Four is a magic number and we’re welcoming the incomparable Robert Cray to Telluride for his fourth appearance at the festival. There are few guitarists whose styles are as instantly recognizable as Robert Cray’s. Whether he’s playing straight-up house-rocking blues or pouring a heartfelt ballad into your ears, those sinuous, silky smooth, soul-piercing Stratocaster licks say, “This is Cray.”
The young man who credits The Beatles for inspiring him to first start playing guitar, has absorbed dozens of rock and blues influences ranging from Hendrix to B.B. King to Albert Collins and Buddy Guy. His warm, smooth vocals are a nod to Bobby Blue Bland and other soul crooners, but what comes through the speakers is a sound all his own.
Cray’s topnotch new band features drummer Les Falconer, longtime bassist Richard Cousins and the return of Dover Weinberg on keys. The Robert Cray Band’s new record, In My Soul, is produced by Steve Jordan. As the title implies, the tracks speak to what can be expected, which include the soulful, bluesy sounds of the band’s heroes Sam Cooke and Ray Charles. Jordan, Cray says, helped keep the group cohesive and called him, “the 5th member.”
Performers of Cray’s caliber are few and far between. We couldn’t be more pleased to have him on our 2014 line-up.