From the Vault...


Robert Cray Band
"Live From Across The Pond"

© Nozzle Records

Year of Release: 2006

track listing
Disc One:
  • Phone Booth
  • Poor Johnny
  • Our Last Time
  • Right Next Door
    (Because Of Me)
  • 12 Year Old Boy
  • I Guess I Showed Her
  • The Things You Do To Me
    Disc Two:
  • I Was Warned
  • Twenty
  • Bad Influence
  • The One In The Middle
  • Back Door Slam
  • Time Takes Two
  • I'm Walkin'

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    Robert Cray Band
    "Live From Across The Pond"

    The Robert Cray Band makes their debut with their live release from 2006: From Live Across The Pond. This album was #1 on the Billboard Blues Album Chart, for one week, October, 2006. THis album is a 2-disc set. The tracks on this album was from performances at the Royal Albert Hall in May of 2006. He was the opening act for Eric Clapton.

    I first discovered his music from the album Strong Persuader. A truly remarkable release, and highly recommended. Robert Cray has always been one of my favorite blues artists. His music has a soulful blues approach. His singing voice is just as remarkable as his high-skilled guitar playing. Strong Persuader was not his debut album, as I learned more of his earlier albums at the time, Bad Influence and False Accusations.

    Let it be mentioned, that I have never been a big fan of Live albums. Some argue that the live performances do not capture the tricks, bells and whistles the studio can provide. However, there are those artists who can hit the stage with enough energy in their music, that for some perfornmances, their would have been a desire to have the concerts recorded, due to the peak entertainment.

    Can we say this live album is remarkable for Robert Cray? I have never seen him perform, and some of the tracks from this release do stand out, especially the upbeat, "rocking" blues tracks. The others? Like reviewed on Amazon, they can be either a hit or miss.

    The first disc kicks off with a great Cray-styling number, "Phone Booth," (originally from Bad Influence. Easy to know that this is one of the standouts, it's from his early years of his great recorded music. "Poor Johnny" is a cool, smooth sounding blue track, almost reggae-ish. This track was originally recorded from his 2005 release, Twenty. "Our Last Time" from I Was Warned (1992), is another good, drivin' blues track.

    The studio version of "Right Next Door (Because Of Me)" was from Strong Persuader -- one of many great tracks from this album, and the live version is just as exciting. "12 Year Old Boy" (from Shoulda Been Home, 2001) is a slow, blues tune. "I Guess I Showed Her" (another great track from Strong Persuader) is another standout, live. Another good slow blues track is the last track on Disc One -- "The Things You Do To Me" (originally from 1990's Midnight Stroll).

    Disc One has definitely a lot of great tunes, live.

    chronological order) Up!, Come on Over, The Woman In Me (Most collectors would argue that none of the track[s] from her first album [Shania Twain] are not here. Also, the tracks found here are not in chronological order either.)

    Disc Two, however, has more slower sounding tunes, and sounding somewhat sad. The title track from his release in 1992, I Was Warned starts off the second disc. As this track is a slow sounding tune, it is just an ok track. The same goes for another title track'er, originally released in 2005. There is hope on yet another title track'er, the upbeat (and great tune it is), Bad Influence, originally released in 1983.

    Then it's back to the "ok" mode: "The One In The Middle" is another slow sounding number, as it was originally from the 1997 release, Sweet Potato Pie. "Back Door Slam" puts the smile back on your face, with it's good, drivin' blues feel. (Originally from his 2003 release, Time Will Tell. Despite the "sad sound," "Time Takes Two" is another slow, blues tune. (This track is unreleased from any RCB album.) The album closes with the Eric Clapton-ish sounding "I'm Walkin'" -- a good, upbeat blues track.

    Disc Two has definitely a lot of great UPBEAT tunes, live.

    The second disc has an alternate pattern going, with a slow tune, followed by an upbeat one. The more upbeat songs are certainly the standouts here on Live From Across The Pond. As some reviews stated Robert Cray may not be a "live artist," his music here is entertaining. Maybe the live tracks are not as high-ranked to the studio recordings, again, the upbeat tracks are the ones that get the thumbs up.

    As "negative" stating from Ted Drozdowski's review on Amazon: "Overall, this set will please Cray's die hard fans, but it unlikely to lure new listeners." I'm sure his performances were top-notch, watching him live. Whether he is a "live artist" or not, his music is a force. Basically his entire career prior to 2006 is here on this live set. Looking at his discography, his debut album, Who's Been Talkin' (1980) is yet to be seen on CD. All his studio albums are available; Strong Persuader would be a good start, in discovering Cray's music.

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    Previous Review: #1402
    Shania Twain--Greatest Hits
    Next Review: #1404
    A.J. Croce--Fit To Serve