“Somebody’s Soul Feels Wonderful” : Robert Randolph and the Family Band meets Raquel Rodriguez

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Review and Photography by Megan T.

Let me paint you three pictures. The opening scene is a smitten couple, mattress on the floor of their new apartment. Sun filters in as they make chocolate chip pancakes and high kick in their knee socks to ‘Born to Ride’ by HippityDibbity. Yes, that’s the band’s name. And yes, they rock. Now we move to a crowded house party, somehow a spotlight follows this enigmatic star of a woman who wore a sparkling choker but whose smile was somehow even more brilliant.

You have Raquel Rodriguez, who’s new album ‘310’ is tangibly delicious. Tracks like ‘I Don’t Need No Man’ balanced out with ballads of ‘You’ve Got Me’ and ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ because even the fiercely independent love to love. Her sound is soul rock and side stepping sass. It matched the sherbet lights licking the stage, and as she seamlessly mixed music, introductions and gratitude, it was like she was born and raised among the speakers. Honoring Selena’s 22nd anniversary in a bubbly Titicaca, she had the cadence of Michael Jackson plus the fire of Supertramp. My personal favorite was ‘Sophisticated Lady’ because it’s an anthem you stomp your power boots to.

The third image comes from our headliners of the evening, Robert Randolph and the Family Band. Imagine Avenged Sevenfold if their prioritized community and were born on a bayou, raised jamming on a wraparound porch, sweat seeping into their smiles. Their set was so instrumental and intricate, it was stomp inducing and shoulder rolling, it was Disney magic with a twang. Tracks like ‘I Thank You” showcase the pedal steel guitar and his musical upbringing. For a man who heard only gospel until his teenage years, he has taken to jazz, blues and soul so smoothly, the debut album ‘Got Soul’ spins as wildly on a turntable as it does on stage. If you want to feel alive, feel good, feel unstoppable, give any of these three spitfires a try. You won’t be sorry.


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