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Party Time '08 - Dems Ready to Shake, Rattle & Roll

Organizers of the event are billing it as the "hippest party" at the Democratic convention in Denver. And odds are very high given that the bash, which will be hosted by the get-out-the-vote group HeadCount, features the electrifying Robert Randolph & The Family Band.

"This should be one of the most mind-blowing events of the convention!" says Bruce Kieloch, the event chairman.

And if you've ever heard Robert Randolph, you know what Kieloch is talking about. Randolph's multicultural band infuses energetic, stirring sounds of R&B, jazz, gospel, funk and soul. Known for his ingenious mastery of the pedal steel guitar, Randolph has played with Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana and the Dave Matthews Band, among others.

Robert Randolph and the Family BandRobert Randolph and the Family Band, 2006
(Courtesy of Peter Hayes)

"He is part Jimi Hendrix, part Funkadelic, with an all-gospel vibe," says Kieloch, who, when he's not raising money for Democratic candidates and causes, soaks up live music.

It'll be quite a kickoff to the late-night party scene at the four-day convention in Denver. HeadCount, a nonpartisan group that registers young voters at music concerts, has slated the event for Monday, the opening night of the convention. (HeadCount will be doing an event at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul, as well.)

It's entirely possible that Randolph won't be the only musician at the party. There could be other surprise big-name performers, considering that HeadCount's artist partners include all the surviving members of the Grateful Dead, Carlos Santana, Pearl Jam, Wilco, Bonnie Raitt, Tom Petty, Ben Harper, Ani DiFranco, and many more.

Kieloch won't say who else might be performing. (Though, sorry Dead fans, we seriously doubt it will be Bob Weir, since he has another gig scheduled that night in Pennsylvania.) But Kieloch promises an "other-worldly, multi-media celebration of youth voter participation."

By Mary Ann Akers  |  July 31, 2008; 1:55 PM ET
Categories:  Party Time '08  
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