Robert Cray Band - In My Soul (Album Review)

Blues with a heart full of Soul     

A friend; who obviously knows nothing about music once criticised a Robert Cray album I’d loaned him by saying ‘it was all the same formula;’ well, if this is a ‘formula’ let’s bottle it and make a fortune!

More recently Robert Cray has apparently locked himself away with only his huge collection of classic 45’s for company and come back out into the daylight rejuvenated and made an album that is influenced by the great Stax, Atlantic and Chess albums of the 1960’s but remains the classy night-time Blues that the singer-guitarist is noted for.

The songs are as good as anything he’s ever recorded before; and remember, he re-wrote the Blues book with Smoking Gun and Right Next Door; so my praise is high praise indeed.

Album opener and love song extraordinaire, You Move Me has a cool groove to it and will move ladies in a way I never could. This is followed by my favourite track and possibly my new theme tune; Nobody’s Fault But Mine which features the brass section and some pretty funky guitar playing and could easily have been an Otis Redding song in another life.

What with modern technology and all that; singles are apparently a thing of the past; but the record company has wisely released the heartbreaker, Your Good Thing is About to Come to an End as a 45; and if you are one of those people who think, ‘They don’t write them like that anymore,’ Robert Cray has; and it will be a feature of late night radio stations for many years to come.

The instrumental Hip Tight Onions obviously owes a debt to Booker T, and should have been named Blues Onions instead.

If the album started on a high it goes out on a cloud; with You’re Everything being a beautiful love song for people who find love the second time around and the finale Deep in my Soul takes us back to the days when BB King and Freddie King were in their pomp; as Robert Cray tips his signature Porkpie hat in their direction on a great Blues song that features guitar playing that will have the hairs on the back of your neck standing on end.

Blues and Soul fans who span the generations and the Continents will take this album to heart and will surely make it feature in their end of year Top 10’s.

Provogue Records.

Released UK – 31 March
Released US – 1st April

Views: 652

Comment by Terry Roland on March 29, 2014 at 3:21am

Thank you, Alan...I was stung by the Stax bug while in Memphis last year.....But, I was stung by Robert many years ago at a package show with John Hiatt.......Your fine review is a great reminder!  Thanks for the review!  

Comment by Harrisonaphotos on March 29, 2014 at 8:08am

thanks

Comment by Dennis Nyman on April 3, 2014 at 2:55pm

I'm a big Robert Cray fan so will be looking forward to this new release especially since Stax always had my favorite soul/r&b artists who I liked much more than the more popular Motown artists. Thanks for the heads-up.

I had the pleasure of seeing Robert Cray at a tiny tavern here in Seattle just before he hit the big-time (...well, as big-time as blues artists get). When I first got into him I shared an album with a friend of mine who loves blues but he dismissed Mr. Cray as too slick and more like a soul artist which I found a bit myopic much like your reaction to your friend's opinion.

Comment by Harrisonaphotos on April 4, 2014 at 1:52am

Thanks Dennis; I first 'discovered' Robert around the Strong Persuader era; a friend had a spare ticket to see him at Newcastle City Hall (cap: 1500) and it had sold. I'd not heard of him but was a Blues fan (and Clapton aficionado)  and Robert blew me sideways; so much so I've not bought a Clapton album since.

     Let me know what you think of the album when you get it.

       

Comment by Dennis Nyman on April 16, 2014 at 10:51am

Hello Alan...I've had the new Robert Cray album for about a week now and I'm happy to report I like it very much too. At first I liked the covers the best but the more I listen, the originals--especially those penned by Robert--have grown on me and they are fine also. It is almost more soul in style than blues but his voice is great for such music. Still, it's when he starts playing that ole-so-tasteful guitar that I really start smiling. Thanks again for alerting me to this release since such artists slip through the mainstream press and this allowed me to get it while still on sale as a new release.

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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.