Robert Randolph and the Family Band’s new T Bone Burnett-produced album We Walk This Road (out today) looks back over the past 100 years of rock and blues music, featuring an eclectic mix of covers that blends traditional gospel songs with tracks by John Lennon, Bob Dylan and Prince. In this exclusive Rolling Stone video, Randolph reveals how he selected three such tracks for We Walk This Road: the blues standard “Travelin’ Shoes,” Bob Dylan’s born-again rocker “Shot of Love” and Prince’s Diamonds and Pearls cut “Walk Don’t Walk.”
“I started talking to T Bone about Dylan’s songs, because I was trying to figure out what Hendrix was thinking when he did ‘[All Along the] Watchtower,’ ” he says. “I don’t know if we got the Hendrix vibe,” he laughs, “but Dylan has listened to this song and he was very proud. He said we served him well with this beautiful song.”
In addition to a track list that finds the Family Band putting a Sly and the Family Stone-style touch on John Lennon’s “I Don’t Wanna Be a Soldier Mama,” We Walk This Road also finds Randolph, one of Rolling Stone‘s Greatest Guitarists of All Time, joining forces with Ben Harper (“If I Had My Way”), Leon Russell (“Salvation”) and drummer Jim Keltner, who plays on Randolph’s rendition of “Shot of Love” after appearing nearly 30 years ago on Dylan’s original version.