Robert Randolph & the Family Band Lickety Split

Robert Randolph & the Family Band Lickety Split
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From the supercharged opener "Amped Up," it's clear that Robert Randolph was chomping at the bit to get back into the studio after a three-year absence. Joyously high-energy performances have been Randolph's stock and trade since he first appeared on the scene in the early 2000s, but touring burnout seems to have curtailed his creative output recently. The spirit has returned on Lickety Split, as Randolph's unique pedal steel pyrotechnics are back at the forefront of an album, which, on the whole, unfolds like a New Orleans street festival. That vibe is most obvious on "Take The Party," featuring Trombone Shorty, but it continues with "Brand New Wayo," where Carlos Santana joins the march and drops in some unmistakable licks. There is a timely moment of reflection on the plight of veterans with "Welcome Home." But when Randolph and his crew dig deep into the funk of the Ohio Players' "Love Rollercoaster," and the Rascals' "Good Lovin'," the positive energy is overpowering, much like it was upon first listen to Randolph's debut, Unclassified. If there's ever been a moment to get reacquainted with Randolph's brilliance on his instrument and as a performer, this is it. (Blue Note/EMI)