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Glory. It’s the only word that truly captures the emotion of Lickety Split, the fourth studio release from Robert Randolph & The Family Band and the first in over three years. Roaring pedal steel guitar solos soar on every song of the album, a testament to the Sacred Steel tradition from which Randolph originated.After three years spent predominantly on the road, Robert Randolph felt that he and his band “just weren’t being creative musically.” Thankfully, Randolph’s effort to rejuvenate his creative spirit was a success, as Lickety Split grooves from the opening track, “Amped Up,” to their album-closing gospel-influenced cover of The Rascals’ “Good Lovin’.”The album features prominent guests Trombone Shorty (on the joyous “Take The Party”) and Carlos Santana (on “Brand New Wayo” and “Blacky Joe”). Randolph shows his respect for Santana on “Brand New Wayo,” shouting “I got Carlos Santana over here!” and “C’mon Carlos!” during a solo from the guitarist. Of course, Randolph also asks “y’all don’t mind if I give myself some?” before breaking out into a solo of his own. This is a fun track, as Randolph’s spoken conjectures betray his genuine enthusiasm for the song itself.To be fair, all of the tracks on this album are fun. Even the songs that touch on more serious subjects, “All American” and “Welcome Home,” are fast paced and thoroughly danceable. Randolph is keenly aware of this notion, saying “my thing is really upbeat, uptempo, with great guitar riffs… but also catchy choruses and lyrics that someday will make this music into classic tunes.” His lyrical depth is matched with musical fire, especially exemplified by “Born Again,” a soulful song that declares that “with your love, I can’t deny… I feel born again!” Backed by choir vocals and backup vocals from his sister (bandmate Lenesha Randolph), Robert Randolph’s pedal steel guitar and singing shine brightly.Lickety Split is musical glory. The energetic blend of funk, jazz, gospel, and blues is uniquely Robert Randolph, and it comes through in waves on his studio recordings. Waves may turn into tsunamis when Randolph performs these songs live… fortunately, he’s coming to the Brooklyn Bowl at the end of November.
For fans of Lettuce, there’s certainly a lot to look forward to! Lettuce is hitting the Capitol Theatre on January 23rd, and drummer Adam Deitch’s side-project Break Science is coming to the Brooklyn Bowl on the 29th with a live band set! Then, on April 1-2, Lettuce will be hosting their very own Fool’s Paradise destination festival event featuring GRiZ, Vulfpeck, Chris Robinson’s Soul Revue, The Nth Power, and GOLDFISH. More information can be found here. Last night, January 16th, premiere funk band Lettuce hit the Theatre Of The Living Arts in Philadelphia, PA for a night of wild funky tunes. The group has been locked and loaded since their 2015 album release Crush, and this performance was no exception. Check out photos from the evening, courtesy of photographer Sean DiSerio:
World Rugby to launch new Challenger Series to boost Sevens’ growth Springbok Sevens to meet Scotland in Rugby World Cup Sevens quarterfinals GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 13: Zintle Mpupha of South Africa collects the loose ball in the womens match between New Zealand and South Africa during Rugby Sevens on day nine of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Robina Stadium on April 13, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images) FILE PHOTO: Janet Okelo of Kenya runs with the ball and is chased by Khaterinne Medina of Colombia during the Women’s Placing 11-12 Rugby Sevens match between Colombia and Kenya on Day 3 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Deodoro Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)World Rugby on Tuesday revealed details of the maiden women’s HSBC Sevens Challenger Series which is scheduled to take place from March 28-29 at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch, South Africa.According to the body, the event will consist of 12 teams from six regions competing against each other with the overall winner being promoted as a core team to the 2021 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series season.The 12 teams are: Argentina, Belgium, China, Colombia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Scotland and South Africa.The event will have three pools each consisting four teams with the winner of the event being determined through a grand final. The winner of the Challenger Series will replace the bottom-ranked core team from the 2020 season.This, according to World Rugby, provides “a clear and consistent pathway for teams to progress to play against the world’s best”. It will also offer teams an avenue to get some valuable playing time ahead of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.China and Kenya have already qualified for the Games while Argentina, Colombia, Kazakhstan, Mexico and Papua New Guinea will participate in the Olympic Repechage tournament in June in an attempt to qualify for the Games.World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said the launch of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series for women was an important milestone moment for the development of rugby sevens globally.“World Rugby is heavily committed to growing the women’s game – the women’s competition on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series has expanded from six to eight rounds this season and teams are more competitive than ever, demonstrating the need and appetite for more women’s teams to be playing sevens at a high level with a clear pathway to progress to the very top of rugby sevens,” World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said.In December, World Rugby unveiled details of the men’s Challenger Series which will be staged in Chile and Uruguay from February 15-16 and February 22-23 respectively.Related South Africa to host Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022