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Robert Cray Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm

By Richard Ludmerer
In CD Reviews INDIE Blues
Aug 12th, 2017

Robert Cray

Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm

Jay Vee

Robert Cray was born in Columbus, Ga. in 1953 while his father was serving in the Army. The family settled in Tacoma, Wa. In the early years Cray was in a band with Curtis Salgado called The Cray-Hawks.

Cray’s debut recording was “Who’s Been Talkin?” in 1980. Cray’s fourth album “Strong Persuader” received a Grammy Award. Cray received another Grammy for 1999’s “Take Your Shoes Off” produced by Steve Jordan.

In total Cray has five Grammy Awards. In 2011 Cray was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.

This is Cray’s 18th studio album and 23rd album overall. The album was recorded at Willie Mitchell’s Royal Studios in Memphis the home of the seminal Hi Records. Once again his producer is Jordan. The band includes Cray, electric guitar and vocals; producer Jordan, acoustic guitar, drums, percussion and background vocals; Lannie McMillan, tenor saxophone; Jim Spake, baritone sax; Marc Franklin, trumpet; Jack Hale, trombone; and The Hi Rhythm Section of Charles Hodges, piano, organ and background vocals; and Archie “Hubby” Archer, piano Clavinet, and background vocals. The arrangements are by Lester Snell. The album is mixed by Boo Mitchell, Jordan and Niko Bolas.

The album opens with “The Same Love That Made Me Laugh” written by Bill Withers. It was a 1974 single for Withers on the Sussex Record label.

“You Must Believe In Yourself” written by Charles Jerue was recorded by Johnny “Clyde” Copeland in 1970 and the “B” side to his single “Dear Mother”.

Cray includes two songs written by Sir Mack Rice; “I Don’t Care” and “Honey Bad”. There are also two songs covered written by Tony Joe White; “Aspen Colorado” and “Don’t Steal My Love”. “I’m With You Part#1” and “Part#2 are both from Lowman Pauling, the guitarist, of The “5” Royales.

Cray also contributes three of his own songs, “Just How Low”; “You had My Heart” and “The Way We Are”.

Cray is one of our most consistent soul blues singers making fine music for over thirty-five years. This album is no exception.

Richard Ludmerer








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