But at age 25, Randolph is on the cutting edge of a Black Roots Renaissance, on the strength of his mastery of the pedal steel guitar, or the "Sacred Steel" as the folks refer to it.
Randolph, like so many of his peers who have survived to reach age 25, can point to the shooting death of one of his running partners as a literal turning point in his life.
Despite the obvious references to the Black Church tradition, RobertRandolph and the Family has been referred to as a "jam band", which means that the audiences that they play to are, more often than not, largely white and, more often than not, a little lit.
RobertRandolph came from the ghetto, once remarking that if he were a cat, he'd only have one life left.
Randolph trading licks with his mentors, his heroes, each one-upping the previous solo before reining it all back into one howling chorus.
Randolph once said that the pedal steel guitar is a "powerful instrument that sings," and when held up to traditional guitars, no matter how good (as with Dickinson), the steel not only sings, it wails.
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