Take Your Shoes Off
While Robert Cray may be the greatest guitar player of his generation, he’s never let it get in the way of his music. His latest effort, Take Your Shoes Off , is further evidence of this fact. The twelve tunes on this record expand but never abandon the blues form, and while they highlight his guitar work (which is as good as ever) and his great voice (which is better than ever), the emphasis is always on the song. As always, the production is sterling and his band is powerful, tight, punchy and thick. Cray’s flavor of blues is decidedly uptown with lush horn and key arrangements, but the soul comes shining through. Fans of a more down and dirty style might find him a little too polished, but you can’t put a man down just because he’s got class. Stir up some cocktails and enjoy those silky smooth sounds.
Rykodisc, Shetland Park, 27 Congress St., Salem, MA 01970; http://www.rykodisc.com