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Robert Cray: 4 Nights of 40 Years Live [Video]

Track List

>I Shiver
>I'll Always Remember You
>Poor Johnny
>Won't Be Coming Home
>Your Good Thing is About to End
>Sittin' on Top of the World
>Wrap It Up
>Love Gone to Waste
>Bad Influence
>These Things
>Right Next Door (Because of Me)
>Forecast, The (Calls for Pain)
>Time Makes Two
>I Guess I Showed Her [1987 Recording]
>Right Next Door (Because Of Me) [1987 recording]
>Smoking Gun [1987 recording]
>Still Around [1987 recording]
>Too Many Cooks [1982 recording]
>T-Bone Shuffle [1982 recording]
>Intro/I Shiver
>T-Bone Shuffle
>Love Gone to Waste
>I Guess I Showed Her
>I'll Always Remember You
>Your Good Thing is About to End
>Too Many Cooks
>Wrap It Up
>Won't Be Coming Home
>Smoking Gun
>Sittin' on Top of the World
>Two Steps from the End
>Bad Influence
>These Things
>Right Next Door (Because of Me)
>Forecast, The (Calls for Pain)
>Time Makes Two

Album Notes

Decades flash by in the wink of an eye, which may explain how the perennial blues young gun is celebrating his fourth decade of performing in 2015. Four Nights of 40 Years is a souvenir salute to his longevity, a career that started in earnest with the 1980 release of Who's Been Talkin', but began earlier when he was gigging in the '70s. Cray scored an unexpected crossover hit in 1987 thanks to "Smoking Gun," but unlike some of his '80s blues peers, he wasn't content leaning on flash. He deepened his R&B roots, honing his solos so they stung, and settling into a nicely textured soul-blues groove that emphasized rhythms as much as songs or solos. All of this is evident on 2015's Four Nights of 40 Years, a dynamic, 13-track live album recorded on the tour supporting his fine 2014 set In My Soul. That record isn't featured here, nor is "Smoking Gun" -- that hit, along with other Strong Persuader material, is on the bonus disc containing live performances for Dutch TV in 1987, plus there are two performances from the SFO Blues Festival in 1982 -- so the emphasis winds up being on Cray's overall catalog, finding space for covers like Howlin' Wolf's "Sittin' on Top of the World," and room for old friends like Kim Wilson to come out and sing the Fabulous Thunderbirds' "Wrap It Up." What's striking throughout is Cray's ease: he's never reaching too hard, never emphasizing either blues or soul. By just sounding like himself, it's apparent that he's inherited the role of old blues master when nobody was looking. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine



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