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New Robert Cray

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  • ardanza2011
    First off have to agree about Bill Brandon as a top singer, yes why did he never make it ? Read about the new Robert Cray CD with the Hi Rhythm, recorded in
    Message 1 of 23 , Apr 25, 2017

      First off have to agree about Bill Brandon as a top singer, yes why did he never "make it" ?


      Read about the new Robert Cray CD with the Hi Rhythm, recorded in Memphis and had high hopes. Is it just me or do others find Crays vocals boring. Some what disappointed.


      Look out for a new one soon, Mary and Chuck Berry "The Duets, No Particular Place to Dough", it's on the Warmer Brothers label.


      Dave P.

    • Christopher Warren
      Yes, have always found Cray to be full of promise, but ultimately disappointing. He’s so solid, but he rarely hits those high notes in terms of material,
      Message 2 of 23 , Apr 26, 2017
        Yes, have always found Cray to be full of promise, but ultimately disappointing. He’s so solid, but he rarely hits those high notes in terms of material, singing or playing. He defines the high end of “journeyman like.” I probably have all of his officially released albums, and there is not a one that ever made it in to my “frequent rotation” list. I’ve also seen him live and came away with the same impression.
      • jansenlex
        I always liked his Who s been talking LP. Very soulful.
        Message 3 of 23 , Apr 26, 2017
          I always liked his "Who's been talking" LP. Very soulful.
        • Peter Nickols
          Agree - Bland but not Bobby even though his name is Robert! Nice guy though - went to see him play and interview him for my then Blues, Soul & Gospel radio
          Message 4 of 23 , Apr 27, 2017
            Agree - Bland but not Bobby even though his name is Robert! Nice guy though - went to see him play and interview him for my then Blues, Soul & Gospel radio show back in the late 80's. He had just hit it big for the first time and had big-venue gigs lined up but still honoured low-payday UK club gigs which had been booked earlier. So I caught up with him at a club in Portsmouth UK. When I went to interview him my portable tape machine (those were the days!) broke down and Robert spent 30 minutes fixing it for me and still gave me the interview! Pete N



            From: "Christopher Warren warrenc1@... [southernsoul]" <southernsoul@yahoogroups.com>
            To: southernsoul@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Wednesday, 26 April 2017, 23:35
            Subject: [SS] Re: New Robert Cray

             
            Yes, have always found Cray to be full of promise, but ultimately disappointing. He’s so solid, but he rarely hits those high notes in terms of material, singing or playing. He defines the high end of “journeyman like.” I probably have all of his officially released albums, and there is not a one that ever made it in to my “frequent rotation” list. I’ve also seen him live and came away with the same impression.


          • boneshaker335
            Yeah, I agree (not): Robert Cray is bland . Now THIS is the real deal: The Godfather of soul blues (LOL) revisits the Luther Ingram Classic:
            Message 5 of 23 , Apr 28, 2017
              Yeah, I agree (not): Robert Cray is "bland". Now THIS is the real deal: The "Godfather of soul blues" (LOL) revisits the Luther Ingram Classic:
              https://www.cdbaby.com/m/cd/biggrobb25
            • jsoulsmith2000
              If Bigg Robb can really sing why does he just about always use that awful vocoder / autotune thing ?? JRS ... From: boneshaker335@yahoo.com [southernsoul]
              Message 6 of 23 , Apr 29, 2017
                If Bigg Robb can really sing why does he just about always use that awful vocoder / autotune thing ??

