The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Southern women are more fun, Randolph says

    Robert Randolph, an up-and-coming musician from urban New Jersey, has made a name for himself by playing a traditionally Southern instrument, the pedal steel guitar.
    Randolph and the Family Band tour the United States playing a church-influenced mixture of drums, bass, organ and pedal steel.
    A Reflector reporter caught Randolph between touring and giving interviews and asked him a few questions.
    Kit: How long have you played the pedal steel guitar?
    Robert: nine years
    Kit: Robert Randolph and the Family Band consist of your cousins Marcus (Randolph) and Danyel (Morgan), but where did you meet John (Ginty)?
    Robert: We met John playing in small bars in New York City. We came in contact at the Lakeside Lounge in the city. We bonded mostly because he brought with his organs the gospel church sound.
    Kit: You were born and raised in the House of God Church in New Jersey how did the church influence you as a musician?
    Robert: My church influenced me to continue playing skillfully and soulfully just like they play in The House of God.
    Kit: Your first album “Live at the Wetlands,” was recorded live at the show but your new album “Unclassified,” is a studio album what do you like more?
    Robert: Prefer both really. Do not really have a favorite they are both challenging. In the studio you develop more skills and class but when recording live there is that live energy in the air that keeps you playing.
    Kit: If you make another album in the future would you prefer live or studio version?
    Robert: Live, to switch it up again.
    Kit: What song on “Unclassified,” pumps you up the most?
    Robert: “Going In The Right Direction,” because the song talks about where I came from and how I’m doing right now
    Kit: Who are Danyel and your sister singing to when they sing “Smile?”
    Robert: Well, I wrote that song and I just smile when I think about someone in spirit that I miss but can’t see anymore. Same with when I am on the road travelling and meeting so many cool people that I do not get to see much or again.
    Kit: What is it like playing on shows like David Letterman which you appeared on recently?
    Robert: It’s cool because it gives us exposure and also because it’s bringing me to other musical genres.
    Kit: How do you stay in such good shape on the road?
    Robert: Eat right. I have to separate the hanging out some and make myself jog every morning.
    Kit: Besides music what are some other of your interests?
    Robert: I love to cook and my favorite dish to cook is lasagna. I enjoy basketball and video games too.
    Kit: What is your favorite place in the entire world?
    Robert: New York City
    Kit: Favorite venue?
    Robert: Madison Square Garden in New York City, Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colo. and The Tabernacle in Atlanta, Ga.
    Kit: If you were an animal what would you be?
    Robert: A lion. That’s what I see myself as.
    Kit: Just recently you played with the North Mississippi Allstars at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City and it was your birthday party – how cool was it to have such a huge birthday bash?
    Robert: Came to take a break from the road and it was great to spend my birthday with those guys. They are great and I wish them all the success in the world
    Kit: What is with wearing basketball jerseys at your gigs?
    Robert: Comfortable.
    Kit: Who is your all time favorite team?
    Robert: New York Giants
    Kit: Do you have a sports hero?
    Robert: Michael Jordan
    Kit: What tickles you about the South?
    Robert: College football for one and how everyone is so nice with good manners. The southern women rock and are more fun. It’s just a different lifestyle in the South. People in the South know good music and love to dance to southern rock’n’roll.
    Kit: How are concerts in the South different from say the east or west coast?
    Robert: Audiences in the south are at the concert to dance, have a good time and enjoy the music-they just seem to dance more to my style of music.
    Kit: Future expectations for your band?
    Robert: Stay focused on who we are and where we can from and remember that. Possibly record an acoustic and bluegrass album.
    Kit: What CD are you listening to right now?
    Robert: Led Zeppelin’s “Greatest Hits,” Ray Charles “Greatest Hits” and North Mississippi Allstars, “Polaris.”

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    Southern women are more fun, Randolph says