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The Eastern End of Long Island, New York City’s backyard beach getaway, offers a variety of fun activities for all ages and interests. From Riverhead to Greenport to Montauk, there are the Hamptons, North Fork farms and vineyards, breweries, scenic beaches, and stunning views. From tall ship festivals to music festivals to drag racing events, to the Long Island Aquarium, Splish Splash, and the Parrish Art Museum, there’s something for everyone.

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The Robert Cray Band at Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center

Robert Cray, a prominent figure in blues, soul, and R&B for over four decades, boasts five Grammy wins, induction into the Blues Hall of Fame, and an Americana Lifetime Achievement award. Growing up in the Northwest, he drew inspiration from diverse influences such as the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, Bobby Bland, Jimi Hendrix, and the Beatles. Cray’s teenage band was particularly drawn to Southern Soul and blues, with Albert Collins shaping their early direction.

In 1974, the Robert Cray Band formed in Eugene, Oregon, igniting a musical journey. Their debut release in 1980, “Who’s Been Talkin’,” gained attention across the Northwest and California, leading to packed venues. Influential musicians like John Lee Hooker appreciated the band’s talent, solidifying their presence in the blues scene.

The turning point came with the 1986 album “Strong Persuader,” featuring hits like “Smoking Gun.” The Cray Band’s fusion of blues and soul gained widespread recognition, earning them a place on rock radio stations. Their subsequent albums, “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” and “Midnight Stroll,” further increased their popularity.

Cray’s collaboration with Eric Clapton on “Old Love” and involvement in Keith Richards’ Chuck Berry film highlighted his growing influence. Despite their blues roots, the Cray Band embraced diverse influences, attracting a broad audience. Cray’s fame soared in the ’90s, marked by collaborations with Clapton, the Stones, and Bonnie Raitt.

Throughout the ’90s, the Cray Band recorded six albums, showcasing their versatility. Albums like “Shame + A Sin,” “Some Rainy Morning,” and “Sweet Potato Pie” demonstrated a soulful evolution. Collaborating with producer Steve Jordan and Memphis soul icon Willie Mitchell, Cray delved deeper into soul sounds with albums like “Take Off Your Shoes.”

In the 2000s, the Cray Band continued to thrive, recording seven albums, including Grammy-nominated works like “Twenty” and “This Time.” Recent releases like “Nothing But Love” and “In My Soul” returned them to the Billboard Charts. Cray’s latest project, “Robert Cray with Hi Rhythm,” produced by Jordan, features recordings at Royal Studios in Memphis with the renowned Hi Rhythm section.

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Mar 23 2024


8:00 am



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Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center


Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center
76 Main Street Westhampton Beach, NY 11978
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