Robert Randolph Presents: The Slide Brothers

Concord Music

Concord Music

The opening seconds of Robert Randolph Presents: The Slide Brothers are awash in joyful noise: Marty Sammon’s gentle organ is the first thing you hear; next comes Chuck Campbell, working his multi-levered and -pedaled steel guitar to bounce one stinging note off the other; his brother Darick’s lap steel joins in, all icy-hot sizzling tone; their nephew Carlton Campbell splashes glistening cymbals over the whole thing – letting it build to a peak, then gently settle. Carlton kicks the drum kit into gear and – BA-WOOMP – we’re propelled into a very, very funky place as Orlando Wright’s walloping bass and the chikka-chikka rhythms of Darick and Chuck’s brother Phil’s six-string arrive on the scene to lay it down with the rest of the band.

“Oh, tell me ‘bout the car I saw, parked outside your door,” sings Calvin Cooke, sounding like a man who’s needing some answers from his baby. That’s right: these cats are doing the deed to “Don’t Keep Me Wondering” – The Slide Brothers take on The Allman Brothers. The Campbells’ steel guitars bob and weave with Cooke’s vocal, letting it all hang out like sweat-soaked Raelettes, before taking the lead themselves for the tune’s final two minutes. Tension and release? These guys are masters, establishing themes and turning them into mini-documentaries of tone and groove that tell complete stories in the matter of just a few bars. By the end of “Don’t Keep Me Wondering”, the core vibe of The Slide Brothers is well-established: you’ve forgotten that these are guitars; they’re simply beautiful, one-of-a-kind voices.

Click HERE to read the conclusion of my Slide Brothers review on Jambands.com

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