Robert Randolph & the Family Band
from Wiki... Robert Randolph & The Family Band is a multicultural American funk and soul band composed of Robert Randolph, Marcus Randolph (drums), Danyel Morgan (bass), Jason Crosby (keyboards & fiddle), Lenesha Randolph (vocals and rhythm), as well as three rotating rhythm guitarists, Joey Williams of Blind Boys of Alabama, "Shmeeans", and Cousin Ray-Ray. Frontman Robert Randolph was trained as a pedal steel guitarist in the House of God Church, Keith Dominion, and makes prominent use of the instrument in the band's music. Randolph, a native of Irvington, New Jersey, began playing the steel guitar in the House of God Church, which used steel guitars in worship services. The instrument is referred to in many African American Pentecostal style churches as Sacred Steel. Randolph was discovered while playing at a sacred steel convention in Florida. Randolph himself cites the late Stevie Ray Vaughan as a primary influence in his own technique and style. The group's sound is inspired by successful 1970s funk bands such as Earth, Wind & Fire and Sly & the Family Stone, another multicultural band comprised of former members of the Church of God in Christ. Randolph himself has explained that in his adolescent years before his discovery by the secular community, he was almost completely unaware of non-religious music, saying "I never heard of the Allman Brothers, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, none of them. I wasn’t into that music, only the church thing."