Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Robert Randolph at Mod Club

Robert Randolph always struck me as a guy they had things pretty well planned, coming from the church and all. But his show at Toronto’s Mod Club could not have been less planned. Word on the street was that some band members didn’t make it across the border, but all Randolph said from the stage was that they had a drummer who wasn’t really a drummer and that they had just called him at six o’clock to come help them out. After a couple more numbers, he was relieved by Robert’s long time bassist who signaled one of the guitar players to take over the bass while he played drums. It was a little shaky for the first tune but at least he knew the arrangements. When they started exchanging instruments I thought at first that they were playing musical chairs and everybody would swap instruments for a song. It was til the encore when the drummer took the stage to rip off a steel solo. It was Derrak Campbell. Then another Campbell brother took Robert’s steel for another great solo. This pushed Robert to greater heights and he soared – he could have used that push at the beginning of the show, it seemed a little ...lazy. And you can’t be lazy when you’re playing slide because the intonation becomes less than perfect and then you lose that “suspension of disbelief” when you’re hearing licks that sound like a guitar but could not possibly be played on a guitar. Now I realize he was quite distracted with all the stuff going on around him. I think there was an entourage from the all-star “Experience Hendrix show that Randolph is part of tomorrow night”.  Living Color was there and bassist Doug Wimbish did a couple of amazing solo’s they did in the finale. I just realized it was a very transformed Hendrix song...maybe what they would be playing in the big extravaganza. I’ll find out from my spies tomorrow. And I saw on very familiar smiling black face just behind the curtains...kinda looked like Eddie Murphy...naw. Lest we forget, which we usually do, the pening band was doing some very interesting shit. They were playing in a different mode than we’re used to hearing, then they gave us something familiar, the Beatles’ She’s So Heavy, just show that they cam play more conventional tones and it mostly worked. They’re from New York and this was their first time in Canada. They’re called Tauk.