Journeyman blues veteran discovers conscience and musical diversity on 13th album

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The Robert Cray Band – Time Will Tell

Book-ended by two songs?”Survivor” and “Time Makes Two”?which gingerly profess anti-war leanings, Cray’s latest isn’t quite the full-scale renewal that he’s claimed. There are contributions from Sly Stone horn players Cynthia Robinson and Jerry Martini, dashes of Latin/Caribbean rhythms and a psychedelic sitar alongside his R&B staples. It all makes Time Will Tell an amiable enough showcase for his road band but, no matter how good the grooves, Cray’s own compositions still struggle to be more than pallid genre exercises.