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The best kept secret in music


"Taking You Higher - Danyel Morgan"

Listening to Robert Randolph & the Family Band is a bit like going to church: The group’s unrelenting message of hope and love is evident in every note. Even the heavier tracks from Randolph’s new CD, Colorblind, seem to be serving a higher purpose. Not surprisingly, most of the band members developed their musical abilities in church. Danyel Morgan discovered the bass at age five.

“I always played with my father and mother in church—that’s been my whole life,” says the Columbus, Ohio native. Learning bass lines came courtesy of his parents’ record collection. “I used to play along to Al Green albums. Once I learned a few songs, I knew I was on my way.” Although Morgan listened to a wide variety of music, the first bassist who caught his ear was Stanley Clarke. “I keyed into everything Stanley was doing, but I always tried to put my own style into it and not just copy him note-for-note.”

Colorblind finds the Family Band downplaying its “jammy” tendencies in favor of a tighter, more concise delivery. While displaying a newfound focus, the Family Band still manages to show a diverse range of influences by dialing up elements of rock, funk, R&B, and gospel. “Whatever type of music you like, you can get it on Colorblind,” says Danyel, who is in his seventh year with the band. “Every song has its own flavor.”

Despite the album’s stylistic diversity, Danyel maintains that not much changes for him bass-wise: “I try to keep the same approach and stay laid back.” To prepare for the recording sessions, the band members maintained a steady diet of Sly Stone, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Stevie Wonder and tried to express themselves through the songs rather than their strings. But Morgan promises that fans of the Family Band’s improvisational abilities have nothing to fear. “We always make things up onstage; sometimes I’ll start a line, Marcus [Randolph] will jump in on drums, and off we go!” Danyel distills the band’s collective music-making approach down to the art of being a team player: “We’ve all grown together, and we try to combine our knowledge to make something that’s bigger than any one of us individually.”

Since venturing out into the secular world, Robert Randolph & the Family Band has been on an incredible musical journey that none of the members takes for granted. “It’s been a beautiful experience going everywhere we’ve been—places that I never thought I would see. At the end of the day, though, I’m still trying to do what I do: make music. I love it more than anything.” - By Marco Passarelli of Bass Player Online

"Listen to this. Reviews of some new music"

Robert Randolph & the Family Band

Album: Colorblind Warner Bros.

In stores: Now

Why we care: After honing his flammable picking skills at the House of God Church in Orange, N.J., "sacred steel" guitarist Randolph has taken his act on the secular road, combining gospel, funk, rock and any other tricks he has under his trademark fedora.

Why we like it: True believers Dave Matthews and Eric Clapton show up to testify, but the heavenly spotlight never wavers from the young man in the middle who writes, plays and sings as if he's trying to save every last soul. Cousin and bassist Danyel Morgan is a secret weapon, laying down chunky-but-funky groove lines.

Reminds us of: OutKast, Prince, James Brown - yep, geniuses all. Randolph is that good, and getting even better.

Download these: Ain't Nothing Wrong With That, Diane

Grade: B+ - By SEAN DALY of the St. Petersburg Times


DISCOGRAPHY - With Robert Randolph and The Family Band:

Rhapsody Originals - 2007

Colorblind - 2006

Unclassified - 2003

Live At The Wetlands - 2002


Grey's Anatomy Volume 3 - 2007

Stomp The Yard - 2007

Sacred Steel Guitar Instrumentals - 2004

Austin City Limits Music Festival 2003 - 2004

2003 Collection - Live From Austin Texas - 2004

Dove Hits - 2004

Thrill Of It - 2006

Squeeze - 2003

I Need More Love - 2001

Bonnaroo Music Festival 2002 - 2002

The Second Annual Sacred Steel Convention - 2002

Train Don't Leave Me! - 2001



Between his 6-string bass bombardment and his stellar falsetto vocals, bassist extraordinaire and Columbus, OH native son Danyel Morgan of Robert Randolph & the Family Band might just cover the most sonic territory of any musician on the road today.

Bass guitar has been Danyel Morgan’s driving force from an early age. Danyel was inspired by his father and began playing bass with family members and gospel groups at the age of five. The first song he ever played was Love & Happiness by Al Green. Danyel remembers listening intently to Al Green and his idol Stanley Clarke as a child and cites both Al Green and Stanley Clarke major influences in the development of his playing.
In addition to bass guitar, Danyel is musically versatile on several instruments including drums, piano, lead guitar, vocals, and tenor saxophone. It’s this versatility as well as his driving bass lines, thumping fills and downright funky fingering that makes him an audience favorite, whether he’s digging deep and slapping the intro to the Grammy nominated hit “Squeeze” or nailing his signature smooth falsetto vocals ala Earth, Wind & Fire’s Philip Bailey on tunes like “I Need More Love.”
Danyel joined Warner Recording artists, Robert Randolph and the Family Band in 2000. Since that time the band has had three successful releases, “Live at The Wetlands,” “Unclassified” which won the 2004 Dove Award & “Colorblind.” In addition, Danyel performed on the 2003 Grammy award winning album "Higher Ground” by the Blind Boys of Alabama and performed with the Family Band at the 2004 Grammy Awards. Danyel also has a solo project in the works scheduled for release in Spring of 2009.
Danyel has toured the United States and Europe sharing the stage with Dave Matthews, Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, The Neptunes, The Roots, John Mayer and many others. He has been featured on VH1, Conan O’Brien, The Tonight Show, Austin City Limits, The Grammy’s and MTV.

As a Yamaha artist, Danyel Morgan plays a Yamaha BB2005 and the Yamaha RBX375 strung with GHS Strings. Morgan’s signal travels through a trio of Boss pedals; a TU-2 tuner, CEB-3 Chorus, and OC-2 Octave - before entering a Mesa Boogie M Pulse 600 head, which powers two Peavy 4x10 cabinets.

By many accounts, Danyel Morgan has joined the upper echelon of bassists inhabited by so many of his mentors and early influencers; his star is indeed on the rise.