The Robert Cray Band
In 2011 Robert Cray was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame at 57, its youngest member so far. Last year Guitarist-magazine chose his 16th album Nothin’ But Love “The Album of The Year” saying that his bitingly economic style grabs the listener from the first note. With his long-serving band he combines the blues of Alberts Collins and King with the stripped-down instrumentalism of Booker T & the MGs and the deep-fried southern soul of Otis Redding and Sam Cooke into a seamless package, where the space between the notes is as important as the played notes.
Georgia-born Robert started to study architecture, but then music claimed him. Having started to play guitar in his teens, he first played covers by Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac and others. Steadily his style veered towards deep blues and soul. Debut album Who’s Been Talking (1980) offered covers, but Bad Influence (1983) stirred the attention of the blues audience with classy originals dealing with the bitter-sweet issues of relationships. Strong Persuader (1986) won a Grammy. It wasn’t his last album to do so. Cray has since earned his place as the guaranteed torch-bearer of timelessly soulful blues that has made Keith Richards as well as Eric Clapton and John Lee Hooker turn to him.