See Robert Cray Band in concert Nov. 9, as part of Alys Stephens Center’s 25th anniversary season

Enjoy a night of great music — new songs and classics — when Cray returns to the Alys Stephens Center, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9.

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Outdoor photo of Robert Cray with a guitar. Enjoy a night of great music — new songs and classics — when fan favorite Robert Cray Band returns to the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, Nov. 9.

The concert is set for 7 p.m. Enjoy an inside look into the history of blues music, shared by a local blues expert, during a free pre-show “Inside the Arts” talk at 6 p.m. General admission tickets are $49 and on sale now. UAB’s COVID-19 policies require mask-wearing indoors. Call 205-975-2787 or visit to purchase tickets or for more information.

The Alys Stephens Center is celebrating its 25th anniversary season beginning this fall. Alys Stephens Center members are given first priority for concert and artist announcements and tickets. For more information or to become a member, click here.

Open ears and an open mind are the essence of singer, guitarist and songwriter Cray’s approach to writing, recording and playing music, according to his artist’s statement. He has created a sound that rises from American roots and is yet fresh and familiar today. In just more than 40 years, Cray and his band have recorded 20 studio releases, 15 of which have been on the Billboard charts, and played in bars, concert halls, festivals and arenas around the world. There are five Grammy Awards with Cray’s name on them. “In the Eighties and Nineties, Robert Cray was widely considered B.B. King’s heir to the blues crown,” Rolling Stone magazine wrote.

In February 2020, Cray released his latest album, “That’s What I Heard.” Cray and his band came in hot from the road to begin work on the album. 

“Hearing is a funny thing,” wrote J.D. Considine about “That’s What I Heard.” “It’s not just receiving sound — it’s understanding and interpreting it, making sense of the various vibrations swirling around our heads. That’s how two people can listen to the same thing and come away with opposite impressions. The sounds may be the same, but the comprehension isn’t. 

“The first time I played the album, I was struck by what seemed to me to be a distinct Sam Cooke vibe to the music, an impression initially sparked by the rollicking gospel groove of ‘Burying Ground,’ but also by the sweet singing and classic 6/8 feel of ‘You’ll Want Me Back.’ It wasn’t just the churchiness of the former, nor the tuneful sophistication of the latter; it was the way those two elements intertwined to create a feeling that was just as evident in the other songs.”