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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Provogue Records artist: Robert Cray - Nothin' But Love - New Release Review

I just received a copy of the new release (UK date August 27, 2012), Nothin' But Love by Robert Cray. It's unbelievable that this is actually Cray's 16th album and it's as fresh as his first. The recording opens with (Won't Be) Coming Home with Cray's signature soulful smooth vocals and gripping guitar work. Cray has carved a niche for himself to where his music is totally distinguishable from everyone else with only a few notes yet preserves it's freshness and unique character. Robert crafts stories of torn love affairs set to R&B based blues track. Worry has a little quicker pace and Cray weaves his story punctuated with clean knife like guitar riffs. On I'll Always Remember You You Cray slows it down and presents his beautiful guitar work behind a full brass section. Using a smooth jazzy swing Cray directs a very seductive musical track that is evenly balanced between instrumental and vocal components. The guitar soloing on this track is particularly interesting. Side Dish is a fast tempo R&B style track with hot blues riffs on guitar. A Memo gets back into the R&B groove and Robert's signature sound. Possibly the airplay track from this release with more vocal orientation and blending of voices. Blues Get Off Of My Shoulder follows a smooth jazz line again with Cray in fine style on vocal and guitar. Tracks like this set Cray up for nice soloing opportunities. Fix This crosses over almost into Reggae with his R&B blues sound. It really has a cool beat and Cray is always molding the track to create increased interest. This is another track that is primarily vocally oriented and more likely to see broad airplay. Possibly my favorite track on the recording, I'm Done Cryin' is a slower blues style track with shimmering backing of his vocal and guitar. Cray has a cool ability to build tracks up slowly from the bottom with more and more anticipation of the deep soulful guitar rip. Great Big Old House has a strong R&B influence, Cray telling the painful story in a way that he has become famous for. Another contender for massive airplay. Cray completes the recording with Sadder Days, a story of lost love. Guitar is woven into the track punctuating his efforts rather than leading them. This is a very creative effort by Cray and one that I am sure will excite existing Cray fans as well as generate a new following as well.
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