                                   JRS

                -----Original Message-----
                From: boneshaker335@... [southernsoul] <southernsoul@yahoogroups.com>
                To: southernsoul <southernsoul@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Sat, 29 Apr 2017 1:29
                Subject: Re: [SS] Re: New Robert Cray

                 
                Yeah, I agree (not): Robert Cray is "bland". Now THIS is the real deal: The "Godfather of soul blues" (LOL) revisits the Luther Ingram Classic:
                https://www.cdbaby.com/m/cd/biggrobb25

              • David Whiteis
                Robb is, indeed, a fine soul singer -- writes a lot of his own material, and he s especially powerful on ballads. I also wish he d opt for a more natural
                Message 7 of 23 , Apr 29, 2017
                  Robb is, indeed, a fine soul singer -- writes a lot of his own material, and he's especially powerful on ballads.  I also wish he'd opt for a more "natural" sound, but I think he's just being commercially savvy and giving his audience what they want.  In performance, you get to hear the "all-natural" Robb (usually with an all-live band),​ and it's definitely a first-rate experience.
                • mitsuburgy
                  It s a kind of tribute to Zapp.
                  Message 8 of 23 , Apr 30, 2017
                    It s a kind of tribute to Zapp.
                  • boneshaker335
                    Awful tribute at that.
                    Message 9 of 23 , Apr 30, 2017
                      Awful tribute at that.
                    • boneshaker335
                      Are you sure you are not just being apologetic? I don t mean it as a flame or anything, I just don t get it: Honestly, these artists don t tour in Europe, so I
                      Message 10 of 23 , Apr 30, 2017
                        Are you sure you are not just being apologetic? I don't mean it as a flame or anything, I just don't get it:

                        Honestly, these artists don't tour in Europe, so I don't know their live shows.

                        However, if they are great live, and their fans really like that, why is this greatness never even rudimentary mirrored on record? Not even halfway attempted?

                        On the other hand: when asking the question why those "Southern Soul" records are produced so incredibly cheap sounding and crappy in a hack-butcher kind of way, the answer by the same people usually is: the fans really, really want it that way, no, they require it that way.

                        That's a contradiction, IMO:

                        If that's really true, if that's what fans really want: why not use cheap playalong tracks that mirror the record instead of an expensive band, maybe even musicians that have talent and inspiration, live? Based on the records, artistic integrity can't really be the reason, IMHO.

                        BTW: I like Electronic dance music, so the electronic part doesn't bother me. But this stuff really is kind of laughable.

                        My interpretation is:
                        On records, that are listened to while doing everyday chores, they can get away by recording the absolutely cheapest way possible (not even putting ANY effort at all in one-guy-does-everything - aka one guy selects stock grooves & backings in a music production software - recordings). Live, however, they would be booed offstage, that's why beyond all greed they are willing to pay for a band.
                      • David Whiteis
                        Well, I ve been told by actual label owners that live instruments aren t well received by the music s everyday listeners who hear the music on radio; the
                        Message 11 of 23 , Apr 30, 2017
                          Well, I've been told by actual label owners that "live" instruments aren't well received by the music's everyday listeners who hear the music on radio; the synthesized sound has become the absolute "mainstream," and it's what sells.  Supposedly (again, according to the owner of one of the major "southern soul" labels), Bobby Rush's last CD, which actually won a Grammy, did so almost entirely on the basis of Rush's white "crossover" audience -- his longtime core Black listenership (the folks who still primarily come out to his shows) simply did not like that all-"natural" sound on record.  In performance, of course, it's a different story. 

                          As for the half-ass'd sloppy production -- in many cases, I couldn't agree with you more.  I do think a lot of listeners are less than discriminating (folks use the music as background while at work, driving, cleaning the house, etc., and when deejays play it in clubs, the main focus is on the groove, not the musical nuance) -- but I am also convinced that a lot of label owners have a "Who cares, as long as we make our money?" attitude, and they're too often content to coast. I'm not at all convinced that in most cases it's the artists' fault, though. I know for a fact that several pretty big-name artists have gone head-to-head with producers/owners about the quality of their sound (one guy actually THANKED me for writing that one of his CDs had been poorly produced -- he said he showed my review to the label owner and said, "See?  I told you!") -- but in many cases there's not a lot they can do about it. 

