They’ll be rocking in Roanoke and funking in Blacksburg on Friday.

At Dr Pepper Park, hard rockers Tesla headline a three-band bill. At Moss Arts Center, Robert Randolph & The Family Band bring church-derived “sacred steel” guitar music.

Here is a look at the headliners.

Robert Randolph and the Family Band

When Moss Arts announced on Facebook that this funky, guitar sliding man and his band would be playing its high-class Ann and Ellen Fife Theatre, one of the first questions was: “Will dancing be allowed?” The answer was yes.

Good thing, because Randolph’s music makes folks move.

Randolph, 38, was a pioneer among musicians in the Church of God’s century-old sacred steel tradition to play in front of secular audiences. Since then, he has had commercial success with songs including “Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That” and “I Need More Love.” Funk, rock, blues, soul and, of course, gospel are part of his repertoire. His website has announced a new album, “Brighter Days,” due Aug. 23, produced by Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell). Check out the video for that disc’s “Have Mercy,” at


This Sacramento, California, quintet had a couple of legit smashes back in the late ’80s and early ’90s, in its own “Love Song” and a cover of Five Man Electrical Band’s “Signs,” both popular on MTV.

Tesla is still rocking with four original members — singer Jeff Keith, guitarist Frank Hannon, bassist Brian Wheat and drummer Troy Luccketta. Second guitarist Dave Rude came aboard in 2006, after Hannon discovered him on MySpace, according to bio information at the band’s website. The act formed in 1981, hit big in 1989 and has been together for 34 years, with a hiatus between 1996 and 2000. Along the way, Tesla has generated plenty of goodwill among fans.

Hear the five live, performing “Love Song,” at

For the past decade, Tad Dickens has been writing about music. For now, it remains sunshine and rainbows.

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