North Jersey "sacred steel" guitarist Robert Randolph took a trip down south to the Crescent City on his 2013 album Lickety Split, getting a second-line rhythm groove on the appropriately titled "New Orleans" and inviting Trombone Shorty over on "Take the Party." On Friday at the Ardmore Music Hall, Randolph - the virtuoso pedal steel player raised in the House of God Church - will augment his family band, which includes sister Lenesha and brother Marcus, with a special guest: Trombonist Big Sam Williams, the former member of Dirty Dozen Brass Band who now leads his own top-notch New Orleans party band, Big Sam's Funky Nation. Laissez les bons temps rouler!
- Dan DeLuca
If the meeting of art rock, electro-pop, and angular R&B ever needed a host in Philadelphia, Shawn Kilroy would be the man. Few musical artists can boast such a diversified career lasting 10 years, enough to warrant a greatest-hits package - Ghosts: The Best of Shawn Kilroy - filled with sonic explosions from solo albums such as Thai Stick Dragon and The Neon Gate. Along with making documentary shorts available on YouTube, Kilroy has been busy of late with Weird Hot, a steamy art-funk ensemble (think Eno-era Talking Heads doing Bowie's "Let's Dance") whose self-titled debut album and its jittery first single, "I Was at a Party," make their debut this weekend. This is good weird.
- A.D. Amorosi