                          On Sun, Apr 30, 2017 at 4:56 PM, boneshaker335@... [southernsoul] <southernsoul@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                           

                          Are you sure you are not just being apologetic? I don't mean it as a flame or anything, I just don't get it:

                          Honestly, these artists don't tour in Europe, so I don't know their live shows.

                          However, if they are great live, and their fans really like that, why is this greatness never even rudimentary mirrored on record? Not even halfway attempted?

                          On the other hand: when asking the question why those "Southern Soul" records are produced so incredibly cheap sounding and crappy in a hack-butcher kind of way, the answer by the same people usually is: the fans really, really want it that way, no, they require it that way.

                          That's a contradiction, IMO:

                          If that's really true, if that's what fans really want: why not use cheap playalong tracks that mirror the record instead of an expensive band, maybe even musicians that have talent and inspiration, live? Based on the records, artistic integrity can't really be the reason, IMHO.

                          BTW: I like Electronic dance music, so the electronic part doesn't bother me. But this stuff really is kind of laughable.

                          My interpretation is:
                          On records, that are listened to while doing everyday chores, they can get away by recording the absolutely cheapest way possible (not even putting ANY effort at all in one-guy-does-everything - aka one guy selects stock grooves & backings in a music production software - recordings). Live, however, they would be booed offstage, that's why beyond all greed they are willing to pay for a band.


                        • boneshaker335
                          ... Do you consider them trustworthy? They are the guys not wanting to pay for musicians. I consider it faery tale that listeners are offended by real talent.
                          Message 12 of 23 , Apr 30, 2017
                            >Well, I've been told by actual label owners that "live"
                            >instruments aren't well received by the music's
                            > everyday listeners

                            Do you consider them trustworthy? They are the guys not wanting to pay for musicians. I consider it faery tale that listeners are offended by real talent.

                            OK, I guess many listeners simply don't care, as long as there is some noise in the background. So they can get away with cheapest production. But to claim that they are "forced" to do it that way, come on.
                          • boneshaker335
                            ... Good for him. Nothing bad about that. BTW: his previous CD was organic, too, and very funky. I liked it more. But both are great. ... Is there some proof
                            Message 13 of 23 , Apr 30, 2017
                              >Bobby Rush's last CD, which actually won a
                              >Grammy, did so almost entirely on the basis of
                              >Rush's white "crossover" audience

                              Good for him. Nothing bad about that.

                              BTW: his previous CD was organic, too, and very funky. I liked it more. But both are great.

                              >-- his longtime core Black listenership (the folks who
                              > still primarily come out to his shows) simply did not
                              >like that all-"natural" sound on record.

                              Is there some proof for that assumption?

                              BTW, why do they go the the live shows, Bobby uses a pretty good band, no? So that doesn't seem to ruin commercial appeal.
                            • David Whiteis
                              Not necessarily just offended by real talent -- I honestly believe that some of em have very patronizing attitudes toward their listeners, probably toward
                              Message 14 of 23 , Apr 30, 2017
                                Not necessarily just "offended by real talent" -- I honestly believe that some of 'em have very patronizing attitudes toward their listeners, probably toward their entire community in general -- "Oh, that's good enough for 'those people,' they don't know the difference anyway. . ."  Believe me, I've run this by some pretty well-known and highly respected artists, and they've said that they get the exact same impression, but it's too risky to say as much for the record.

                                On Sun, Apr 30, 2017 at 5:43 PM, boneshaker335@... [southernsoul] <southernsoul@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                 

                                >Well, I've been told by actual label owners that "live"
                                >instruments aren't well received by the music's
                                > everyday listeners

                                Do you consider them trustworthy? They are the guys not wanting to pay for musicians. I consider it faery tale that listeners are offended by real talent.

                                OK, I guess many listeners simply don't care, as long as there is some noise in the background. So they can get away with cheapest production. But to claim that they are "forced" to do it that way, come on.


