The nation's press was equally enthusiastic. The Chicago Tribune raved, "Earth, Wind & Fire, Parliament Funkadelic, Robert Randolph & the Family Band and Outkast offered a funk primer, with Randolph stealing the show by proving that the pedal steel-guitar -- that staple of country-and-western weepers -- can get down like nobody's business."
Randolph and his band were spotlighted on the CBS-TV telecast during a special tribute to funk music. Introduced by actor Samuel L. Jackson as being the "new blood" of funk, the band performed their latest single, "I Need More Love," immediately following Outkast on the program. USA Today wrote the funk performances were "highlighted by Robert Randolph's steel-guitar pyrotechnics." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution added, "Robert Randolph & the Family Band were hot enough to scorch the first few rows" at the awards show at L.A.'s Staples Center.
Also joining in with raves was mtv.com, which labeled Robert Randolph an "instant star," and said, "Randolph -- a blues-crazed virtuoso on that unlikeliest of funk instruments, the pedal-steel guitar -- really did tear the roof off the sucker." And throwing in accolades for not only the band's music, but also Randolph's unique attire, the Philadelphia Inquirer said, "Randolph wore a Sixers tribute jacket (emblazoned with a No. 6 for Dr. J.), while performing a stunning `I Need More Love' that was easily the night's best performance."
It was an incredible start for 2004 for Robert Randolph & the Family Band. Nominated for two Grammy Awards, they are continuing their U.S. concert schedule during February and March before traveling to England and Europe, where the band will join Eric Clapton on tour as opening act. Last year, the group won the W.C. Handy Award for Best Debut Recording in Memphis, and were honored with the Best New Band Jammy Award at ceremonies in New York. Their new single, "Going In the Right Direction," is being released to radio this week.