Personnel: Robert Cray (vocals, guitar); Warren Rand (alto saxophone); Mike Vannice (tenor saxophone, keyboards); David Ii (tenor saxophone, percussion);
Nolan Smith (trumpet); Peter Boe (keyboards); Richard Cousins (bass); Dave Olson (drums).
Recorded at The Music Lab, Sage & Sound and Haywood's Studios, Los Angeles, California.
This is part of High Tone Records "Heritage Of The Blues" series.
Personnel: Robert Cray (vocals, guitar); David II (tenor saxophone, percussion); Nolan Andrew Smith (trumpet); Peter Boe (keyboards).
Audio Mixer: Bill Dashiell.
Audio Remasterer: Bob Stone.
Recording information: Haywood's, Los Angeles, CA (1982-1983); Sage & Sound, Los Angeles, CA (1982-1983); The Music Lab, Los Angeles, CA (1982-1983).
Photographer: Lynne R. Henderson.
Heritage of the Blues: Phone Booth features highlights from modern bluesman Robert Cray's two records he recorded for Hightone at the beginning of his career. When he burst on the scene in the early '80s, Cray's soulful blues really caught on with blues fans who were looking for a modern voice and a modern sound. Songs like "Phone Booth" and "The Grinder" were rooted in the real blues but given a light, almost pop sheen that made them easy to swallow. This collection has six songs each from 1983's Bad Influence and 1985's False Accusations. Bad Influence is the better record of the two, and the songs from the album ("Phone Booth," "Don't Touch Me," "Bad Influence," the Stax-influenced cover of Eddie Floyd's "Got to Make a Comeback," "The Grinder," and "Where Do I Go from Here") are more immediate and sound much more inspired, especially Cray's solos, which sting like angry bees. And although they are over-produced, the songs from False Accusations ("Porch Light," "The Last Time [I Get Burned Like This]," "Playin' in the Dirt," "Change of Heart," "Payin' for It Now," and "I've Slipped Her Mind") are still strong, with "Porch Light" in particular equal to the songs from the previous record. ~ Tim Sendra