About This Time by Robert Cray Band:
The five-time Grammy Award winner summarized 35 years of mastery on the debut Nozzle release Live From Across the Pond (2006), an electrifying two-CD concert set drawn from a series of shows (opening for Eric Clapton) at Londons Royal Albert Hall. When the time came to follow up that widely praised collection with a studio recording, Cray viewed it as an opportunity to move his sound in other directions.
He found exactly what he was looking for by turning to one of his oldest friends and colleagues: bassist Richard Cousins, whose tenure with the Robert Cray Band began with its barnstorming regional origins in Eugene, Oregon, in 1974 and extended through 1991, encompassing such early high-water marks as Strong Persuader (1986) and Dont Be Afraid of the Dark (1988), both winners of the best contemporary blues performance Grammy.
As ever with Robert Crays undefinable sound, the music on This Time remains stubbornly beyond category. He has been internationally admired as a stylist whose innovations have brought new life to the blues, and such punchy outings as Chicken in the Kitchen and Thats What Keeps Me Rockin should satisfy the most demanding blues fans. But the new albums barrier-busting material, whether its the soulful Love 2009 or the profound balladry of This Time and Forever Goodbye demonstrate once again that attempting to slot Cray in a single genre is an exercise in futility.