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Robert Randolph & The Family Band – Lickety Split (2013) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Robert Randolph & The Family Band – Lickety Split (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 50:35 minutes | 615 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front covers | © Dare Records

Robert Randolph, the virtuoso pedal steel guitarist whose distinctive mix of rock, funk and rhythm & blues has built a fervent, international audience releases his highly anticipated new studio album, Lickety Split, on Blue Note Records. His first studio album since 2010 s We Walk This Road, Lickety Split is produced by Randolph and showcases his Family Band, the powerhouse ensemble that has backed him throughout his career. The Family Band is comprised of actual family members Marcus Randolph, Danyel Morgan, Lenesha Randolph together with guitarist Brett Haas. This album features special guest appearances from Trombone Shorty and Carlos Santana and signifies a return to the joyful, high energy music that has become Randolph’s trademark. The album was engineered by the legendary Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin) and mixed by Jim Scott [Tedeschi,Trucks].

For Robert Randolph & the Family Band, the three year break after 2010’s somewhat stilted-sounding We Walk This Road was well deserved. By Randolph’s own admission, their 280 date-per-year touring pace had taken its toll: playing music, let alone trying to find time to create it, had become a chore. Their Blue Note debut, Lickety Split, features an expanded FB lineup that includes vocalist Lenesha Randolph and guitarist Brett Haas; the group has gone back to its earliest recorded efforts for inspiration while furthering their new music considerably. The end result resembles their live sound more than any studio record in their catalog. Co-produced by the FB with Randolph’s songwriting partners, it was primarily engineered and edited by Eddie Kramer, and mixed by Jim Scott. Opener “Amped Up” delivers the FB’s trademark party-time meld of screaming hard rock, funk, gospel, blues, and R&B, all at full-tilt and in the raw. “Born Again” delivers the band’s signature gospel message with celebration. The gorgeous call-and-response vocals between the Randolphs, and guest Bekka Bramlett, and the meaty, contrasting guitar interplay between Robert and Haas, are irresistible. Soul, Cajun-country, and gospel are at the heart of the dreamy yet earthy Lenesha-led, “New Orleans.” Speaking of NOLA, Trombone Shorty lends his horn and energy to the gospelized, Crescent City-flavored stomp of “Take the Party.” Carlos Santana makes two appearances here as well. On the driving funk of “Brand New Wayo,” he delivers a fine, overdriven B.B. King nod when prompted by Randolph, while bassist Daniel Morgan lets his Bootsy freak flag fly and pushes the tune into the red. The rangy, pulsing hard rock gospel blues in the title track gets high marks for Randolph’s tasty fills and the soulful vocal exchanges. The cover of the Ohio Players’ “Love Rollercoaster” has its horns supplanted beautifully by the color palette from Randolph’s pedal steel, and Morgan’s knotty, funky bassline. The other cover here is an off-your-seat-and-on-your-feet reading of the Rascals’ “Good Lovin,” with Dwan Hill adding his B-3 to the mix and trading fours with Randolph, sending it all off in party-down version of a Möbius strip. Lickety Split is not only a joyous, unhindered return to form, but the group’s finest studio offering to date. ~ Thom Jurek

01. Amped Up
02. Born Again
03. New Orleans
04. Take The Party [feat. Trombone Shorty]
05. Brand New Wayo [feat. Carlos Santana]
06. Lickety Split
07. Blacky Joe [feat. Carlos Santana]
08. Love Rollercoaster
09. All American
10. Get Ready
11. Welcome Home
12. Good Lovin’

Robert Randolph, pedal steel guitar, guitar, vocals
Marcus Randolph, drums
Danyel Morgan, bass, vocals
Brett Haas, vocals
Lenesha Randolph, vocals
Eric Krasno, guitar (“Good Lovin'”)
Dwan Hill, organ (“Good Lovin'”)
Bekka Bramlett, backing vocals (“Born Again”)
Jason Crosby, keyboards (“Get Ready,” “Lickety Split”)
Carlos Santana, guitar (“Brand New Wayo,” “Blacky Joe”)
Trombone Shorty, trombone (“Take the Party”)
Adam Smirnoff, guitar (“Lickety Split”)
Tommy Sims, bass, piano, guitar

Produced by Robert Randolph, Tommy Sims, Shannon Sanders & Drew Ramsey


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