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Robert Cray

A Conversation with Robert Cray (continued)

PM: I read a lot of reviews in the press kit. It's funny to see the big deal the press made out you playing the electric sitar.

RC: Yeah, I know, it's funny, isn't it?


PM: It's just a plank with a buzz bridge and a pickup, right?

RC: Exactly. Well, you know where they want to go with that. I mean, the thing is, it's like, "Oh, here's this guy who plays blues guitar. What is he doing with a sitar?"

PM: [laughs]

RC: So that's why there's a big buzz about it.

PM: No pun intended.

RC: [laughs] Yeah.

PM: Besides the six string, are there other axes you like playing around the house? Are you a nylon string guy or a ukulele guy?

RC: I have a nylon string guitar, but I don't pick it up that much. But I do play acoustic guitar around the house.

PM: Not banjo, mando, any of that stuff?

RC: No, no. Unfortunately.

PM: Well, hey, we're not dead yet.

How about "Back Door Slam," one of the Bonnie and Kevin [Hayes] tunes, did radio pick up on that?

RC: That was the first track that was released as a single. And so it got some play, but it didn't hang on there that long.

PM: Did they push a second one out there?

RC: "Up in the Sky" is being pushed.

PM: Oh, wow.

RC: And that's to come out fairly soon, actually.

PM: Yeah, speaking of electric sitar.

RC: Uh-huh.

PM: Oh, is your electric sitar a Jerry Jones or a—

RC: Actually, no it's not, but it's modeled after that. As a matter of fact, when we were recording the album, Jim brought up the idea of me doing that. But he also had done some research into a guy in Oakland who did basically the same thing, but he was taking really cheap guitars and putting the big piece of wood block underneath the strings on it, so you know, I picked it up for a very good price. [laughs]

PM: Oh, really? Do we know that guy's name so we’ll give him a bump?

RC: His name is Ronnie Sargent. I don’t know if he has a website or not.

PM: We’ll look into it.

[Had a fun conversation with Ronnie a couple weeks later. He makes lots of weird things, but doesn't have a website yet. He's in Oakland, CA, his number is (510) 444-5408, he said he is happy for us to include it in the interview and he'll get back to us when his site is up.]   continue

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