RIVERSIDE, IA (November 15, 2013) — The Robert Cray Band’s tour itinerary includes Harrah’s Casino in NJ, Savannah Music Hall in GA and the Royal Hall in North Yorkshire. His stop in Iowa consisted of an appearance on November 13th at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines and Riverside Golf and Casino November 15th. Riverside was at near capacity, which exemplifies the level of performers Riverside can attract with their state of the art sound system, stage and lighting, not mention their hospitality.
Robert Cray started promptly at 8:00 to cheers of excitement. He began to play as soon as the guitar tech gave him his signature stratocaster. In fact he played through the music on the PA. Once the house music ceased he turned up the volume and proceeded to begin his first song of many. Robert Cray is 100% pure class. He let his playing speak for for the most part and kept his talking to a minimum. His talking usually was an intro the meaning of the song. He did play his well known songs such as Strong Persuader, Smoking Gun, and The Forecast (Calls For Rain). One of my favorites of the night was Sitting on Top of the World, first recorded in 1930 by the Mississippi Sheiks. The most well known version was from Cream’s Wheels of Fire in 1968. Roberta Cray has not covered the song since January 30, 2011.
Testimony of his greatness as a legendary guitarist was his appearance with Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughn at Alpine Valley that claimed the life of Stevie Ray Vaughn in a freak helicopter accident. Robert Cray was in stellar form at Riverside where he delivered some of the best guitar playing I have heard.