Music » Critics' Picks

Robert Randolph & the Family Band

8 p.m. Thursday, November 9. Pageant (6161 Delmar Blvd).

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The literal family in Robert Randolph & the Family Band is drummer Marcus Randolph and bassist Danyel Morgan (both cousins) and singing sister Lenesha Randolph. Metaphorically it's the family of man embodied in Robert's sacred, steel-centered House of God Church. But ultimately it's Sly and the Family Stone, a musical model for their heavy funk, rock and gospel, and a paradigm for their heavier mission: Free the body and the soul will follow. On this year's Colorblind, they cover Sylvester Stewart's "Thankful 'N Thoughtful," and if the homage only illustrates Randolph's temerity as a songwriter and singer, it also shows that Sly never had a guitarist who could reinvent and resurrect sound with such ecstatic abandon — but then again, few players shy of Jimi Hendrix ever have.

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