Of all the modern blues men, Robert Cray has had one of the most successful and lasting careers. He broke out on FM rock radio in 1987 with his hit, "Smoking Gun," from his Grammy Award winning album, Strong Persuader. Although he has not had another song that crossed over as well in his career, Cray has consistently made strong blues records, featuring his fluid guitar stylings.
Cray, an educated, well-dressed guitarist is an artist most music fans would not expect to be a successful blues artist. After all, you have to suffer to play the blues, right? And Cray does not appear to have come from the school of hard knocks and heartaches. Still, he plays and sings with total conviction and brings a strong bent toward the traditional soul music sound of the classic Stax-Volt records of the 1960s and early 1970s to his modern blues songs.
Cray never again received the same success as he did during the late 1980s. He continued to record for MCA for the next few years, before moving over to the Rykodisc label, where he made two albums. He is currently signed to Sanctuary Records, and he continues tour, now with a greater leaning toward being a traditional soul music singer.