Fans of Robert Randolph vary from those who relish the buoyant “sacred steel” jams of his concerts and early albums to those who enjoy his vibrant spin on modern blues-pop and R&B. Considering that album No. 4, We Walk This Road, is neither and takes Robert Randolph & The Family Band into a new direction, it’s understandable why fans are having a mixed reaction.
Interesting to learn that Randolph, one of our great modern guitarists, was not allowed to listen to blues music growing up—you’d swear it had a profound influence on his style and technique. But no, he only listened to modern gospel and Christian music in his youth. For Randolph’s latest—his first since 2006’s acclaimed Colorblind—the goal was to find a way to connect his faith with his history and heritage as an African-American.