In "Amped Up," the first track from Robert Randolph and the Family Band's new album Lickety Split, lead vocalist and guitarist Robert Randolph sings, "Everybody throw your hands up/ C'mon get cranked up/ Everybody get amped up!" But Randolph isn't talking about energizing a crowd through bombastic, overproduced pop; the pedal steel guitarist (who was named one of Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists) espouses bluesy rock similar to Earth, Wind and Fire. Randolph's sprawling, sacred steel solos feature prominently on the album and his talented bandmates add fire – especially backing vocalist Lenesha Randolph, whose harmonious singing accentuates Randolph's soulful croon.
On the LP, the band get some help from guitar legend Carlos Santana ("Brand New Wayo," "Blacky Joe"). Known for their jubilant, foot-stomping performances at such festivals as Bonnaroo and SXSW, Robert Randolph and the Family Band even manage to transcend their sunny, gospel tracks ("New Orleans," "Born Again") to take on the one percent ("Lickety Split") and the anguish of returning war veterans ("Welcome Home").
Lickety Split will be released on July 16th, but you can stream it exclusively here and preorder it on iTunes.