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Frontman Robert Randolph was trained as a pedal steel guitarist in the House of God Church and makes prominent use of the instrument in the band's music. The instrument is referred to in many African American Pentecostal churches as Sacred Steel, and Randolph was discovered while playing at a sacred steel convention in Florida.
Randolph cites Stevie Ray Vaughan as a primary influence in his own technique and style. The group's sound is inspired by successful 1970s funk bands such as Earth, Wind & Fire and Sly & the Family Stone. Their latest album, We Walk This Road, is a celebration of African-American music over the past one hundred years and its social messages from the last thirty. The great T Bone Burnet produced the record over about two years, after he had finished his record with Alison Krauss and Robert Plant.
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