                              • David Whiteis
                                Bobby uses a pretty good band, no? So that doesn t seem to ruin commercial appeal. 100% agreed, and the same goes for a lot of the artists on that circuit --
                                Message 15 of 23 , Apr 30, 2017

                                  "Bobby uses a pretty good band, no? So that doesn't seem to ruin commercial appeal."

                                  100% agreed, and the same goes for a lot of the artists on that circuit -- some KILLER bands out there!  I'll be the first to agree that the recordings all too often sell the artists short. (Even in terms of the vocals -- it's amazing how much stronger, more soulful, and emotionally resonant many sound in live performance, supported by a tight, well-rehearsed band.)  Why don't the CD buyers/listeners complain?  That's honestly a good question.  Maybe "mainstream" listeners simply aren't as persnickety as geeks like us!

                                  On Sun, Apr 30, 2017 at 5:54 PM, David Whiteis <dgwhiteis@...> wrote:
                                  Not necessarily just "offended by real talent" -- I honestly believe that some of 'em have very patronizing attitudes toward their listeners, probably toward their entire community in general -- "Oh, that's good enough for 'those people,' they don't know the difference anyway. . ."  Believe me, I've run this by some pretty well-known and highly respected artists, and they've said that they get the exact same impression, but it's too risky to say as much for the record.

                                  On Sun, Apr 30, 2017 at 5:43 PM, boneshaker335@... [southernsoul] <southernsoul@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                   

                                  >Well, I've been told by actual label owners that "live"
                                  >instruments aren't well received by the music's
                                  > everyday listeners

                                  Do you consider them trustworthy? They are the guys not wanting to pay for musicians. I consider it faery tale that listeners are offended by real talent.

                                  OK, I guess many listeners simply don't care, as long as there is some noise in the background. So they can get away with cheapest production. But to claim that they are "forced" to do it that way, come on.



                                • boneshaker335
                                  I agree that mainstream listeners don t complain, my girlfriend is like that, too. Nothing wrong with that. She has other areas of expertise, for example she
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Apr 30, 2017
                                    I agree that mainstream listeners don't complain, my girlfriend is like that, too. Nothing wrong with that. She has other areas of expertise, for example she won't eat at McDonalds. Because she thinks that food is crap & she's probably right.

                                    BUT: I am offended if label owners tell me bullshit like "we HAVE to do it that way."

                                    They do it that cheap, because they can get away with it. Nothing wrong with greed, too, people are like that. Just don't tell me it's anything other than greed.

                                    A few years ago one of those label owners claimed in an interview I read that "recording drums would be too expensive & complicated", mic placing & stuff.

                                    Today, you can buy excellent sounding electronic drums from Roland. They take absolutely NO effort to record. You get an out of the box great studio drum sound & the creative input of the drummer. Absolutely amazing stuff (play one myself at home, though I am not good at it... ) . Claiming that recording an inspired drummer in this day an age would be expensive, is simply lying.
                                  • David Whiteis
                                    A few weeks ago, at the college where I teach, a band set up and performed during lunchtime in the student cafeteria. I remember thinking that they had decent
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Apr 30, 2017

                                      A few weeks ago, at the college where I teach, a band set up and performed during lunchtime in the student cafeteria.  I remember thinking that they had decent chops, but the drummer sounded really stiff and mechanical:  no soul; no funk; no rock & roll kick-ass; nothing remotely sensual -- could've been a metronome up there.  Later, when I was talking with my students about it, they were unanimous in praising him as the best musician of the bunch.  "He was great," they said.  "He sounded like BEATS!"  In other words, the measure of his excellence was that he sounded more like a synthesized rhythm track than a human being.

                                      I have seen . . . our future???
                                    • jsoulsmith2000
                                      RE: I ve been told by actual label owners that live instruments aren t well received by the music s everyday listeners who hear the music on radio; the
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Apr 30, 2017
                                        RE:  I've been told by actual label owners that "live" instruments aren't well received by the music's everyday listeners who hear the music on radio; the synthesized sound has become the absolute "mainstream," and it's what sells. 

