The legendary list of live performances by Robert Randolph & The Family Band have included appearances with Eric Clapton, Santana and the Dave Matthews Band, and will now include a gig at the Smith Opera House. The Grammy-nominated artist named as one of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” by Rolling Stone Magazine will perform at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 20 as part of Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ concert series “Live from Geneva.”
Randolph’s inspiring pedal steel guitar playing blends the sounds of rock and blues with soulful gospel groove, and this string wizardry is the focal point of The Family Band’s lively performances.The band is known for their lively stage performances that put a premium on dance, audience enjoyment and participation. Randolph has been known to temporarily stop shows if members of the audience were not dancing or appeared not to be enjoying themselves. Other frequent antics include band members trading instruments, audience members being called on stage as guest guitarists and the passing of microphones through the front row for the audience to sing along.
Randolph cites the late Stevie Ray Vaughan as a primary influence in his technique and style. Additionally, the group’s sound is inspired by successful 1970s funk bands such as Earth, Wind & Fire and Sly & the Family Stone, another multicultural band composed of former members of the Church of God in Christ, like Randolph.
This concert was made possible, in part, with support from the New York State Music Fund. The Fund named Hobart and William Smith Colleges a recipient of a $200,000 grant, designed to provide underserved populations with concerts from artists who receive limited access to commercial broadcast or other mass distribution vehicles.
A series of performing artists — working in hip hop, reggae, fusion, pop and folk music — bring concerts to the Smith Opera House and the Hobart and William Smith campus, as part of “Live from Geneva.”
Tickets are $10 for students and $25 general admission. Online ticketing is available at www.thesmith.org and closes five hours before curtain. Online purchasers should bring the printed receipt to the box office and exchange it for a hard ticket.
For samples of Robert Randolph & The Family Band’s music, visit: http://www.robertrandolph.net/