Cray Makes Trek to Eugene
Byline: Lewis Taylor The Register-Guard
Soulful blues singer Robert Cray will return to his launching pad Thursday with a sparkling new album to promote. He
comes to the McDonald Theatre, 1010 Willamette St., for an 8:30 p.m. show in support of his new release "Time Will Tell."
Cray's latest, his first release on Sanctuary Records, will no doubt be labeled a blues album, even though the singer-songwriter and guitarist continues to expand the boundaries of what he and his band does.
"Driving around on tour, we'll listen to anything - Brazilian music, folk, funk, jazz, rock 'n' roll, organ trios and everything else under the sun," Cray said in a news release. "The diversity you hear on this record is just us being our- selves."
"Time Will Tell" features Cray's first outwardly political songs, the anti-war songs "Survivor" and "Distant Shore." The group taps a sitar player for "Up the Sky," a tune written by keyboardist and co-producer Jim Pugh, and welcomes the Turtle Island String Quartet on a couple of tracks.
The spirited tone of the new record apparently grew out of a free-form recording session. Following the release of the group's previous release, 2001's "Shoulda Been Home," Cray expressed a similar sentiment.
"We play live in the studio," Cray said in a November 2001 interview with The Register-Guard, ` 'cause that's what we are; we're a live band. We figure you'll get your best energy. Energy is important."
Tickets to Thursday's show are $28 in advance or $30 day of show. Don Latarski will open.
New England singer-songwriter Leslie Helpert comes to Sam Bond's Garage, 407 Blair Blvd., on Saturday for a 9:30 p.m. show.
The guitarist and singer on the rise recently released a new 13-song album titled, appropriately enough, `13 Songs." The cover for Saturday's show is $5.
Portland singer-songwriter Stephanie Schneiderman comes to Sam Bond's on Monday for a 9 p.m. show.
Schneiderman honed her rich, earthy voice while playing in the Motown funk band Body and Soul. …