Monday, September 27, 2004

Can It Really Be Something Positive? Oh My, It Is!

This year, I've seen live performances by many outstanding musicians, including Buddy Guy, Prince, Eddie Van Halen, Eric Clapton, the guys from Rush, Metallica, Aerosmith, plus more songwriter types such as Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Van Morrison, Neil Young and David Byrne. And as a display of sheer musical virtuosity -- not the songs themselves, but the playing -- none has topped Robert Randolph and the Family Band, who I saw Saturday night at a special WXRT/American Express show at the Vic Theatre; I actually won tickets. Robert Randolph plays the pedal steel guitar and man is he phenomenal. I have his most recent album -- Unclassified -- and while it's good, Randolph's terrific live shows aren't so much about songs as long funky jams, extended solos, good natured interplay with the audience, etc. The band even takes a turn at trading instruments, and could easily fool latecomers into thinking the "switcheroo" arrangement is how it's supposed to be. You can check out the album, but it really doesn't do them justice. If you get a chance to see them live, even on TV, check them out.

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