Robert Randolph & the Family Band, "We Walk This Road"

88 Billboard Rating

With the help of renowned producer T-Bone Burnett, pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph takes a backward glance at American roots music to discover the true soul of sacred steel on his latest album, "We Walk This Road." The uplifting set includes takes on lost gospel and blues numbers as well as reworkings of Bob Dylan's "Shot of Love," John Lennon's "I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier Mama" (featuring guitarist Doyle Bramhall II) and Prince's "Walk Don't Walk." The album opens with a vocal melody from a 1930s recording, then segues into the soulful "Traveling Shoes." From there, Randolph and the Family Band take a groovy approach to the Will Gray-penned "Back to the Wall." And Ben Harper makes an appearance on "If I Had My Way," where he lends slide guitar and vocals. Randolph's nuanced steel weeps with almost vocal expressiveness behind singers Danyel Morgan and Lenesha Randolph on the gospel closer "Salvation," which features pianist Leon Russell.

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