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Cray Band; Robert: Nothin' But Love

With much of the blues genre following the likes of Joe Bonamassa into rockier territory, it seems that grooving, good time, authentic blues is lessening by the day. Something that the sixteenth album from the Robert Cray Band looks set to put straight in some style. This collection of songs that, as the album title says ain't about Nothin' But Love, still rocks, don't fear on that count. However there are jazzy flavours, a hint of funk and brass and bags and bags of stunning guitar playing that seduces and cajoles you into submission across the ten excellent tracks served up here.

Ironically, considering how this album refuses to follow the style that Bonamassa and the like have laid out, Nothin' But Love is produced by Black Country Communion, Aerosmith, and yes, Bonamassa collaborator, Kevin Shirley. Although it will come as less of a shock to discover he's done a universally excellent job. The songs all ooze classy cool and street wise nous, while remaining punchy, bright and accessible from the off, with the sound bouncing along with an authority and enthusiasm that is matched by the songs themselves. Take the piano driven "Side Dish", the sort of song Huey Lewis would sell The News to sing, as an example of how these finely crafted songs manage to sound unfussy, uncluttered and unbelievably uplifting. Highlights come at every turn, with "Worry" adding Latin flavours, "(Won't Be) Coming Home" stomping the album into life with a heart tugging melancholic tinge, while "Fix This" rolls out a big fat groove and revels in it from start to finish.

Cray is a mighty fine guitarist, infusing the songs with belief and a character that his vocals only add to, while Jim Pugh's keyboards and Richard Cousins' bass work add depth and colour at every turn. Add to that the solid rhythms of Tony Braunagel and you have a recipe for success that could only be spoilt by a self indulgence that never comes close to materialising.

Great songs, great performances and a killer vibe makes for a release that convinces from the off, seduces at will and ends up being an album that you can do Nothin' But Love. And who can complain about that?

Track Listing
1. (Won't Be) Coming Home
2. Worry
3. I'll Always Remember You
4. Side Dish
5. A Memo
6. Blues Get Off My Shoulder
7. Fix This
8. I'm Done Cryin'
9. Great Big Old House
10. Sadder Days

Added: September 12th 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Robert Cray Band online
Hits: 1428
Language: english

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