Robert Randolph

Robert Randolph found and developed his love for music and his sound in church, praising the Lord.

Randolph began singing and playing a gospel music tradition called “sacred steel” at the House of God Church in Orange, N.J., with his family.

It was the only music he heard growing up.

Now the pedal steel guitarist, singer and songwriter is the blues man who has inspired the likes of Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana and Derek Trucks, who have played with and studied Randolph’s techniques.

Robert Randolph and the Family Band are the headline act Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Paola Roots Festival. The band is scheduled to take the stage at 9:30 p.m.

Robert Randolph and the Family Band released their first album with Sony Masterworks called “Got Soul.”

The “sacred steel” tradition in the House of God Church dates back to the 1920s.

In his teens, Randolph was introduced to rock, jazz, soul, funk and was soon blending the styles for his own sound.

“It was all church music,” Randolph said. “It was a movement within our church, and that’s what we used to do.”

Randolph and the Family Band released “Live at the Wetlands” in 2002.

Four studio albums would follow, along with a tour alongside legend Eric Clapton.

Randolph and the Family Band love to perform. Nothing is like the live performance.

“It is really a true music form when you can just be who you are,” he said. “I have grown to like the songs, and I like to jam within the song. I like both playing live and recording.”

Sports Editor Gene Morris can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or gene.morris@miconews.com.

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