Share What You've Got, Keep What You Need - (bonus track)
Robert Cray Band: Robert Cray (vocals, guitar); Walter Rand (alto saxophone); Mike Vannice (tenor saxophone, keyboards); Richard Cousins (bass); David Olson (drums).
Additional personnel: David Ii (percussion); Philip Walker, Tony Matthews, Night Train Clemens (background vocals).
Recorded at Music Lab, Los Angeles, California. Includes liner notes by Lee Hildebrand.
Personnel: Robert Cray (vocals, guitar); Albert Clemens (vocals); Warren Rand (saxophone, alto saxophone); Mike Vannice (saxophone, tenor saxophone, keyboards); Dave Olson (drums); David Li (percussion); Night Train Clemons, Tony Matthews, Phillip Walker, Tony Mathews (background vocals).
Photographers: Lynne R. Henderson; Donna Cline.
Cray's second effort hews to the same musical template as TOO MANY COOKS, his under-appreciated debut. That is to say that BAD INFLUENCE is hardly the work of a blues puritan. There's just as much Memphis-style R&B and soul as blues in the mix, making for a potent fusion.
Cray's guitar work is more impressive than ever, particularly on "No Big Deal," where he rips jagged metallic lines out of his Stratocaster as if he were channeling Otis Rush. The two bonus tracks are particularly entertaining, as Cray offers a suitably rowdy version of Texas bluesman Peppermint Harris' often covered "I Got Loaded" and an intense, almost gospel-style reading of Booker T.'s "Share What You've Got, Keep What You Need."
This is my favorite Robert Cray album. Everyone loves Strong Persuader... But to me this is a far more authentic, heartfelt album. I'm generally not even a fan of most of the bluesmen who appeared after the 60s, but Cray is a rare exception. He had his own way of doing the blues that was very unique, and fantastic to listen to! He's just so smooth, and put so much soul into it you can't help but love it. If you're looking to expand your musical palate you can't get any better of a contemporary blues album than this!
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