Born on this day in 1953, in Columbus, Georgia, rhythm and blues guitarist Robert Cray. Cray hit it big with his 1986 release, Strong Persuader, which yielded several FM radio staples, including Smoking Gun and Right Next Door.
That’s What I Heard (Nozzle)
While Robert Cray has always been lumped into the modern blues category, the truth is, he’s always filtered everything he does through the heart of a classic soul singer. On his latest, That’s What I Heard, Cray teams with producer/drummer Steve Jordan, and the results are positively electrified.
Cray masterfully slides his way through Bobby “Blue” Bland’s “You’re The One,” Curtis Mayfield’s You’ll Want Me Back” and the smokey original “Hot.” Perfectly accentuating his husky voice is Cray’s always-tastey Stratocaster, which flows through these songs like delicious gravy on a buttery biscuit.
What’s really got me scratching my head lately is Cray’s twenty-year history of hopping from one small record label to another. For crying out loud, how in the world is it possible that labels like Alligator, Blue Note or Verve aren’t trying to give him the stable, respectable, creative home that he deserves?