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We Walk This Road

4.5 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 21, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Produced by the legendary T Bone Burnett, 'We Walk This Road' continues the Sacred Steel tradition for which Robert Randolph has earned wide praise, including the New York Times, which applauds 'his rip-roaring virtuosity and his gift for making his instrument sing without a word.'

Throughout the recording of 'We Walk This Road,' Randolph and Burnett worked closely together as archivists, discovering songs-decade by decade-from the 20th century American music canon. The songs they uncovered, ranging from blues and rock to field recordings and gospel, serve as the inspiration for the 11 songs on 'We Walk This Road.' Recorded at the Village Recorders and Electro Magnetic Studio, the album includes 'If I Had My Way' (featuring Ben Harper), 'Salvation' (featuring Leon Russell), and reinterpretations of Prince's 'Walk Don't Walk,' Bob Dylan's 'Shot Of Love,' (featuring Jim Keltner, who played drums on the original version) and John Lennon's 'I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier Mama' (featuring Doyle Bramhall II).

Of the album, Randolph says 'T Bone and I drew a lot from the past while we were making this record, but I think it really is a record for these times. I think the fact that I, as a young guy who likes hip-hop and gospel, am reaching back into this rich history of American roots music will appeal to people who are fifteen, and people who are seventy-five years old. T Bone opened my eyes to great archival music. He's a link between the past and the present.'
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 21, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • ASIN: B003LFIOW2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,359 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. S. Wegman on June 26, 2010
Format: Audio CD
This album is sure to get negative reviews from people who consider themselves die-hard RRFB fans, the people who travel for miles and miles to see their electric performances; I am one of those people who has literally traveled thousands of miles to see them in concert. I also understand what makes a RRFB show unique. The band has an energy that is infectious, they have maybe the funkiest rhythm section on tour today, and a legitimate pedal steel virtuoso in the head man himself. And it's an energy that is impossible to bottle in the studio. They've tried twice before, with very "meh" results. Which is why I'm glad they've made a real studio album this time. I think they've realized after "Unclassified" and "Colorblind" that the studio is not equipped to translate their live energy. Instead, they've taken a good, hard look at their gospel and blues roots and added their own interpretations to some really classic songs. You're not going to pop this CD in at a party, and you're not going to play this in your car. This CD was put together so that you and a couple of buddies can sit around, drink some fine oat sodas, and talk about music. Robert Randolph has really matured on this album. He knows when to lay back and be a part of the song, without having to "be" the song. Nevertheless, there are still some jaw-dropping solos interspersed here and there. I also found the idea of sprinkling the old blues segues in throughout the album. It definitely works for this project. I hope that RRFB starts putting out a lot of their live stuff, as I think they'd win a lot of fans that way, but at the same time, if they're going to be putting out studio albums as well, this is the kind of material they should be striving to put together.
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The wonderful thing about Robert Randolph is his ongoing willingness to leap from ledge to ledge as part of his musical platform efforts.
There is Live at the Wetlands, Unclassified, and Colorblind in the past... each feeling like a wholly different experience from the same ever-improving-and-amazing-band.
With each album there has been a divergence and a growth.
We Walk This Road--takes you by the hand and walks you through interpretations of music that existed in the sixty or so years following the Civil War and does so in a way that could make my young son dance and my older dad do the same while reminding us of what has gone before.

Combining Robert Randolph with multi-Grammy producer, songwriter, and musician... T Bone Burnett was a stroke of sheer genius.

You can hear that every facet of the music is Robert Randolph and the Family Band--and yet--you are deeded production values that enhance every aspect of the album from the range of the record being Audiophile Quality to the care taken to bring every nuance to the front.

The whole record is stellar but--there are a few even more exceptional and blindingly beautiful tunes in the midst of all the joy that this album drives through your music player of choice.

*I'm Not Listening, *Don't Change, *Walk Don't Walk, *If I Had My Way, and even John Lennon's *I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier Mama are clear hits on the hoof.

More, like the Aretha Franklin cover of *RESPECT from the Stax hit by Otis Redding, or Eddie Cochran's *Summertime Blues covered by The Who, or The Blind Boys' *Way Down in the Hole redone by Tom Waits, or C.C.R.
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Format: Audio CD
I've only had this album for less than a week, but I can tell it will be a real favorite for a long time. There are some ridiculous complaints that the album is too constrained, as if Robert Randolph should be playing overkill solos in every song he ever creates. I don't think Hendrix, SRV or Clapton ever did that, so to complain that he doesn't go all out with sheer guitar madness in every solo is absurd. This is a sublime album, and it doesn't fit into the cookie cutter music other artists produce where every album fits the same niche and routine. Try listening to 2 different Beck albums and then complain that they don't sound the same, you're missing the point. This is an excellent album, maybe even better than Unclassified, but I've worn that album out listening to it and only time will tell just how great this album will be for me. So far, it is superb!!!
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This recording gets a high five for rather shaky logic. Robert Randolph is a master musician with a signature instrument, who is attempting a nearly impossible feat. He is attempting to maintain the claim sacred steel has upon the purity of his music, while at the same time expanding the musical universe (both personal and collective). His self-defined task is to be an intrepid explorer, without rejecting his origins. To boldly go where no sacred musician has gone, while still claiming sanctity. Few, very few, would even try (too much extra work), and even fewer could mount a coherent plan to explore the limits of instrument, genre, music, and performance.

So? Does this recording do that to the extent that it deserves 5 Stars. That, Grasshopper, is for you to decide. The Master is making a statement or two; how many times must one listen before a Student hears what is being said? Keep listening until you cannot stand it, or keep listening until you cannot keep from hearing it.

This is a special moment in time. We are witness to the birth of an important musical adventurer. Plus, we get to keep documents (CD recordings) of the journey to an unexplored land. If he actually finds the edge of hus musical universe, what will he see when he looks beyond? Robert, if you make it, please be sure to send us a postcard.
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