Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Colorblind

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Colorblind

Article excerpt

COLORBLIND Robert Randolph and the Family Band (Warner Brothers, 2006)

The one-line blurb on Robert Randolph and the Family Band could be, "Sly and the Family Stone, without the drugs." The music of this black-led, racially-mixed ensemble leaps out of the speakers with a cacophonous celebration of human possibility and hymns to the spiritual power of love. It's one big party from beginning to end.

Guest artists--including Dave Matthews, Eric Clapton, and R&B singer Leela Moore--walk in and out of the room, amid overlapping voices and rhythms that demand that listeners throw their hands in the air and move. The lyrics of the opening track, "Ain't Nothing Wrong with That," update Sly's ode to everyday people, promising to reconcile "break dance and slam dance ... tight fade and long braids" as well as "red, yellow, black, and white."

But here's the twist, at the center of this musical tent meeting is the pedal steel, an instrument usually associated with country and western music--and white people. …

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