The Slide Brothers performing live on Mountain Stage. i

The Slide Brothers performing live on Mountain Stage. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

itoggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage
The Slide Brothers performing live on Mountain Stage.

The Slide Brothers performing live on Mountain Stage.

Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

The Slide Brothers On Mountain Stage

Listen

Listen

Loading…

19:24
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/240821365/240495825" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

Most people think of the steel guitar as an instrument associated with country music — from country rock and pop to alt-country. But there's another style of steel playing that dates back to African-American Pentecostal churches of the 1930s, when a handful of congregations began using steel guitars in place of organs.

Once confined to a small region, this highly vocal style of playing has grown over the decades, encompassing blues, rock and soul. The style reached peak popularity with The Slide Brothers' protégé, Robert Randolph, who produced the group's most recent album.

The band's highly electrified and near-seamless blend of gospel and blues rock prompted host Larry Groce to remind the audience that "Mountain Stage is located halfway between the church and the bar." Aubrey Ghent and Calvin Cooke play guitar, with Levi Bennett on drums and AJ Miles on bass.

Set List
  • "Jewel Jam"
  • "Catch That Train"
  • "Don't Keep Me Wondering"
  • "Wave My Hands"
[+] read more[-] less

More From Blues

John Hammond performs live on Mountain Stage. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

itoggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

John Hammond On Mountain Stage

During his 16th Mountain Stage appearance, the bluesman plays songs by Tom Waits and Chuck Berry.

Listen Loading… 33:17
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/317055958/317056803" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

Dumpstaphunk appears on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

itoggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

Dumpstaphunk On Mountain Stage

The New Orleans-based funk and jam band appear on West Virginia's most famous stage.

Listen Loading…
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/316457907/316457926" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

Robert Cray performed live in support of his latest album, In My Soul. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

itoggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

Robert Cray On Mountain Stage

One of America's premier blues players brings his band to West Virginia's most famous stage.

Listen Loading… 30:05
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/316456266/316457596" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

Afro Blue performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Nov. 11, 2013. Abbey Oldham/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Abbey Oldham/NPR

Tiny Desk

Afro Blue

The Howard University vocal jazz ensemble performs beautiful African-American spirituals.

Back To Top