Friday, January 7, 2011

Chris Cain: So Many Miles (2010)

I’ve always liked the way Chris Cain sounds. It’s as if he grew organically from the worn floor boards of any random bar around the globe that fills up at night and creates the stories that become our lives. So many musicians take the stage every night and play the same old Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf songs, and I can imagine a young Cain doing that as well, but he evolved into a musician that has so much depth and perception that he has to share it with a wider audience.
Cain has a big loud voice that is full of charisma. His guitar playing is very clean with a tone that reminds me of B.B. King but with a style more along the lines of Larry Carlton, who plays on one song of this album. Cain’s phrasing is equal parts blues and jazz with an even portion of human soul and sweat. The crisp tone is so tight and has a perfect complement in second guitarist Robben Ford. This pairing is like having Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen together. You can’t lose.
Now sometimes songwriters in blues get a little simple with songs about love and blah, blah, blah. Cain on the other hand tells stories of people whom I believe he sees in the crowd. Every face has its own unique road that led them to that particular barstool. A great writer can look in those eyes and pull that story out without a word spoken.
“So Many Miles” is a great song about the gravel Ike (President Eisenhower) laid around the U.S. This is another great traveling song. Remember this song when you start your next road trip. It sucks you into the album and there is no reason to stop the album at any point. There is the slower, swanky horn-infused “Late Night Jungle Dreams,” which sounds like a classic 1970′s flick. “Interplanetary Jam” is my favorite song on the album. The character in the song is so crazy and the guitar is so to stinging that you just get lost. The organ adds some swirling aura to the soundscape as well.
This album really has a little of everything on it: great lyrics, horns, organ, and a healthy dose of guitar, but nothing is overdone; it is all done with taste. Cain is a talented musician who has a large following, but who couldn’t use a larger one? I always liked him better than say Joe Kubek, but Kubek seems to be more popular. I’m not at all knocking Smokin’ Joe, but they could be considered for the same fan base and I think Chris Cain has always put out more solid albums through time than many musicians.
01. So Many Miles
02. Tomorrow’s Gonna Be A Better Day
03. Late Night Jungle Dreams
04. Down At Dinos
05. Interplanetary Jam
06. Til The Morning Light
07. The Decline Of Golden Boy
08. While the City Sleeps
09. East Foothill Fingerprints
10. Something Just Won’t Let Me Turn Around
So Many Miles
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