With five Grammy Awards, 15 nominations, millions of record sales worldwide, and thousands of sold-out performances, rock blues icon Robert Cray is considered “one of the greatest guitarists of his generation.” Rolling Stone Magazine said in their April 2011 issue; crediting Cray with reinventing the blues with his “distinct razor sharp guitar playing” that “introduced a new generation of mainstream rock fans to the language and form of the blues” with the release of his ‘Strong Persuader’ album in 1986.
Since then, Cray has gone on to record fifteen Billboard charting studio albums and has written or performed with everyone from Eric Clapton to Stevie Ray Vaughan, from Bonnie Raitt to John Lee Hooker. Inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame at the age of 57, he is one of the youngest living legends to receive the prestigious honor.
Co-headlining the show is an incredible new collaboration of March Cohn ft. Blind Boys of Alabama!
This show is a homecoming of sorts for Mr. Cohn, a Beachwood High School graduated (just minutes from Cain Park), who began his college journey at Oberlin College in Ohio before transferring to UCLA. Cohn is a Grammy Award-winning recording artist who solidified his place as one of the most compelling singer-songwriters of our generation. Hit songs like “Walking In Memphis” (one of this preview writer’s all-time favorite tunes) speak to the transformational power of music, combining the precision of a brilliant tunesmith with the passion of a great soul man.
Hailed as “gospel titans” by Rolling Stone, the Blind Boys of Alabama first rose to fame in the segregated South with their thrilling vocal harmonies and roof-raising live shows. The group released its debut single, “I Can See Everybody’s Mother But Mine,” on the iconic Veejay label in 1948, launching a 70-year recording career that would see them rack up five Grammy Awards (plus one for Lifetime Achievement), enter the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, collaborate with everyone from Mavis Staples and Stevie Wonder to Prince and Lou Reed, and perform on the world’s most prestigious stages.
The collaboration of Cohn and the Blind Boys of Alabama recently performed together on an episode of the PBS series The Kate, which will aired May 24.
The two acts have combined their talents in the studio and are scheduled to release ‘Work to Do,’ via BMG. Produced by John Leventhal, the unique collection combines the songwriting talents of Cohn with the soul-stirring harmonies of Blind Boys of Alabama!
‘Work to Do’ is comprised of three studio tracks by Cohn and the Blind Boys (two originals, including the title track, and a version of the gospel standard “Walk In Jerusalem”) plus seven intimate live performances recorded at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook, CT. Original plans were to release an EP containing the studio tracks, but the excitement and magic captured during the taping inspired the decision to create this unique hybrid album.
Reserved pavilion seats are priced at $50 or $40. General admission lawn tickets are a bargain $25 each. Tix can be purchased online via the link below: