Blues guitar great Larry McCray has announced Blues Without You, his first new album in almost seven years.
Set for a March 25 release via Joe Bonamassa’s Keeping the Blues Alive Records, the album was produced by Bonamassa and fellow electric guitar ace Josh Smith, and also features guest appearances from Warren Haynes, Joanna Connor, and Reese Wynans.
You can check out the album's first single – the delightful, horn-powered "Arkansas" – below.
“This song is a reminder of my childhood, growing up in rural Arkansas in the 60’s,” McCray explained. “Feeding hogs, bailing straw, amongst all the other chores that a kid of that generation had to perform, and still, we found a way to find the joy and make it seem as though it was no work at all.
"I hope the people can feel that spirit when they listen to this music that was born from a generation whose prime has long come to pass.”
Over the course of his decades-long career, McCray has performed and toured with a near-encyclopedia of blues legends, among them B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Albert King, John Mayall, Johnny Winter, Robert Cray, Keb' Mo', and Jimmie Vaughan.
Though he endured a number of personal tribulations during that time, McCray said that creating Blues Without You was a cathartic experience, and has him feeling rejuvenated.
"Writing this album made me feel proud, as it allows others to see me as more than a blues musician,” he said in a statement. “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!”
You can check out the cover art and tracklist of Blues Without You below. To preorder the album, head this way.
Larry McCray – Blues Without You:
2. Without Love It Doesn't Matter
3. Good Die Young
4. Down To The Bottom (feat. Warren Haynes)
5. Breaking News
6. Roadhouse Blues
7. Drinkin’ Liquor And Chasin’ Women (feat. Joanna Connor)
8. Blues Without You (For Paul)
9. Mr. Easy (feat. Joe Bonamassa)
10. No More Crying
11. Don’t Put Your Dreams To Bed
12. I Play The Blues
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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.
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