Robert Randolph

Robert Randolph throwing down on “Purple Haze” with his Sierra 13-string pedal steel guitar.

Robert Randolph’s best friend is a wooden chair. The steel-guitar phenom doesn’t go anywhere without it. He’s even had it flown to China in a special flight case for a single show. It just goes to show that there’s so much more to a player’s tone than meets the eye.

When he sat in that special comfy chair in Milwaukee, Randolph wailed on a 13string Sierra pedal steel running through a two-of-a-kind amplifier—a ’57 Fender Twin reissue that’s one of two originally built for Jeff Beck. During his set, Randolph rocked out passionately through the Twin and an extension cab on “Purple Haze,” “Them Changes,” and a barn-burning rendition of “Red House.”

Randolph’s handwired ’57 Fender Twin 2x12 combo stacked on a Fender 2x12 extension cab. The combo is one of two specially made amps that were originally owned by Jeff Beck.

Randolph is so proud of the fact that his ’57 Twin and 2x12 cab were owned by Beck that he left the guitar god’s ID tape on back.

Randolph’s must-have piece of gear—an old wooden table chair that he’ll never do a show without. The chair even has its own custom flight case to ensure utmost security and safety.

Randolph’s Sierra 13-string pedal steel and 2x12 extension cab mic’d with an early Sennheiser Evolution series mic.

Randolph’s pedalboard is pretty similar to what he uses with his Family Band. The Experience Hendrix setup included a Peterson VS-F StroboFlip Tuner, Boss FT-2 Dynamic Filter, Crowther Audio Prunes & Custard Harmonic Generator-Intermodulator, and Radial Engineering Tonebone JX-2 Pro Switchbone. The small box in the lower left-hand corner holds spare slides and medium and large Dunlop White Plastic Finger and Thumb picks.

Two additional foot pedals sit under Randolph’s pedal steel—a Dunlop Crybaby Multi- Wah and a Goodrich L120 Volume Pedal.