Five Time Grammy Winner and Legendary Guitarist Robert Cray Releases In My Soul
Five time grammy award winner and legendary guitarist, Robert Cray, recently released his 17th studio album, IN MY SOUL.WNKUs Cheri Lawson talked with Cray who’s scheduled to be in Cincinnati at the Taft Theater July 1st with John Hiatt.
CL: Robert, Congrats on another CD, In My Soul, another one that draws listeners in. Out of the ten song collection which one are you absolutely attached to?
RC: I don’t think there’s just one. We’re playing a lot of the songs on stage right now and we’re just havin’ fun with everyone. For us it’s new and we’re groovin’ on all of it.
CL: You’ve written for or performed with everyone from Eric Clapton to Stevie Ray Vaughan, from Bonnie Raitt to John Lee Hooker . You’ve touched the lives of so many people . Who do you credit with changing your life at some point along the way?
RC: As far as songwriting is concerned , one of our early co-producers, Dennis Walker, inspired me in his way of songwriting where songs like, Porch Light or Right Next Store (Because of Me) painted pictures and pictures tell stories. That put a lot of what we do into focus.
CL: In National Lampoon’s 1978 film, Animal House, you were the uncredited bassist in the house party band, Otis Day and the Knights, what was that like, can you remember back then?
RC: Oh yeah, that was a lot of fun. First of all there were a lot of other musicians outside of Otis. The guy who played Otis was a professional actor and the rest of us were musicians from in and around Portland, Oregon. We were just havin’ a ball and getting to dance to pre-recorded music and being on a movie set which was the first time that ever happened for us. And during all of that excitement we met John Belushi who came into a club to sit in with us. And the whole city was abuzz in Eugene , Oregon when the movie was being filmed. It was quite exciting.
Cl: Where do you go for comfort? Is it a place, is it spirituality, where do you go?
RC: I like alone time. If I’m on the road it’s the room, going for a walk. When I’m at home I cook. It takes me out of being on the road and being not in such a fast moving environment like we are when we’re out on the road.
CL: What do ya like to cook?
RC: I cook a lot of everything. So there’s not just one thing. I go from Vietnamese food to Italian food.
CL: I guess that means you like to eat to, so that’s part of the comfort?
RC: That is part of the comfort. And that’s one thing we learn from being out on the road. That’s one of the most important things you can do when you’re out on the road is to make sure you eat something good and healthy.
CL: So if you had to choose , if you had to choose another career, what would it be?
RC: Maybe being a chef.
CL: Maybe we can expect a restaurant in your future?
RC: ( laughs) J Cray.
CL: JCray, nice! Robert Cray thanks so much for being with us on WNKU. We look forward to seeing you when you’re in Cincinnati.
RC: Thank you, Cheri.