Robert Cray, that strong persuader of the blues and soul is back with a new album titled Time Will Tell. I have always enjoyed Cray’s music and I consider his voice to be his most effective instrument. His smooth and soulful delivery makes his modern electric blues some of the most definitive and recognizable in the world. On this recording, you can expect the trademark blues licks from Cray’s guitar and lyrics revolving around personal relationships with the opposite sex, the favorite topic of any good bluesman, as well as a few other surprises.
There is a different twist along the musical road this time; Cray uses an uncharacteristic instrument, the sitar, on "Up InThe Sky." It sounds wonderful and proves to be a welcome addition to his sound. The worldly instrument always seems to add a mystical spaced out element to a song and it sounds most interesting when added to a blues song. The political side of the fence is not one that Cray has walked before but I guess there is a first time for everything. He makes his point and his feelings apparent on the recent war and the state of the world on "Distant Shore" and "Survivor." Therefore, it is not your typical blues-rock record at all. The variety is quite refreshing actually. Cray never sacrifices his integrity nor his status by changing gears, what he does is enable his music to reach a larger more diverse audience just by adding a new instrument and different subject matter to his array.
The Cray we have come to know and love over the years comes knockin’ again with a "Back Door Slam." Judging from the words it is cynical requiem for a relationship on the outs. "I Didn’t Know" also reminded me of when he busted out and onto the music scene seemingly out of nowhere with his smash album Strong Persuader. That is my favorite album and I am sure many folks that have followed his career will agree. His influence began spilling into a much larger musical consciousness when that album started to sell like hotcakes. This release could rival the success of that release and gain some new ground for Cray’s fan base. It has been several years since I listened to this man play and sing the blues and it was nice to kick back and soak up all his soul, blues and rock with lyrics that punch a hole into your heart. It was good to hear you again Robert.