The Slide Brothers, standard bearers of the sacred steel tradition, will release their first studio album on February 19, 2013 on Concord Records. The album, Robert Randolph Presents: The Slide Brothers, was catalyzed by Robert Randolph, who has revitalized the sacred steel tradition in the modern era, carrying the style born in The House of God Church more than 80 years ago to mainstream secular success. In 11 tracks, The Slide Brothers emerge beyond their respected positions within the sacred steel community to tackle rock, funk and the deepest blues with a ferocity that will startle fans of Duane Allman, Derek Trucks and even Muddy Waters. Experience some of the most dynamic electric slide guitar playing ever recorded at ROYCE HALL – Saturday, February 23rd. Stage time is 8pm. Tickets are $15-$50. The Hall is located 340 Royce Drive in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-825-2101.
The Slide Brothers are Calvin Cooke, Chuck Campbell, Darick Campbell and Aubrey Ghent, each of whom was raised worshiping and performing in The Church of the Living God. They were an ad hoc family, traveling and learning from the other dominions in their communities in cities from Nashville to Chicago to Newark.
The album opens with a searing interpretation of the Allman Bros classic “Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’”. The twin guitar attack by Chuck and Darick Campbell immediately serves notice to the remarkable musicianship honed by years of playing in church and at sacred steel conventions. “Growing up in church, traditional blues music was not as precise as Sacred Steel where it is always about mimicking the voices heard in the church,” explains Chuck Campbell. “We wanted to play these songs with the same conviction we have in church—playing the steel so that you can almost hear the words as if they were sung by a voice.”
Two songs from the album celebrate the music of Elmore James, the Chicago blues legend who made his mark as a master of the slide guitar technique that would later influence greats like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and, of course Robert Randolph. Randolph also counts The Slide Brothers as a major influence and an inspiration. “I was born with these guys,” explains Randolph. “I look to them the same way I look to blues greats like Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson. Aubrey Ghent and Henry Nelson, Aubrey’s dad, and The Campbell Brothers; they all shaped this Sacred Steel tradition inside the churches but they weren’t allowed to leave the church until now.”
The Slide Brothers shift easily between genres, incorporating both traditional gospel repertoire as well as and secular material. To underscore the album’s diversity, a stirring instrumental version of the spiritual classic “Wade in the Water,” is followed by a vibrant and bluesy cover of Fatboy Slim’s 1999 trip hop hit “Praise You” (featuring vocals by blues queen Shemekia Copeland and backing by Robert Randolph & the Family Band).Jimmy Carter of the famed Blind Boys Of Alabama joins Aubrey Ghent to provide lead vocals for “My Sweet Lord.” “It has long been a vision of all of ours to be able to this,” says Chuck Campbell. “Robert was able to pull together the top steel players from different generations. It is truly an honor to be a part of album that brings together so many wonderful people such as [Jimi Hendrix bassist] Billy Cox, Shemekia Copeland, and the Blind Boys Of Alabama. Instead of us meeting at a church convention we were able to get everyone together in a recording studios to play secular songs and religious songs with the same conviction. We feel blessed that we have finally been able to do this.”
The story of The Slide Brothers will finally be told on February 19, when their debut album, 80-years in the making, will be released.