The phenomenal American blues, funk and soul group that is Robert Randolph and the Family Band are back with their new album ‘Brighter Days’ - which is the follow-up to the Grammy-nominated 2017’s ‘Got Soul’ album - and may be Robert Randolph and the Family Band’s best, most diverse album yet. Rooted in gospel and blues, and branching into rock and soul, it is the sound of a veteran artist sure of himself and confident enough to spread his wings.
Led by pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph, a virtuoso on the pedal steel guitar, Robert jumped from spiritual music - he started playing the instrument as a churchgoing teenager in Orange, New Jersey, a small city just outside of Newark - to secular music and found an audience among blues fans, roots rock aficionados, and jam band followers with his fiery, passionate instrumental work and heartfelt music.
The first three songs of ‘Brighter Days’ are a full dive back to Randolph’s gospel roots, starting with lead track “Baptise Me”, a joyous romp of a song that makes a direct connection between religious and musical ecstasy and salvation. “We wrote ‘Baptize Me’ the first day in the studio.” Says Robert “It’s really a love story, about an all-round love: for each other, for our audience, for our church background, for the music we love and for our fans. All of these songs kind of harken back to how we started, to being known as this musical family band that comes from the church and appeals to rock, blues, gospel and soul music audiences. We wanted that good gospel, blues, R&B feel, because that’s where we started and it’s good to not only remind people of that but to actively remember it ourselves.”
“The Family Band” Is not just a name meant to evoke connections of togetherness. They are an actual family; the group that supports Randolph is anchored by his cousins, bassist Danyel Morgan and drummer Marcus Randolph and his sister, vocalist Lenesha Randolph.Given his goals for the album, it’s fitting that the lone cover song Robert selected for the collection comes from Pops Staples and the Staples Singers, one of gospel’s greatest musical families, who seamlessly crossed over to secular R&B success with inspirational songs like “Respect Yourself” and “I’ll Take You There.” Their “Simple Man” is a deep, contemplative blues, its pensive nature amplified by Randolph’s signature weeping pedal steel guitar lines.
The album was produced by Dave Cobb, known for his acclaimed and award-winning production of albums by Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, and the "A Star Is Born" soundtrack. “Dave Cobb is just a guy who likes to record good music and good songs,” says Randolph. “He wanted to do something that was fun but it also gives you a gospel feeling. He knows the history of our band, coming from church and giving that fun church feeling to people.