ROBERT CRAY Event Review! Edmonds, WA 11/12/19

Robert Cray

Edmonds Center for the Arts
Edmonds, WA

(All Photos - Mark Sugiyama for Eclectic Arts (c) 2019)


I remember waiting outside (the now defunct) Tower Records in Bellevue, WA back in September of 1987. The day prior the Robert Cray Band had just played a blistering set at the local music festival Bumbershoot. Touring in support of their crossover album, "Strong Persuader", I stood in line at the record store to meet Robert Cray and the band (three of four in total were at the signing). I got my album, poster, and t-shirt signed - all of which I still have to this day.

Fast forward to Tuesday evening in Edmonds, WA. Robert Cray, along with longtime bassist Richard Cousins, keyboardist Dover Weinberg, and drummer Terence F. Clark, performed to a sold out house at the Edmonds Center for the Arts.

With no opening act, the band hit the stage at 7:40pm and performed an expansive set of material for just over ninety-minutes.

Tucked back toward the middle of the stage, the band was in the pocket immediately. Robert's smooth vocal lines along with his crisp and clear Fender Stratocaster and Telecaster tones were immediately evident. The man doesn't age, I swear. I expected down tuned numbers but that was not the case. Robert and the band sounded as good as they did over thirty years ago.

I particularly enjoyed, "(Won't Be) Coming Home" with its storyline lyrics and emotional guitar playing. I also liked the lighthearted instrumental, "Hip Tight Onions", complete with Robert and Richard twerk interpretations.

Of course, with the crossover period from 1986 through the early 90's, many in the audience wanted to hear tunes from that era. They were granted one, the always effective, "Right Next Door (Because Of Me)" from the, "Strong Persuader" album. Robert has been known to play a wide range of material and not always the proverbial "hits". I was more than fine with this as he has such a spectacular catalog to pull from.

It can't be stated enough just how great the entire band sounded. There's a reason Robert Cray has had such an amazing career for over forty years. Everything worked last night and it was clear we were in the hands of a blues master.

It should also be mentioned that his drawing power in the area (as many consider him "one of ours" since he spent time growing up in Tacoma and Lakewood) couldn't be overstated. He was just here in July playing an outdoor show to open up the Summer Concert Series at the Tulalip Amphitheatre. The Edmonds show on Tuesday night was sold out and the show in Kirkland, WA a mere thirty minutes away is also sold out tonight as I type this.

Robert Cray and the band put on a special performance at the Edmonds Center for the Arts. I'm so glad I was there to witness it.

Best regards,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts
EA on YT

Special Thanks: Kim - thank you very much for the opportunity!

(All Photos - Mark Suigyama for Eclectic Arts (c) 2019)


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