Robert Cray Band - Right Next Door (Because of Me) @ Rawa Blues Festival, Katowice 29.09.2018

Robert Cray Band - Don't You Even Care (Live @ B.B. King Blues Club 1.30.15)

Robert Cray is the natural successor to practically every blues legend there is.

Robert Cray Band Biography Open ears and an open mind are the essence of singer, guitarist and songwriter Robert Cray's approach to writing, recording and playing music. He has created a sound that rises from American roots and arrives today both fresh and familiar. In just over 40 years Cray and his band have recorded 20 studio releases, 15 of which have been on the Billboard charts, and played bars, concert halls, festivals and arenas around the world.

There are five Grammys with Cray's name on them, and he has a suitcase full of W. Four years ago Cray was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. Through clips of concerts from the 80s and four recent shows, the evolution from the Cray Band unfolds.

Comments by Cray and band members add depth. He would bring all of the influences into play throughout his career, but his teenage band was captivated by Southern Soul and the blues. The musical highlight of Cray's senior year was his class voting to bring Collins in to play a graduation party.

The glow of a career in music began when Cray was a teen, and in it burst into flames as the Robert Cray Band came together in Eugene, Oregon. How strong was the fire? Playing packed bars and roadhouses the Cray Band was thrilling. Yes, fans could hear an Albert Collins guitar riff and a Howlin' Wolf song but the sound was present.

Blues and soul fans showed up religiously, but those steamy raucous sets also drew crowds whose tastes in music ranged from rock to funk and jazz. Also among the Cray Band admirers were other musicians. John Lee Hooker put his appreciation into action. We dug the hell out of the guy, and after that we were friends. The group was on a roll, but the players slept on couches.

It was the sounds of the blues and soul that first drew attention from artists in the rock arena. But no one knew how broad the band's audience would be until the Cray Band opened the ears of rock radio programmers. With the release of Strong Persuader the Cray Band's tunes were put in heavy rotation on mega rock stations across the nation. Following the path of fame taken by blues-based rockers like Johnny Winter and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Cray became a sensation, leading his band in concerts at large arena and rock festival.

He was the first African American artist since Jimi Hendrix to rise to such fame in rock music. Was there a change in the band's direction or had the blues arrived again into the mainstream after more than three decades of being forgotten by radio? If you're writing a tune it's only natural to grab something from someplace else. You're gonna put in some soul changes and some jazz, something you've been listening to.

With what we do there's a whole lot of room to move. Dressed in a baby blue tuxedo jacket, the young guitarist is the epitome of the tune's title.

Steve Jordan, producer heard them and put the icing on the cake. When he arrived at the Cray recording session, he brought not only the Memphis presence but also a present. It was a great opportunity to see Willie in the studio. He is intense but smooth in telling the story of love gone bad.

Then in a falsetto voice he soars through the sadness into the inevitable pain. It is a song that Cray owns because no other singer has dared try to do it justice. Take Your Shoes Off won a Grammy in The multimedia 4 Nights of 40 Years Live is a testament to the band's longevity and vitality.

The 80s concert footage is exuberant and shows the charisma of Young Bob a reference in song that Cray makes to himself in homage to Muddy Waters calling himself Young Muddy as a guitarist, vocalist and band leader.

The live performances at recent concerts capture seasoned musicians bringing a vivid, illustrative past into the moment. Cray's Stratocaster solos sing, cry and take on the funk. His voice has grown richer and wiser yet remains sweet.

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The Robert Cray Band - Right Next Door (Live)
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Robert Cray Band Biography Open ears and an open mind are the essence of singer, guitarist and songwriter Robert Cray's approach to writing, recording and playing music.

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