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River Music Experience

Calendar of Events

Robert Randolph and The Family Band

Friday, September 28, 2018 9:00 PM
Redstone Room
$35 adv / $40 day of show

Doors: 8pm / Show: 9pm
Opening Act: None
Age Restriction: 19+ (minors must be accompanied by parent or guardian) 
Genre: Soul/Blues

All tickets are general admission. Purchasing a ticket does not guarantee a seat.

Many  musicians  claim  that  they  “grew  up  in  the  church,”  but  for  Robert  Randolph that  is literally  the  case.  The  renowned  pedal  steel  guitarist,  vocalist  and  songwriter led  such  a cloistered  childhood  and  adolescence  that  he  heard  no  secular  music  while  growing  up.  If  it wasn’t  being  played  inside  of  the  House  of  God  Church  in  Orange,  New  Jersey—quite  often by  Robert  and  members  of  his  own  family,  who  upheld  a  long  but  little  known  gospel  music tradition  called  sacred  steel—Randolph  simply  didn’t  know  it  existed.

Which  makes  it  all  the more  remarkable  that  the  leader  of  Robert  Randolph  and  the  Family  Band—whose  label debut  for  Sony  Masterworks,  Got  Soul,  will  be  released  on  Feb.  17,  2017—is  today  an inspiration  to  the  likes  of  Eric  Clapton,  Carlos  Santana  and  Derek  Trucks,  all  of  whom  have played  with  him  and  studied  his  technique.  It  wasn’t  until  he  was  out  of  his  teens  that Randolph  broke  away  from  the  confines  of  his social  and  musical  conditioning  and  discovered rock,  funk, soul,  jazz and  the  jam  band  scene,  soon  forging  his  own  sound  by  fusing elements  of  those  genres.

“It was all church music.  It  was  a  movement  within  our  church and  that’s  all  we  used  to  do,”  says  Randolph  of the  sacred  steel  music  he  played  at  the time,  music  whose association  with  his  church  stretches  back  to  the  1920s.  Once  Randolph began  to  discover  other  forms  of  music,  he  saw  how  they  were  all  connected,  and  was eager  to  find  his  own  place.  “All music is related.  Gospel is the same as blues,” he says. “The  only thing  that  changes  is  in  hardcore  gospel  people  are  singing  about  God  and  Jesus and  in  the  blues  people  are  singing  about  ‘my  baby  left  me ‘and  whiskey.  When  we  first started  out,  guys  really  weren’t  allowed  to  leave  the  church.  I was the one that stepped out and started this thing.  My  dad  would  say,  ‘Why  do  you  come  home  smelling  like  beer  and cigarettes? ’‘Well,  we  just  got  done  playing  some  smoky  club  till  2  a.m.! ‘It was all foreign and different.

”By  the  early  2000s,  Randolph  had  begun  applying  his  dazzling  steel  guitar technique  to  secular music,  and  from  that  grew  the  Family  Band.  The group’s  sound  was  so different  than  anything  else  around  that  they  were soon  packing  New  York  City  clubs.  Their first  album,  2002’s  Live  at  the  Wetlands,  was  recorded  at  the  now  defunct  jam  band  haven, and  was  followed  by  four  studio  albums and  another  live  set,  each  widening  the  band’s audience—they’ve  long  been  regulars  on  the  festival  circuit—and  broadening  their  stylistic range  as  well.

“Things  happened really  fast,”  Randolph—named  one  of the  100  Greatest Guitarists  of  All  Time by  Rolling  Stone—says  now.  “When  I  look  back  on  that  time,  to  be honest, I  had  no  idea  what  the  hell  we  were  doing.  We’d get  told,  ‘You  guys  are  going  on tour  with  Eric  Clapton.’  ‘Oh, OK.’  I thought,  this  guy  must  not  have  a  clue  who  I  am  but  the first  time  I  met  him  we  talked  for  about  an  hour  and  played  music  backstage.

”The  Family Band’s  improvisational  skills  quickly  made  them  mega-popular  among  the  jam-band  crowd, but  for  Randolph  and  his  band  mates,  what  they  were  doing  was  just  an  extension  of  what they’d  always  done.  “The  jam  band  scene  has  that  name  but  it’s  really a  true  music  art  form  scene  where  you  can  just  be  who  you  are,”  Randolph  says.  “We  fit in  that  category  in  some  sense  but  the  jam  band  scene  itself  has  changed  a  lot  since  that time.  I’ve  grown  to  like  songs  and  I  like  to  jam  within  the  song.”

”On  Got  Soul—which features  guest  artists  Anthony  Hamilton,  Darius  Rucker,  Cory  Henry—Robert  Randolph  and the  Family  Band  walk  that line  deftly,  displaying  their  virtuosity  within  the  context  of  a  dozen smartly  crafted  tunes.  “I like both playing live and recording,” says Randolph.  “The  thing about  a  record  is  you  get  a  chance  to  rehearse  parts  and  fine-tune  things.  But  if  you  look at most  great  music  artists—people  like  Stevie  Wonder—the  song  is  totally  different  from  the show.  When  you’re  in  the  studio,  it’s  hard  to  improvise  without  an  audience.  But for  us, well, we’ve  been  playing  in  front  of  audiences  our  whole  lives.”

*Seating Disclaimer*

The Redstone Room at River Music Experience is a standing room only concert venue. All tickets are General Admission unless otherwise stated. For the comfort of our guests, a limited amount of seating is available on a first come first serve basis:
  • Reserved Tables: a limited number of tables are for sale in advance, sold through our ticketing service. You will need to add both your General Admission tickets AND your Reserved Tables to the cart for purchase. Reserve Tables come with 4 seats to a table. 
  • General Admission Tables: A number of tables are available when doors open. First come first serve.  
  • Disability: If you require handicap accessible seating, you will need to purchase your General Admission ticket first, and then call the box office to reserve up to 2 seats. Tables must be purchased separately.
*Ticket Disclaimer*

All tickets for RME events are sold via Eventbrite and all carry applicable transaction fees. Tickets can be purchased the day of event online, at the RME Box office during business hours, and at the door (subject to availability). All tickets purchased with credit cards and/or cash will be subject to all applicable service fees whether the purchase takes place online, over the phone, or at the RME box office. Ticket fees also still apply for admission at the door.


River Music Experience
129. N. Main Street
Davenport, IA 52801
Mon: 12pm - 5pm
Tues: 12pm - 6pm
Wed: 12pm - 5pm
Thurs: 12pm - 6pm
Fri: 12pm - 5pm
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed

*Box Office hours may vary due to event schedules

Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?
Most shows in the Redstone Room are 19+, unless otherwise noted, but minors may attend if accompanied by a parent or guardian.
What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?
RME & The Redstone Room are in the heart of downtown Davenport, and accessible by public transportation or cabs & ride-share apps (Uber, Lyft). There is a paid parking garage right next to the RME that only costs a couple of dollars for an evening. When using the ramp, make sure that you prepay at the pay stations in the garage stairwell or on the Parkmobile app. Free street parking is available, but sometimes hard to find on concert nights.
How can I contact the organizer with any questions?
You may call the RME's box office at (563)326-1333 or email
What's the refund policy?
Purchased tickets are nonrefundable.