Robert Cray Plays Rhythm And Blues At The Coach House (Flashback 2016)


ROBERT CRAY plays The Coach House Jun. 11

Flashback: ROBERT CRAY 2016 interview:

Rhythm n’ Blues is alive and well, just take it from Robert Cray, who will be playing at The Coach House June 11.

Since the 70’s, Cray has been pumpin’ out album after album writing about anything he pleases and has no plans on stopping. From unfriendly radio in the ‘70’s to the Blues Hall of Fame a few years ago, hurtles have been leaped over to get him where he is today.

Concert Guide Live caught up with the guitarist/singer to take a trip down memory lane and to get to know a little more about his musical journey.

CONCERT GUIDE LIVE: Did you ever struggle making music?

ROBERT CRAY: Yeah, it’s a struggle all the time [laughs]. If you didn’t struggle it wouldn’t be any fun.

CGL: You’ve had the opportunity to play with people like Eric Clapton. How was it playing with him?

CRAY: Oh, it was tremendous because I got a chance to talk to him before we got a chance to play together, and I’m a big fan of his. He had listened to our first record, or not our first record but our second album, the album called Bad Influence. He had just recorded a version of it (the title track, “Bad Influence”) when we met for the first time. We started playing together and it was great being on stage with, you know, one of my heroes. It was fantastic.

CGL: Were you nervous the first time?

CRAY: Of course [laughs].

CGL: Do you still get nervous?

CRAY: Yeah, still do.

CGL: What do you do before [a show]?

CRAY: Well the thing is, we like to get together as a band and chat before going on stage until I figure out what I have to work with for the night, to see what my voice is, to get my footing.

CGL: How did you find out you won your first Grammy?

CRAY: Well you don’t know until you’re at the show because you’re nominated. And, um, the first Grammy I won was with Albert Collins as a matter of fact, and a guy named Jonny Coplin. Both were great blues musicians and I had the opportunity to make a record with them called Showdown.

CGL: How’d that feel to win [your first Grammy]?

CRAY: It was great! But I was happier for Albert Collins and Jonny Coplin. Both of whom were another generation ahead of me and have been working for the longest time and they won an award. It was fantastic.

CGL: Did you have a speech prepared?

CRAY: No [laughs]. We just went up on stage and said thank you. And it wasn’t on the main ceremony, but they have a pre-televised ceremony.

CGL: Are you doing anything special with your Grammys? I heard some people drink beer out of them.

CRAY: Do they [laughs]? No, nothing special. It’s upstairs in the office.

CGL: How do you come up with new stuff?

CRAY: Just look at what’s going on around. It can be from politics to what’s happening to the next-door neighbor or pages from my past, that kind of thing.

CGL: All true stories or made up sometimes?

CRAY: Both.

CGL: Did your influence seem to come quick or gradual?

CRAY: It all depends on who you speak to. We started the band to play rhythm and blues when that stuff wasn’t popular on radio and never really has been. We’ve seen fans that have been fans for 20 or 30 years and they’re bringing their kids to the shows and it’s great.

CGL: Have you had any other opportunities like movies or anything?

CRAY: Yeah, I’ve been in movies. I’ve been in “Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll” with Chuck Berry and l and was in the movie “Animal House”.

CGL: You sing a lot about girls and relationships. Do you have your own family now?

CRAY: Yes. It’s great. It’s a wonderful thing.

CGL: Did you meet your wife through music? Was she a fan?

CRAY: Yeah, I met my wife in Tokyo with Eric Clapton. And no, she wasn’t a fan [laughs].