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Pedal Steel Funk

Thanks to my friend Tim for letting me know about Robert Randolph and the Family Band.

A couple of paragraphs about the band’s new album, We Walk This Road, provides good insight into what the band is about:

[Producer] T Bone Burnett shared the vision of how gospel, blues and rock could be put together in a way that could relate to my history and connect to my present. It was important to us that we make the record we wanted to make, even if the end result was unclassifiable. We just focused on making great songs and great music that spoke to me, and that reflected the way I try to speak to the world.

We recorded We Walk This Road over about two years, after T Bone had finished his record with Alison Krauss and Robert Plant. We went into the studio with virtual libraries of songs, whole volumes worth of material to go through. T Bone brought in old archival songs from the twenties and thirties and many of them were in the public domain. I had songs that I had written with the band, or that other artists had sent me, and we sat down and starting sifting through history. (Continue Reading…)

Above is the electric Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That and below is I Need More Love.

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The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

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Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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