Robert Cray - vocals, guitar; Richard Cousins - bass; Peter Boe - keyboards; David Olson - drums
Robert Cray had crossed over from his regional blues scene in the Bay Area to the national big time, when his 1986 FM hit, "Smoking Gun," from his platinum album breakthrough Strong Persuader hit pay dirt and won him a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Recording.
Although many purist critics felt he lacked the musical credibility to be a "real" blues artist, Cray proved them wrong when he received invitations to play every major blues festival in the US, Canada, and Europe between 1986 and the late 1990s. He became a regular guest at shows by both Stevie Ray Vaughn and Eric Clapton.
This show, recorded for the King Biscuit Flower in 1989, featured his best known material from Strong Persuader, (especially "I Guess I Showed Her"), as well as material from his follow up album, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark.
Cray, an educated, well-dressed guitarist is an artist most music fans would not expect to be a successful blues artist. After all, you have to suffer to play the blues, right? And Cray does not appear to have come from the school of hard knocks and heartaches. Still, he plays and sings with total conviction and brings a strong bent toward the traditional soul music sound of the classic Stax-Volt records of the 1960s and early 1970s to his modern blues songs.
Cray never again received the same success as he did during the period this show was recorded. He continued to record for MCA for the next few years, before moving over to the Rykodisc label, where he made two albums. He is currently signed to Sanctuary Records, and he continues tour, now with a greater leaning toward being a traditional soul music singer.
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