                                        Whoever says that just lost 95% of the world as a potential market.
                                        If we wanted crappy synthed voices & instruments, we could justl buy old Spice Girl albums off Amazon for 1c each.
                                        Certainly UK fans want proper singers, using their natural voice & backed up by real musicians.
                                        I bet current southern soul (& everyone here loves SS) albums sell less than 10 copies each in the UK.

                                                                JRS
                                      • jsoulsmith2000
                                        As he s just been mentioned on another thread .... thought I d chip in with this .... William Bell s recent album was really well received in the UK & Europe.
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Apr 30, 2017
                                          As he's just been mentioned on another thread .... thought I'd chip in with this ....
                                          William Bell's recent album was really well received in the UK & Europe.
                                          He did shows here on the stregth of it, he sounded great & I'm sure that album alone shifted more copies over here than the last 100 new 'typical' SS albums.
                                          He was also nominsted for numerous awards. I think that says it all. If a 78 year old can still do it right, then why can't the rest of em.

                                                                              JRS  
                                        • boneshaker335
                                          My thoughts exactly, if I want that: no need to search for obscure artists (I say search , because you don t need to import CDs anymore in the iTunes age).
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Apr 30, 2017
                                            My thoughts exactly, if I want that: no need to search for obscure artists (I say "search", because you don't need to import CDs anymore in the iTunes age). Radio is full of that. Maybe it's the "Bone Me Witty lyrics"TM :-; that make modern "Southern Soul" special.
                                          • keessm
                                            Problem is, their direct market is the Southern USA. By being played on the radio the artists get gigs. Simple as that. making records is only promo these
                                            Message 21 of 23 , May 21, 2017
                                              Problem is, their direct market is the Southern USA. By being played on the radio the artists get gigs. Simple as that. making records is only promo these days, makes zip money...
                                            • boneshaker335
                                              Having listened to Robert Cray s new album for the last 4 weeks, I think it IS great. This is based on my personal opinion (and not influenced by facts if or
                                              Message 22 of 23 , May 26, 2017
                                                Having listened to Robert Cray's new album for the last 4 weeks, I think it IS great. This is based on my personal opinion (and not influenced by facts if or if not he has a large following among Ecko or CDS Records fans).

                                                As usual, again IMO, the songs that he doesn't write himself are way stronger.

                                                Still, I enjoy this CD a lot.

                                                Other recent faves:
                                                -Don Bryant - his energy blows me away. Fantastic.

                                                PS: So, does Fat Possum also plan a new Ann Peebles album, too?

                                                Very best wishes
                                              • David Whiteis
                                                How is Ann doing? I saw her a couple years ago -- she seemed to be strong and in decent health, but she was obviously still suffering from the effects of her
                                                Message 23 of 23 , May 26, 2017
                                                  How is Ann doing?  I saw her a couple years ago -- she seemed to be strong and in decent health, but she was obviously still suffering from the effects of her stroke;  her speech and movements were very labored.  Even so, I'd love to believe she's capable of a comeback.

                                                  On Fri, May 26, 2017 at 5:38 PM, boneshaker335@... [southernsoul] <southernsoul@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                                   

                                                  Having listened to Robert Cray's new album for the last 4 weeks, I think it IS great. This is based on my personal opinion (and not influenced by facts if or if not he has a large following among Ecko or CDS Records fans).

                                                  As usual, again IMO, the songs that he doesn't write himself are way stronger.

                                                  Still, I enjoy this CD a lot.

                                                  Other recent faves:
                                                  -Don Bryant - his energy blows me away. Fantastic.

                                                  PS: So, does Fat Possum also plan a new Ann Peebles album, too?

                                                  Very best wishes


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