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The Gospel of Being an Ally to the Afflicted, According to Robert Randolph

Gospel guitar-slinger Robert Randolph talks about supporting people struggling with depression and addiction
Robert Randolph playing pedal steel guitar with the Family Band (Credit: Juneteenth Unityfest)

Pedal-steel guitar virtuoso Robert Randolph has seen how addiction and the noonday demon of depression can cripple a person.

Feeling lucky not to have found himself pulled under, Randolph – of gospel group Robert Randolph and the Family Band – tells SPIN IMPACT he must be an ally to those in need.

“I may not fully understand, but I should still be able to be supportive with love and an open ear,” Randolph says.

Randolph has seen and felt in his gospel-scene upbringing how a community of support can help those in need – including those in recovery: the mission of One Million Strong.

“For me, especially growing up in church, being uplifting and supportive is something I always try to bring to my music,” he says.

Randolph talks about his long-standing relationship with Zac Brown of The Zac Brown Band, and how he has seen Brown pull out of the bottomless bottle. “Zac Brown is now fully clean, recovered, and enjoying life,” Randolph says. “We’re supportive of him.”

Randolph talks about no longer drinking alcohol in front of Brown, and checking in to see how his friend is doing; noting that just being there for those in recovery is one of the most important things an ally can do.

Harnessing the music industry’s most powerful voices, SPIN IMPACT is committed to providing a vibrant platform for the people and movements dedicated to bringing about lasting change. From mental health issues to alcohol and drug recovery to freedom of speech, IMPACT is committed to raising awareness and taking action.