ARTIST: Robert Cray
TITLE: Bad Influence
YEAR RELEASED: 1983
CHART ACTION: #143
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Nope
LINEUP: Robert Cray, Richard Cousins, David Olson, Mike Vannice, Warren Rand
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Bluesman Cray releases a contemporary blues album that showcases his smooth guitar playing and songwriting.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Cray’s second album for Hightone (the first seems to have vanished) was kind of a breakthrough for the bluesman.
Not only did it showcase his tasteful modern blues sound, but it also gave him a spotlight on his originals (8 of the 10 songs on the original album were new). The lead cut, “Phone Booth”, is one of those Cray songs that sticks with you. The rest of the album is tasteful. Cray doesn’t overplay and keeps everything in his vocal range.
Cray doesn’t take any chances either, but at this point he was trying to establish himself and that was probably a smart move. For all of the good, the production sounds muddy and flat, so that is a little detriment to the album.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: “Phone Booth” was covered by Albert King, and “Bad Influence” was covered by Eric Clapton. Good company.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Two extra tracks, including a cover “I Got Loaded”, made famous later on by Los Lobos.
GRADE: B+: It’s good modern blues, with the production letting it down a bit.