Robert Cray’s soulful blues coming to Infinity Hall

Robert Cray

Photo provided

Robert Cray’s soulful blues coming to Infinity Hall

Blues legend Robert Cray will be bringing his stinging, funky guitar and soulful singing to Infinity Hall Norfolk on Friday, March 29.

A five-time Grammy winner, Cray has been inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame and earned The Americana Music Awards Lifetime Achievement for Performance. He has played with blues and rock icons including Albert Collins, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, The Rolling Stones, Tina Turner, Eric Clapton and many more.

Active since 1974, The Robert Cray Band is highly regarded as one of the best groups performing Blues, Soul, R&B, Gospel and Rock n Roll with a sound that is modern while being rooted in classic styles. The group features Robert Cray on guitar and vocals, Richard Cousins on bass, Dover Weinberg on keyboards, and George Sluppick on drums.

With 20 albums to his name, his most recent record “That’s What I Heard” was released in February 2020 and was produced by Steve Jordan, the current drummer for The Rolling Stones. Jordan took over for legendary drummer Charlie Watts after Watts passed away in August 2021.

A legend in his own right, Jordan has performed with Joe Cocker, The Blues Brothers Band and movie (featuring John Belushi and Dan Akroyd), Stevie Wonder, The Saturday Night Live Band and Paul Shaffer and The World’s Most Dangerous Band, the house band for the David Letterman Show from 1982-1986. He has also been a member of Connecticut resident Keith Richard's group The Xpensive Winos since the mid 1980s.

About Cray’s talent, Jordan says, “People gravitate to his guitar playing first, but I think he’s one of the best singers I’ve heard in my life.”

When asked to describe his new record, with a laugh Cray says, “funky, cool and bad.”

Faithful to his Fender Stratocaster guitar, Cray plays with a distinctive, clean tone versus the overdriven sound typical of many blues rockers such as his 90s contemporary Stevie Ray Vaughn, who have an almost hard rock aesthetic. Cray’s playing is often sparse and lyrical, with an almost vocal tone.

The feel-good track “Anything You Want” from “That’s What I Heard” gets frequent airplay on area radio station 98.1 WKZE. With soulful vocals and warbly, tremolo guitar lines reminiscent of Pops Staples, it is an extremely catchy song that swings as much as its rocks. Live, it is sure to get audiences dancing.

His songwriting touches on relationships, love, and more recently the evergreen topic of peace. His song “What Would You Say” poses the simple but profound question:

What would you say, if we quit waging war,

And children fell safe asleep?

One of these days we may all learn to talk,

Over a table with something to eat

Cray’s current tour takes him throughout the USA and Europe with dates booked in Poland, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland, and back to the USA.

Long dormant, Infinity Hall Norfolk looks like it will be resuming more bookings, though not as much as in previous years. Well known for its stellar acoustics and beautiful, historical architecture, it is one of the better venues to see live performances in northwestern Connecticut and an important economic driver for downtown Norfolk.

Goodworks Productions took over just before the pandemic. Operational expenses and staffing have been as challenging for Infinity as they are elsewhere in the region.

Norfolk and area residents yearn for more concerts at the venue. With less on offer, shows at Infinity are proving popular as the only act in town. Cray’s performance is sure to sell out.

For tickets and information go to www.infinityhall.com.

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