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Robert Cray – Throwback Thursday

Robert Cray – Smoking Gun

Since its Thursday, we’re doing a throwback Thursday track from Robert Cray!  Furthermore, on this song, his soulful vocals mixed with his fantastic guitar playing just makes Friday seem so much closer. By the age of twenty, Cray had seen his heroes Albert Collins, Freddie King and Muddy Waters in concert and decides to form his own band.  They began playing college towns on the West Coast. In the late 1970s he formed the “Robert Cray Band” and collaborated with Curtis Salgado in the “Cray-Hawks”. 

While he’s been performing since the early 70s, critics still don’t give him the credit that he deserves.  But when Smoking Gun came about, people started taking notice of his music and like a pied piper, he begins to get quite a fan following from his constant touring going forward.  He’s even In the 1978 film In the 1978 film National Lampoon’s Animal House as an uncredited bassist in the house party band. 

Smoking gun is from the album “Strong Persuader” and at the time of release, receives rave reviews from contemporary critics.  It’s his fourth album and released in 1986 by Mercury Record.  This album became his mainstream breakthrough and sold over two million copies.  Smoking Gun reached number two on Billboard Album Rock Tracks and #22 on the Billboard Hot 100.  

Playing with John Lee Hooker

Cray 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”.  And, he is also performing on the Hooker album, “The Healer” where 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. 

He’s also performed with Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Jimmie Vaughan, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.  Cray continues to record and tour.  In 2011, Cray was inducted to the Blues Hall of Fame and received the Americana Music Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance in 2017.  Stay Tuned…

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