Review: Robert Cray, Theatre Royal, Norwich

Robert Cray Robert Cray

Monday, May 12, 2014
8:02 AM

Robert Cray

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Theatre Royal Norwich

I went out of curiosity. Cray was one of those artists I had heard of, and heard bits of - but had never seen in the flesh to sample why he has been a big name in the blues world for more than 30 years.

The answer - at least to this Cray newcomer - is his voice.

Yes his guitar work is great - sparkling clean Stratocaster sounds ranging from jazzy and percussive chords to nimble-fingered solos.

But it is Cray’s velvet vocals that set him apart.

Blues men can be guitarists first and singers second - but Cray is blessed with voice that can be silky and soulful as in Fine Yesterday and Hold On from his latest In My Soul album, but rack up to raunchier rhythm and blues in the driving You Move Me - a crowd favourite.

Backed by a tight-knit three piece band he goes effortlessly up and down through the gears from moody mellow, to fast-lane funk.

The Grammy award winner is a youthful-looking 60 and seems to have got a new lease of life through the latest album and tour which is taking him around the UK, Europe and USA, via Norwich.

I went out of curiosity and came away in admiration.

Richard Batson

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