Robert Randolph to kick off Aspen winter concert series |

Robert Randolph to kick off Aspen winter concert series

Daily Staff Report
Aspen CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily/Stewart Oksenhorn

ASPEN, Colorado ” Pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph will kick off this winter’s Hi-Fi Concert Series in Aspen/Snowmass with a free, outdoor show on Nov. 29 at the base of Aspen Mountain.

The concert coincides with the scheduled opening weekend of skiing and the Aspen Winternational ” women’s World Cup ski racing on Nov. 29 and 30. The 7:30 p.m. performance at Gondola Plaza, immediately following the World Cup awards ceremony, will be followed by fireworks on the mountain.

The Grammy-nominated Randolph and The Family Band are no strangers to Aspen audiences ” the group’s mix of blues, funk, gospel and rock has twice been featured on the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Festival stage, most recently in 2006.

Randolph cites gospel ” specifically the sacred steel style centered around the pedal steel guitar ” as the inspiration for his music, and spiritual influences remain a foundation of his blistering style.

He was first heard as a member of The Word, a gospel-leaning side project of avant-jazz keyboardist John Medeski and members of the North Mississippi Allstars, but on Randolph’s albums with his Family Band, the music sounds more like funk, rock and soul than gospel. That is, until his most recent release, 2006’s “Colorblind.”

As Randolph said in a 2004 interview with The Aspen Times, “It’s always going to have that connection to church music. Because that’s my teachings. There is that gospel connection coming through.”

The Bud Light Hi-Fi Concert Series features five free, outdoor concerts in Aspen and Snowmass each winter, held during key events and peak weekends throughout the ski season. New Orleans-based funk mob Galactic, also a regular performer in Aspen, has signed on to headline a President’s Day weekend concert, on Feb. 15 at Snowmass, the Aspen Skiing Co. announced Thursday.

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