Robert Randolph and the Family Band have just revealed the official video for ‘Have Mercy’. ‘Have Mercy’ is taken from the brand new album ‘Brighter Days’ out on 23 August via Provogue.
Robert Randolph took a step outside when it was time to record his new album, choosing to work with producer Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell). Looking beyond expectations or his own preconceptions helped Randolph circle back to where it all began for him: church music.
Randolph grew up playing sacred steel music – gospel played on pedal steel guitar – in the House of God church in Orange, New Jersey, and began taking his joyous, gospel-infused music out to clubs, backed by family members. “The Family Band” Is not just a name meant to evoke connections of togetherness. They are an actual family; the group that supports Randolph is anchored by his cousins, bassist Danyel Morgan and drummer Marcus Randolph and his sister, vocalist Lenesha Randolph.
The first three songs of Brighter Days are a full dive back to Randolph’s gospel roots, starting with lead track “Baptize Me”, a joyous romp of a song. Written on the first day in the studio:
“It’s really a love story, about an all-round love: for each other, for our audience. We wanted that good gospel, blues, R&B feel, because that’s where we started and it’s good to not only remind people of that but to actively remember it ourselves.”
The lone cover song Robert selected comes from Pops Staples and the Staple Singers, one of gospel’s greatest musical families. “Simple Man” is a deep, contemplative blues, its pensive nature amplified by Randolph’s signature weeping pedal steel guitar lines.
“When you think about Stax music and a lot of music from the 70s, especially like the Staple Singers, it was inspirational and you danced you had a good time. That’s what we really wanted to hone in on here: let’s sound good and have a natural good time that will bring listeners along. Over the years I’ve learned how to write these songs that make you feel kind of spiritual and have the gospel roots, just like the great music of people like the Four Tops, Temptations and Ray Charles. It all comes from the same place. We don’t want to sound like them – or like anybody – but that’s the feeling we want to evoke.”