A Conversation with Robert Cray
Puremusic: Hey, what a great record, man.
RC: Oh, thank you, Frank.
PM: How it's it moving out there this summer? Has it been a good summer for the record?
RC: Well, it's starting off kind of slow. But I don't think that many people really realize that it's been released. So we're out touring in support of it and trying to let people know. And we'll see what happens.
PM: I caught your Ryman show with [John] Hiatt recently--holy jeez, that was a good show.
RC: We're still playing with them, actually. We're on a two-week break, but we just got finished playing a couple shows together this past weekend in Minneapolis.
PM: Doesn't that double bill go back quite a long time?
RC: Yeah. I think it was in the late 80s we first did some shows together. And then we've gone to Australia together. So, yeah.
PM: How about that Sonny Landreth? [laughs]
RC: He's a monster.
RC: And such an unassuming guy.
PM: Yeah, the sweetest most humble guy, and yeah, he'll just turn your world upside down the way he plays the guitar. [see our interview with Sonny in the archives]
PM: You ever covered any of Hiatt's songs?
RC: No, we haven't. I love his music, but no, I haven't covered any of his songs.
PM: Well, it's no wonder. I mean, you're not only a great songwriter yourself, but you're fortunate to have great songwriters in the family, so to speak.
RC: Oh, yeah, that Hayes family.
PM: Goddamn! How about that Hayes family?
RC: [laughs] The secret weapon.
RC: Yeah, it's just amazing.
PM: And also Jim Pugh. [his keyboard player, songwriter, and now co-producer]
PM: He had three on this record, right?
RC: Right, that's true.
PM: That was an inspired idea, co-producing with him this time.
RC: Yeah. It was great. It really was fantastic. Jim's contributed before, and Kevin has done in the past, but this record, with all the different flavors we have on it, it came from everybody contributing. So it made the record a lot different.
PM: It's really the beauty of the act, I think. Call it blues if you want, but that's a misnomer, because you're a guy who has really been pushing the envelope from the git, and continue to push the envelope very musically. And it's beyond soul now, it's way into pop and alternative, everything. It's just--hey, this is just music.
RC: Uh-huh, yep.
PM: I sure love that about you.
RC: Thank you. continue