Monday, October 10, 2005

Chris Cain

Man am I sick of the b.s. - let's get back to something real - this is a post I put out on Chris Cain's web site - It's time for a musical interlude!

While most everyone is out chasing the latest, greatest young gun or another disapointing release from the tried and true. Chris Cain has been doing his thing up and down the West coast for decades. That's his problem he needs to hit the East Coast for an extensive tour, and get over to Europe for a few months. But then again why should he? He's happy playing up and down the West Coast for stoked fans. To know Chris is to LOVE him.

I stumbled into a blues club out west called Larry Blakes. We were just looking for something to eat and maybe catch a local talent. Well before the band took the stage we discovered the juke box and after hearing Bobby Bland's version of Stormy Monday from that Juke Box we were aware that we might be in a vortex of musical righteousness. Then came this casual looking dude and his female keyboard player, and then the horns and that fat hollow body, and we chuckled knowingly - well we had no idea really how blown away we would be. From the opening note and vocal we felt like kids at Christmas died and gone to heaven.

The thing about Chris is that he plays with power and passion and very clean - in both his lyrical phrasing and playing. The musical thoughts are given full room to expand and his phrasing of guitar notes is not all flash and speed. He's using his ear too and playing tastefully and with vigor. Compared too often to B.B. King in his vocal sound - I think Chris's timber is a little lower and fuller, rounder, and that jazz body guitar just jumps. Well (of course after a night of dancing and howling) we bought the album "Late Night City Blues" and I went back east and played it on my radio show every chance I got. When it came out on CD I scooped it up. His later recordings for Blind Pig are just as clean and exceptional, and energetic and fun as ever but this first album with it's extended versions allows for some real breathing room for Chris and the band. It is a sure joy.

With a "cd" collection that includes, Layla, Allman Brothers Fillmore East, Coltrane, MJQ, Hank Mobly, The Band, Tons of Dead, Little Feat, Marshall Tucker, Doc Watson, Bonnie Raitt, Yes, Rolling Stones, Tony Rice, Ronnie Earl, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Robillard, Beatles, Skynyrd, Mozart, Bach, Vivaldi, Marley, Tosh, Kottke, Knopfler, Buddy Guy, Grissman, Grand Funk, Deep Purple, Bela Fleck, Tinsley Ellis, Dylan, Diddley and the Del Fonics - this is one of my favorite CD's ever!

You don't have to listen to Chris Cain - you don't have to buy his stuff, and he doesn't have to be famous - or come to your town, because wherever he is there is always a crowd and people dying to see him play and club owners and event organizers and record labels tripping all over themselves to hear him, and get him up on stage. This "cat" is the real deal - seriously!

1 comment:

lonbud said...

Can I get an AMEN on that, brother Paul!

I owned a little bar in San Francisco called the Ace Cafe back in the mid 90s -- damn, has it been 10 years already -- and I booked Chris to play for us a few times because his girlfriend was a gal I knew from the music scene in Memphis in the late 80s.

Chris played some of the most soulful, mind bending blues guitar I have ever witnessed live -- and I grew up in Memphis and lived in New Orleans (RIP) for four years.

If you get a chance to see Chris, don't let it slip away. Buy a CD of his music; if you love the blues you will wear the MF out!