Robert Randolph and the Family Band

8 p.m. Thursday, December 20. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard.

If the sacred steel movement has a visionary leader, it's Robert Randolph, a ferocious, enormously talented steel guitarist who has deftly overseen his band's transition from the House of God Church in Orange, New Jersey, to the world's premier stages. Randolph's always sliced and diced considerable secular influences into his fervid gospel sound, and that was even more the case with the Family Band's last album, 2006's Colorblind. That album had a guest shot from Dave Matthews, an assortment of ballads amidst the rousing rave-ups, and a thorough airing of influences from the likes of Sly, Hendrix and Stevie Wonder. Plus, Randolph's also proved he can go head-to-head with guitar greats such as Eric Clapton, who traded licks with him on Colorblind.

 
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