Robert Cray – Midnight Stroll (1990)

FrontCover1Robert Cray adds a bit more soul to the mix on this album, which features the Memphis Horns most prominently. Most of the songs are Cray doing what Cray does best–slow, soulful, done-me-wrong (or, alternatively, I-done-wrong) songs chock full of great guitar. No complaints there, and when he adds a bit of vocal growl here and there, as on the album opener “The Forecast (Calls for Pain)” (also featuring some excellent bass from Richard Cousins), and the slow shuffle “Holdin’ Court,” it keeps things interesting. This album indicates a slight shift in Cray’s direction; although he’s always included a touch of soul in his blues, here it’s more pronounced than before, a tendency he continued in subsequent recordings. (by Genevieve Williams)

If you are a Robert Cray fan and you don’t own this CD, shame on you!! This disc represents Cray’s blues/soul/funk hybrid at its most refined and well executed. The recordings that preceded this one were excellent, but something was missing. The records which came afterwards are great but are also too smooth and overproduced. Midnight Stroll marks the pinnacle for Cray, it manages to be tough, smooth, edgy, humorous, mean and loving all at the same time, quite an achievement! The songwriting is brilliant, and the disc tells a story, which any great recording should. There is not a throwaway tune on here, in fact each tune is a tour de force in songwriting and muscianship. Finally the horns add an excellent touch for the first time on a Cray record.(by an amazon customer)

Richard Cousins (bass)
Robert Cray (guitar, vocals)
Kevin Hayes (drums, percussion)
Tim Kaihatsu (guitar)
Jimmy Pugh (keyboards)
The Memphis Horns:
Wayne Jackson (trumpet, trombone)
Andrew Love (saxophone)

01. The Forecast (Calls for Pain) (Plenn/Walker) 4.00
02. These Things (Cray) 4.55
03. My Problem (Cray) 4.41
04. Labor Of Love (Kaihatsu) 3.56
05. Bouncin’ Back (Walker) 4.05
06. Consequences (B.Hayes/K.Hayes/Nogler) 4.24
07. The Things You Do To Me (Cray) 4.44
08. Walk Around Time (Hayes/Pugh/Washington) 4.18
09. Move A Mountain (Cray/Kaihatsu) 4.07
10. Holdin’ Court (Cousins/Hayes) 3.06
11. Midnight Stroll (Cray/Walker) 5.49