On a quiet, clear September night, along the shore of Salisbury Beach – Robert Randolph and the Family Band arrived at the classy Blue Ocean Music Hall and conducted a clinic on how to throw one funky party. In support of their latest release, Lickety Split, Randolph and his band mixed up their tight set with plenty of new songs, a couple old and some choice covers.
The band marched out on stage and greeted the audience with smiles and waves. Randolph, dressed predominantly in black and white, with a bedazzled RR not so subtly placed on the tail of his shirt – sat down behind his sparkling chrome lap steel guitar and lit into the high octane fueled “Amped Up” from Lickety Split. Jimi Hendrix’ “Foxy Lady”, with guitarist Brett Andrew Haas on vocals, followed – much to the approval of the crowd. Casually dressed in dark jeans and button-down long sleeved shirt, Haas demonstrated his talents on a cream-colored Fender Stratocaster and vocals alike.
Donning a leopard print blouse and lacy black tights, Randolph’s sister Lanesha took over on vocals for Split’s soulful and beautiful “New Orleans”. Her voice was strong and a great match for this heartfelt ode to such a magical city. However, this mixed-tempo ballad was oddly placed early in the set. RR took back the mic and repeatedly asked the crowd, “Are you ready?” before lighting up one insane intro on his 13-string pedal steel guitar for Split’s “Get Ready”. Next up was “Pressing My Way”, featuring cousin Danyel Morgan on vocals. With a colorful throwback winter cap, his dynamic vocal range left many mouths agape as he hit the high notes that most only dream of being able to – all while maintaining bass guitar duties. RR’s octave-fied intro and Aaron Lipp’s piano solo added a left and a right hook to this knockout.
After a lengthy, chicken-picken’ enfused jam, Randolph invited the ladies in attendance on stage to dance along to the Rolling Stones’ “Shake Your Hips”. Many obliged and some even took center stage in front of Randolph, shaking, swaying and wiggling under the lights. After the ladies were escorted off the stage, the band settled into a jam turn instrumental medley that featured Stevie Wonder’s “The Way You Make Me Feel”, “God Bless America”, Randolph’s “All American” and a nod to Jack White by including a snippet of the Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” – all before returning to a foot stomping jam to end the set. During “The Way You Make Me Feel”, Randolph directed the band to bring the music down to whisper level to allow the audience’s voices to rise up and over the house PA.
The band left the stage, only briefly – before returning to play another foot-stomping jam. The band playfully teased the audience by waving good-bye three times, tricking them into thinking that the night was coming to an end. However, it was not to be and the band launched into Split’s “Brand New Wayo”. Randolph took the opportunity to introduce the band and for most of the members to take another round of solos – most notably, Haas’ blistering guitar lead. Randolph’s cousin Marcus, dressed in a red, white and blue short sleeve shirt and Miami Heat cap, managed to sneak in a quick, tasty drum solo as well. After this last frantic jam wrapped up, Randolph graciously thanked the crowd for coming out and the band left the stage for the final time.
Pressing My Way
Shake Your Hips
Medley: The Way You Make Me Feel/God Bless America/All American/Seven Nation Army
Brand New Wayo