Our top 10 Robert Randolph & The Family Band songs list presents the best songs from an American band famed for its gospel music. Led by Robert Randolph, the band has established itself as a gospel act since 2001. Its gospel music blends in R&B, soul, blues, funk, and sacred steel elements. The band’s musical style was inspired by iconic acts like Sly and the Family Stone and Earth, Wind & Fire. Robert Randolph & The Family Band’s success has been built around the brilliance of its guitarist Robert Randolph.
Robert Randolph & The Family Band frontman Robert Randolph grew up in a religious family. The impact of his upbringing is evidenced by his claim that all he knew till his adolescent years were religious songs alone. His family attended the House of God Church, where Robert Randolph practiced the pedal steel guitar. Robert Randolph uses the instrument to date for the band’s music. In 2001, John Medeski invited Robert Randolph alongside the blues and southern rock act North Mississippi Allstars to The Word, a gospel blues supergroup.
Thanks to the friendship and great musicianship manifested that Robert Randolph & The Family Band opened for the blues and southern rock act North Mississippi Allstars on tour. On the same tour, Robert Randolph also graced the stage alongside other members of The Word. With news about Robert Randolph & The Family Band, the act was ready to release its music. The band released its first live album, Live at the Wetlands (2002), which was recorded live at the Wetlands Preserve Club, New York.
Robert Randolph & The Family Band would later release a debut studio album Unclassified (2003). The album was quite successful, having it gain the attention of reputable artists such as Eric Clapton. Robert Randolph & The Family Band founded a great relationship with Eric Clapton, with whom the band went on tour with as a supporting act. Eric Clapton paid back the favor by making a guest appearance on the band’s album Colorblind (2006).
The band saw better days knocking at their door after being signed up by ABC in 2002 to release its NBA theme song, “We Got Hoops.” Soon after, the band collaborated with the rock band O.A.R. in the release of a cover of “Fool in the Rain,” a song by Led Zeppelin. So far, the band has released six studio albums and two live albums. Throughout its career, Robert Randolph & The Family Band has been nominated four times for a Grammy Awards in different categories. Here are the top 10 Robert Randolph & The Family Band songs that bring the best of the band’s releases.
#10 – Jesus is Just Alright ft. Eric Clapton
Coming in at number ten on our top 10 Robert Randolph & The Family Band songs is the hit “Jesus is Just Alright.” The Art Reynolds Singers initially released the gospel song on the group’s album Tellin’ It Like It Is (1966). Robert Randolph & The Family Band collaborated with Eric Clapton to release a cover version of this song in the album Colorblind (2006). Other artists to cover this timeless ballad include Alexis Korner, The Byrds, DC Talk, The Doobie Brothers, Stryper, and Underground Sunshine. Of all these covers, The Doobie Brothers’ version seems to have been perfectly executed, having the song peak at number thirty-five on the Billboard Hot 100.
#9 – Have Mercy
“Have Mercy” is one of the priceless gospel ballads from the band’s most recent album, Brighter Days (2019). What a perfect way to show how helpless human beings are in their pursuits without God! The song feels more like a prayer by a weary soul that seems to have given itself away to the Lord to allow Him “Have Mercy”. This comes after realizing that all answers to life’s puzzling questions can only be found in the Lord God’s presence.
#8 – Got Soul
Got Soul (2017) vividly showcased to the world Robert Randolph & The Family Band’s seamless progression to an entertaining act in the contemporary scene. The album presents great musicianship from the band thanks to the great quality of songs it features. “Got Soul” is enough proof of the energy infused in this album that blends gospel elements with groovy blues and rock vibes. The guitar riffs in this song bring some funky vibe that will get you in a dancing mood.
#7 – Baptise Me
“Baptise Me” takes us back to the band’s most recent album, Brighter Days (2019). The song takes a plunge into the band’s gospel roots. “Baptise Me” bleeds love for the band’s church background, love for the audience, love for the band’s audience, and even more love for the band’s music. It is without a doubt that you will admire the energetic and exquisite tune of this gospel ballad.
#6- Love is The Only Way ft. LeRoi Moore, Dave Matthews, and Rashawn Ross
Number six on our top 10 Robert Randolph & The Family Band songs is the hit “Love is The Only Way.” The song was featured on the band’s album Colorblind (2006). “Love is The Only Way” alludes to love, the greatest commandment in the Bible. Robert Randolph & The Family Band collaborated with LeRoi Moore, Dave Matthews, and Rashawn Ross to channel the world that love conquers all!
#5- If I Had My Way
“If I Had My Way” is a rare gem amongst songs in the band’s album We Walk This Road (2010). The song found the band reworking Blind Willie Johnson’s song “If I Had My Way I’d Tear the Building Down.” Initial results from Robert Randolph and producer T-Bone’s work were not impressive. It took Ben Harper’s vocals and magical skills on the six-string guitar to add the transformative charm to the song.
#4- Going in the Right Direction
Unclassified (2003) brought Robert Randolph & The Family Band to newfound fame credit to songs like “Going in the Right Direction.” The song displays Robert Randolph’s brilliance on the pedal steel guitar, which gives it some distinct tune. “Going in the Right Direction” feels more like a Gospel song that describes going religious and following Christ as the true and right direction. It’s probably one of the best songs to dance along after redemption from sin, thanks to its funky vibe.
#3 – Thrill of It
“Thrill of It” is an uplifting song from the band’s album Colorblind (2006). The first time I listened to the song, I had its intro feel like-What an impeccable way for Robert Randolph to acknowledge the presence of his fellow family members in the band! The song oozes nostalgia watching the Robert Randolph & The Family Band deliver one of their best performance. Passion is felt with every note of this song. Its funky vibe is so prominent that it finds the band members performing while dancing to its beats.
#2 – I Need More Love
Unclassified (2003) once more proved to be the perfect foundation of the band’s musical career thanks to songs like “I Need More Love.” There is no way one can talk about the greatness of this funky ballad without mentioning the impact bassist Danyel Morgan makes in “I Need More Love.” It is amazing to see the vocal roles shift from powerful singing by Robert Randolph to awe-inspiring falsettos from Danyel. All these happen when all these artists are hands-on with their guitars. You need no other proof why the self-tutored bass guitarist, Danyel Morgan, gets crowds cheering any time he graces the stage to an audience who knows his skills.
#1- Ain’t Nothing Wrong with That
Number one on our top 10 Robert Randolph & The Family Band songs list is the melodic “Ain’t Nothing Wrong with That.” What a masterpiece, I have to admit! The song impresses from its beat and vocal delivery to its message! Its catchy and repetitive responses “It don’t matter” and “I’m tellin’ you” adds glamour to the song. The hit was so good that it got used in several NBC commercials. Without a doubt, Robert Randolph & The Family Band is one of the most underrated bands of the twenty-first century.
Feature Photo: Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com
Top 10 Robert Randolph & The Family Band Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
Classicrockhistory.com claims ownership of all its original content and Intellectual property under United States Copyright laws and those of all other foreign countries. No one person, business or any organizations is allowed to re-publish any of our original content anywhere on the web or in print without our permission. All photos used are either public domain creative commons photos or licensed officially from Shutterstock under license with ClassicRockHistory.com. All photo credits have been placed at end of article.