By now you have probably heard that Robert Randolph and the Family Band will be headlining this year's Brews & BBQ Festival at the Ives Concert Park May 16th.  In case you're not familiar with the talented guitarist, here are a few things to know.

1) Robert plays the pedal steel guitar, an instrument widely known for its use in Country and Gospel music.  In fact, until he was a teenager he was never exposed to Rock or Blues.  These days however, he cites Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Allman Brothers, Buddy Guy and Muddy Waters as influences.  He makes the pedal steel ROCK as shown on this smokin' cover of "Voodoo Chile."

2) Robert's musical collaborators have included Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana and Leon Russell. Here he is teaming up with Clapton on a cover of "Jesus Is Just Alright."

3) Robert's music has lots of sports connections. They recorded a theme song for the NBA called "We Got Hoops."  The song was used to promote both the NBA and WNBA in 2002. They've played at the NHL All-Star game, and their song "Party Wherever We Go" is the theme song for SEC football.

4)  Robert has toured as part of the Experience Hendrix festival.  Here he is from that tour playing "Purple Haze."

5) From time to time Robert will bring an audience member onstage to sing or play guitar. So you might find yourself part of the band!  Check this out starting at about 1:45.

As you can see, we are in for a treat at Brews & BBQ! For more info on the festival and tickets just click here.