Larry McCray’s Blues Without You has been voted Blues Rock Review’s #1 album of 2022. The album earned the top spot in Blues Rock Review’s annual Top 20 Albums list which is compiled through a vote from the Blues Rock Review staff (50%) and the fans (50%). McCray becomes the 9th artist to receive the honor in the 12 year history of the list.
“I cannot believe it,” McCray told Blues Rock Review via a Zoom call following the announcement. “I’m blown away. I’ve been out here a long time and I’ve never received this type of acknowledgement or recognition and there’s a whole long list of people I need to thank for their efforts as well.”
Blues Without You was McCray’s first album released in seven years.
“It is the most humbling thing that I’ve ever had happen to me in my career,” McCray said about the support the album has received from fans. “It just lets you know that it is worth all the effort. Sometimes when you’re out there doing it and it seems that it makes a difference to no one, it’s hard to keep going. I had said during the pandemic that I was done going on the road. I had no plans of coming back to the business.”
That changed when McCray connected with Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith who produced the album.
“To have Josh Smith and Joe Bonamassa helping me was the situation that I had dreamed of for years,” said McCray. “The thing that made it such a special bond between me and those guys is that I respect them as musicians and they can not only tell me about an idea, but they could also show me, and that makes a big difference.”
In an Instagram post, Smith congratulated McCray and said, “In my opinion it’s the finest contemporary blues album released in a long, long time.”
McCray also shared a message for his supporters saying, “This is very rewarding for me personally but I couldn’t have done it without the people and the people that have supported my music. Without them I would be nowhere.”
When asked about plans for the follow up to Blues Without You, McCray said, “I have a lot of material on deck. I’ve got a lot of stuff waiting and I’m just waiting for the green light in terms of when it’s time to try to do it again.”
McCray is continuing to tour in support of Blues Without You and is also playing dates with the Allman Family Revival.