During this Friday's free at noon concert, we are taking a course through some of the most exciting soulful blues, funk, gospel and steel pedal music around.
With their vibrant combination of styles, Robert Randolph and The Family Band have marked themselves as one of the most revelatory groups to stem from the church tradition. Growing up in the House of God church, where the pedal steel was a common staple, Randolph was surrounded by a slew of incredible pedal steel players and decided to pick up the instrument at fifteen. Towards the end of his teenage years, the young Randolph was introduced to guitarist Stevie Ray, who opened a whole new way of thinking about steel pedal playing and paved an entirely new approach to Randolph's playing. Breaking away from tradition, Randolph completely restyled the steel pedal approach to mimic certain guitar techniques and sounds and is now considered as one of the top guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone. As his style became an immediate aweing sensation, he started incorporating it into newly written pieces that were performed throughout the New York and later to Philly and Boston. Eventually getting picked up by Warner Brothers, Randolph and his family band were stealing the attention of some of the greatest known musicians- including BB King and Eric Clapton- and subsequently picked up their bags and began touring with groups like The Roots, Pharell and John Mayer.
Their first studio album "Unclassified" was released back in 2003, which was followed by the celebrated sophomore release "Colorblind" three years later. Taking another four years to release their latest effort "We Walked This Road," Randolph and the band are clearly not afraid to take the extra time needed to put together a solid set. Released with the help of T Bone Burnett, the band ambitiously set out to honor the last one hundrend years of African-American music through blues, rock and gospel. Linking together the past and present with recreations of old material and original creations, "We Walked This Road" is a musical journey down the path of musical history. And as someone who spent his childhood centered on styles pre 1970, Randolph cites this album as not only a celebration of the old and new, but as a very personal reflection of his own musical discoveries.
Due to the construction in the area, free parking is no longer available for XPN Free At Noon shows. Metered parking on 31st street is no longer available, and metered parking on Walnut Street is extremely limited as a result of the closure and reconstruction of the South Street Bridge, and the rerouting of traffic onto Walnut Street.
Public transportation to XPN Free At Noon is recommended. For more information on parking in the area visit World Cafe Live. Find more information on directions and public transportation here.
When you come to XPN's Free At Noon Concerts, bring a can of food to support Philabundance, Delaware Valley's hunger relief organization. We have drop-off boxes to collect canned goods for the needy. Current priority items include: canned pasta, chili, beef stew, tuna, mac & cheese, ready to eat cereal, pork & beans/ baked beans, green beans, corn, fruit cocktail, creamy peanut butter and/ or grape jelly (plastic containers only), and boxed sugar. Thanks!
Dr. Dog, Carrie Rodriguez, Annuals, DeVotchKa, Adele, Angel Taylor, Winterpills, Sharon Little, Ollabelle, Andrew Lipke, The Low Anthem, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Sean Lennon, Chris Smith, California Guitar trio, Joan Osborne, Disco Biscuits, Damien Rice, Cold War Kids, Marc Broussard, The Slip, Arlo Guthrie, Alice Smith, The Dears, Barenaked Ladies, and more...
WXPN Free at Noon Photo Gallery at Flickr
Click to visit our gallery for photos of the Free At Noon Concerts! Previous concerts include Hall & Oates, O.A.R., Citizen Cope, Old Crow Medicine Show, Kaki King and many more!