This guitarist was responsible for bringing blues back onto the charts in 1980s through songs that not only defined blues themes, but also added personal and modern twists. His smooth, soulful songs have been criticized by tin-eared critics who equate him with a yuppie-blues wannabe. Robert Cray, a blues-based artist, is one of the few who has the vision and talent to bring the idiom into 21st century. He doesn’t have to imitate the music or play rock while pretending it’s blues. His immensely popular records were a major factor in the modern blues boom, which still holds great sway today. Cray is blessed with a soulful voice, sometimes recalling O.V. from the 1960s. Cray’s international success was a joyous one, thanks to Wright’s soulful voice and his concise lead guitar technique that never wastes any notes. Cray’s 1980 debut album for Tomato was a success. His breakthrough Strong Persuader album, Mercury’s, won him a Grammy. It also contained “Smoking Gun” and he was able to raise his asking price for a single night’s work. Cray was born in Columbus, Georgia on August 1, 1953. Cray was an Army brat, having grew up in all parts of the country before his family settled in Tacoma in Washington in 1968. He listened to soul and rock, before becoming enthralled in blues music (and in particular the Telecaster of Albert Collins), which he played at Cray’s high school graduation. Cray formed his first band in 1974 with Richard Cousins, his long-time bassist. Collins was his backup band before they broke out on their own. Cray was briefly seen by the cinematic crew, even though they were not aware of his identity as the bassist for the frat party band Otis Day.