Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on Nov 30th 2009 4:00PM by David Chiu
"We had Bob Dylan come in, listen and critique," Randolph tells Spinner, referring to his cover of 'Shot of Love,' the title song of Dylan's 1981 album. "Who knows? Maybe I didn't get it right, maybe I did. [Dylan] was just in there going, 'This is really cool. This could be something here. You're onto something there.'"
Randolph describes the new untitled album -- his first in four years -- as a "Robert Randolph and the Family Band and Friends" project. "We got so many people that were a part of this session," he recalls, "[such as] legendary producer T-Bone Burnett. Leon Russell played keyboards, and Jim Keltner and Jay Bellerose [were] on drums. We had [drummer] Steve Jordan come by and hang."
The guitarist says that artists like Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan see him as the next young musician to continue "true rock 'n' roll." "It's so weird for me, being a guy from New Jersey, growing up in a church and having a different musical roots background," he says. "Somehow this is a really a big deal for a lot of other musicians."
Randolph says that he didn't grow up listening to musicians like Leon Russell until he was in his 20s, but he acknowledges the appreciation he has received from people for his sound and message. "It's just cool and new to guys like Clapton, so they don't get freaked out when I'm talking to them," he explains. "I'm not some guy who goes 'Tell me about you and Derek and the Dominos!' 'Hey Robbie [Robertson] , what about this thing and the Band, oh man!' I can't even go on that road because I don't know that much. All I know is 'Let's sit down and play.'"
So far, the latest music Randolph and the Family Band have released is a track called 'Get There,' which also airs Friday evenings for the telecasts of the New York Knicks -- his favorite team -- on the MSG Network. As for the new album, he says it's going to be a big deal.
"We've been working on this record for a year-and-a-half now. So many people have been in the studio hanging out [and] going, 'Wait a second! This is cool! You guys are onto something.' When it comes out, it's not gonna sound like anything else out there."