The distinguished Detroit-based blues guitarist LARRY MCCRAY will release his new studio album “Blues Without You” on March 25th.
The album is produced by Josh Smith & Joe Bonamassa and will be released via Joe’s non-profit label KTBA Records.
McCray, the second youngest of nine siblings, grew up living on a farm and played on the rustbelt club circuit near Saginaw, Michigan, with his brothers Carl on bass guitar and Steve on drums, in the early 1970s.
After high school, like many, McCray worked on the General Motors’ assembly line. He recorded Ambition, his debut album for Point Blank Records, produced in a Detroit friend’s basement studio, in 1991. He commenced touring with label-mate, Albert Collins.
His 1993 follow-up, Delta Hurricane, was produced by the veteran British blues devotee, Mike Vernon.
In 1999, McCray recorded a cover version of Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower for the tribute album, Tangled Up in Blues. Since “Ambition” he’s released a further eight albums.
Writing this album made me feel proud…LARRY MCCRAY
His 2022 12-track collection also features performances by Joe Bonamassa, Warren Haynes, Joanna Connor, and Reese Wynans.
“Writing this album made me feel proud,” he says.
“It allows others to see me as more than a blues musician […] the songs are reflective of my broad taste in music styles and the subject matter, although personal at times, is relatable to anyone’s life. Hopefully, the words and message of the songs will help others express their feelings in a similar synopsis.”
“I feel totally reborn, with a whole new career, and I’m optimistic about what the future holds […] But truthfully speaking, sometimes I do wish it would have happened 30 years ago. I would have been much more qualified for the job at that age than at 62…”
“Larry McCray is a legend,” added Bonamassa. “We have known that for 30 years. He is the last of the great blues shouters from the rust belt. In the spirit of BB King, Luther Allison and Little Milton, Larry is among the greats. It’s now up to the world to rediscover him. He has been here all along.”
The first single to be taken from the album, titled “Arkansas” (video shared below) is about growing up in a rural setting in the 1960’s and is, thus, a cool and refreshing bounceback of groovy rhythms, sporting a dandy-peachy blues lick early in the song. The vocal delivery is natural & stylish, like sour cherry and pistachio, and the guitar-work is breathtaking!
This is veteran poignancy seasoned with savvy!
Main photo: credit Peggy Smith
Pre-order here: https://shop.jbonamassa.com/collections/larry-mccray