NEW YORK (Robert Cray Official Website) - Two guitar legends, Robert Cray and Buddy
Guy, will unite to perform 16 U.S. Summer dates.
The tour starts in Seattle on Aug. 14, and will run until Sept. 4, touching on all regions of the country.
Buddy Guy and Robert Cray have shared the stage before on many an auspicious occasion but, for the first time ever they are combining for an extensive tour. Robert Cray recalls first coming to see Buddy Guy perform in Eugene, Oregon, in the late '70s.
Robert and his band eagerly awaited the arrival of their hero in the club parking lot but were so awestruck when Buddy and band stepped out of their van that they stood speechless as Buddy and company walked past him into the club. The music must have had an inspiring effect as, by the end of the show, Robert approached Buddy with the line, "You're almost good enough to be in my band" - which started their relationship off with a good laugh.
Soon after, Robert was sitting in on rhythm guitar for some of Buddy's shows in the Northwest.
Since those early meetings, the two have come together on occasion at festivals and concerts all over the world - including some milestone events. They were both featured during Eric Clapton's legendary Royal Albert Hall concerts, captured on the DVD, 24 Nights.
They also jammed together at Alpine Valley along with Eric and Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan just minutes before Stevie's fateful accident. In remembrance, the surviving members of that jam and other friends came together (a year later) to pay tribute to Stevie on what became the CD, Tribute To Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Most recently, the two shared the stage, again with Eric Clapton at Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival in Dallas this June. Backed by Jimmie Vaughan and his Tilt A Whirl band and also joined by Howlin' Wolf guitarist Hubert Sumlin, the group of guitar legends treated the audience to a high powered blues jam.
For Robert Cray the excitement of playing with Buddy Guy still hasn't worn off. "It's always a gas playing with Buddy," says Cray, "he's a powerhouse."
The Robert Cray Band's Sanctuary debut, Time Will Tell, is one of the most ambitious recordings of its illustrious career. It also marks the first-time production pairing of Robert Cray and longtime keyboardist-songwriter Jim Pugh. Since their 1986 breakthrough album, Strong Persuader, The Robert Cray Band has courted controversy without once consciously seeking it.
Strong Persuader's insinuating neo-soul sound was such a revelation, it helped prompt an '80s blues revival and transformed Robert into a pop radio, MTV and VH1 staple. By the time the new millennium had dawned, the band had earned a double platinum album and two gold albums, and Robert had been honored with five Grammy Awards, 11 Grammy nominations, and countless other honors.
But while fans worldwide were enthralled by Robert's gospel-inflected vocals and bluesy songs, some self-styled "purists" were confounded by Robert's progressive approach. "We've never done a complete blues album, yet we've been tagged a blues band for the longest time by some. The acclaimed singer, songwriter and guitarist has been recruited to perform on recordings by Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Chuck Berry, and John Lee Hooker, among others.
In addition to recording with each of these artists, he has also performed onstage with all of them as well as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Keith Richards, and The Rolling Stones. As a writer, Cray's songs have been covered by Albert King, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Del McCoury, and even Tony Bennett (whose 2003 Grammy winning CD Playing With My Friends is named for the title song that Robert co-wrote.)
Aside from the band's powerful live shows, Cray's global audience has been treated to on-screen guest performances in several world class projects: the Chuck Berry tribute film, "Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll"; Tina Turner's TV special, Break Every Rule; The Rolling Stones' "Voodoo Lounge" pay-per-view concert and video; and the all-star A Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan. All of the above combine to reinforce Cray's stellar position in contemporary music at the crossroads of rock, R&B, blues, and soul music.
In the past year, the Robert Cray Band's Time Will Tell World Tour has successfully moved across the United States, Europe and Australasia with the band featured as headliners and, on occasion, as co-headliners with John Hiatt in the US and Europe.
Early in 2004, the band performed in Hawaii and Australia on dates with Bonnie Raitt, as well as headline dates of their own in each territory and their debut headline concert in Singapore. The summer of 2004 has seen the band taking part in Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival in Dallas and then reuniting with Bonnie Raitt in Atlanta prior to a full summer of touring, capped off by these shows co-headlining with blues legend Buddy Guy. Watch for Robert Cray in the upcoming Martin Scorcese concert film," Lightning In A Bottle," along with B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Aerosmith, Mavis Staples, Solomon Burke, John Fogerty, and many more.
Later this Fall watch for Robert in the DVD and PBS specials on Eric Clapton's Crossroads event.