clapton, who claims responsibility for finding this truly remarkable group. Clapton’s relationship with Randolph began with Clapton’s 2005 tour; Robert Randolph and the Family Band were slotted as the opening act. He also invited the group to tag along for his Crossroads festival, a guitar-studded celebration of the blues in the name of Clapton’s Crossroads charity.

In truth, the best way to experience Robert Randolph and the Family Band’s talents and energy are in their live shows that feature soulful improvisation lighting up the stage. Being at a Robert Randolph show is akin to attending a Revivalist church gathering brimming with praise, spirituality and positive energy. Fans of Robert Randolph’s live work will appreciate this studio effort if they can appreciate the limits and constraints of a recording, namely that the band cannot indulge in 20-minute jam sessions that most fans are used to. These limits act as their own challenges, challenges that the group overcomes with great tenacity and style.

Blazing Tracks: “Ain’t Nothing Wrong with That,” “Angels,” “Jesus Is Just Alright (with Eric Clapton)” I give this 3 stars.