John Hiatt and Robert Cray

This is a piquant pairing if there ever was one. At their best, Hiatt and Cray concoct music that rests on the edge between suave and rough, and when they get into that groove, their work is undeniably compelling. They come at it from different sources. Hiatt is the keen observer of life's travails and absurdities in post-folk song who sings with a rootsy bark and growl. Cray is the blues guitar man with a seductive six-string tone and a voice that declaims and swoons like a revival tent preacher in a fancy suit. Both have recently emerged from fallow periods to reclaim some of the inspiration and intensity of their earlier days. Oft paired on Reagan-era bills, they felt utterly complementary, back before Hiatt dropped his masterpiece, Bring the Family, and Cray was riding the wave of his signature album, Strong Persuader. Perhaps they can help throw a little magic each other's way again.
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Rob Patterson