5 time Grammy winner and Blues Hall of Fame powerhouse, Robert Cray takes the stage at the Bardavon on Saturday, January 31, at 8 p,m.
One of this magazine’s favorite performers, Cray is considered to be one among the greatest guitarists of our time. The New Yorker hails Cray and his band as “one of the most reliable pleasures of soul and blues for over three decades“. Having written or performed with everyone from Eric Clapton to Bonnie Raitt to John Lee Hooker, Cray is a member of The Blues Hall of Fame and recognized as one of his generation’s great musical storytellers — and an incomparable guitar master.
Cray started guitar in his early teens in Newport News, Virginia. By the age of twenty, Cray had seen his heroes Albert Collins, Freddie King and Muddy Waters in concert and decided to form his own band and they began playing college towns on the West Coast. In the late 1970’s he lived in Eugene, Oregon, where he formed the Robert Cray Band and collaborated with Curtis Salgado in the Cray-Hawks. In the 1978 film National Lampoon’s Animal House, Cray was the uncredited bassist in the house party band Otis Day and the Knights. After several years of regional success, Cray was signed to Mercury Records in 1982. Two albums on HighTone Records in the mid-1980s, Bad Influence and False Accusations, were successful in the United States and in Europe, where he was building a reputation as a live artist. His fourth album release, Strong Persuader, produced by Dennis Walker, received a Grammy Award, while the crossover single “Smokin’ Gun” gave him wider appeal and name recognition.
By then, Cray was an opening act for such major stars as Eric Clapton and sold out larger venues as a solo artist. He had the opportunity to play alongside John Lee Hooker on his album Boom Boom, playing the guitar solo in the song “Same Old Blues Again”. He is also featured on the Hooker album, The Healer; he plays a guitar solo on the song “Baby Lee”. The entire Robert Cray Band backs Hooker on the title track of Hooker’s 1992 album Mr. Lucky, where Cray plays lead guitar, sings, and banters with Hooker throughout the song.
Cray was a featured performer at the historic “Guitar Legends” concert in Seville, Spain as part of World Expo 1992.
Cray continues to record and tour. He appeared at the Crossroads Guitar Festival, and supported Eric Clapton on his 2006 – 2007 world tour. In Fargo, North Dakota, he joined Clapton on backup guitar for the Cream song “Crossroads”. In 2011, Cray was inducted to the Blues Hall of Fame.
For tickets call the Bardavon box office at 845 473 2072
For more about Bardavon/UPAC events go to http://www.bardavon.org/