Words & Photos by Rod Snyder
“Let’s get down and funky on this next one” was the reoccurring theme of tonight’s Robert Cray Band program at The Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA. The band took to the stage around 9:00pm, after a solo, acoustic set by the talented Guy Davis (who’s worth checking out on his own).
The stage was sparse, with just the tools of the 4 piece band needed to bring the theatre to life. Robert greeted and thanked the crowd for coming out “This particular Friday night” and went into the opening number “Phone Booth”. This is always a good number to hear, and a nice warm up for the band.
They played a few covers tonight, one being the Bill Withers song “The Same Love That Made You Laugh” from his latest release, Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm. Cray blended his guitar & vocals into an already moody song and gave it a 2017 twist. He played a couple other tunes from this release including “Aspen, Colorado”. It starts off slow and builds gently into a bluesy ending – a highlight of the night for sure. He also played some of his older standards like “Strong Persuader”, “Right Next Door to You (Because of Me)”, and “Bad Influence”, among others. The band came out for a two-song encore, and ended their 90 minute set with “Time Makes Two”.
In the end, I was amazed at how good the 64 year old’s voice sounded, and how mesmerized I was at watching him effortlessly play his arsenal of Fender Guitars. Lastly, I’m one for watching how musicians feel their music when performing live. It’s part of the live experience. While watching his facial expressions, it looked at times as if he was crying, but the tears came out of his guitar instead of his eyes.
If you’re going to attend one of his shows, you’d better bring some tissues, because not many of us can transcend to where Cray resides these days. You’ll thank me later.
TheWaster.com | PA