Robert Randolph is no stranger to early morning performances. The magic held in the fingers and the imagination of the 40-year-old New Jersey native was first captured in church. Robert Randolph and the Family Band began playing “in the spirit,” in those familiar worship settings, that could last from early morning through mid-afternoon, or into the night, depending on the conviction of the message from the pulpit and the passion of the choir and congregation in the moment.

The prodigy began playing his uncommon instrument, the pedal steel guitar, in his teens, and it wasn't long before performances were leaked out to the world at large.

Robert Randolph soon had a broadening following extended far beyond church walls but brought the same hope and purpose to a more mass audience.

This morning, January 27, Robert Randolph and the Family Band were welcomed on “CBS This Morning.” Their latest and fifth release, “Got Soul,” is nominated for Best Contemporary Blues Album in this year’s Grammy awards, which will air on Sunday. Long before Robert Randolph and the Family Band recorded albums, they were invited guests at music festivals from shore to shore, with iconic friends from every genre, like Eric Clapton, Dave Matthews, Carlos Santana, and country group, Sawyer Brown. The soulful sound through the latest effort may echo blues, but Robert Randolph wants everyone to remember that his message remains one of light, love, and harmony.

His own category

Robert Randolph delves deep to create his soulful music, he doesn't mind the created category for his sound offered by John Mayer, who calls it “rock-spel,” a blend of rock, gospel, and a little bit of everything else musical mixed together.

That sonic mix didn't come from exposure in his home for Robert Randolph.

He detailed to the Michelle Miller that “no blues, no soul, no rock” was part of the permissible music listening growing up. He and his kin would have to “sneak away to listen to Biggie and Tupac.” The clandestine captures of those contraband chords still soaked in, as was evident on Robert Randolph's unforgettable imprint on projects such as the “Away in a Manger” track on the landmark 2003 “Go Tell It on the Mountain” Christmas album by the Blind Boys of Alabama.

Intent to lift

Robert Randolph is named by Rolling Stone among the 100 Greatest Guitarists of all time, but there's not a smidge of expanding ego from this artist. His gift on strings could inspire almost anything from his listeners, but he chooses to “uplift” as his purpose, and draw people to “the message,” encompassing a call to “dance, love, and come together.” He playfully teases that “you can make love after the show,” but he and his band are after a more “agape” kind of loving spirit.

When that kind of spiritual fire blazes, it can “turn people around.” Robert Randolph declares that witnessing such a moment is “the greatest feeling in the world,” deeper and more lasting than even golden gramophones.

Waking up the soul

Robert Brendel and the Family Band sang and strummed a personal wake-up call with their three-song set. First was “Shake It,” a groove-rich anthem of overcoming. Randolph’s virtuosity was on full display, demonstrated by his trademark move of leaning the horizontal strings toward the camera and the crowd, proving that his flying riffs are really real.

Sister, Lanesha Randolph, stars on vocals as much as her brother’s driving strings on “Find a Way.” The song is as at home on a rock stage as it is in a tent revival in these times when mobilizing for positive change is a must. The entire gospel message is encapsulated in marvelous fashion in this one. The Randolph cousins bring considerable chops, too.

Last was the title song from the album, played on the third and flaming red version of his instrument featured from Randolph during the set. The good-time, upbeat closer is a recipe of sorts of what creates a soul, and by the last line, any listener feels the vibration from the toes up.

Too bad every morning can’t be greeted by this kind of chorus. Watch a few more live clips from Robert Randolph to get the spirit.