Blues master and San Jose native Chris Cain has been wowing audiences all over the world with his soulful voice and incendiary guitar playing. His jazz-tinged, blues soaked guitar and deep, warm vocals have the maturity and authenticity of bluesmen many years his senior. His expressive style is the result of a lifetime of study and the relentless pursuit of music mastery. His passion and intensity are a blend of his mother's Greek ancestry and his father's soulful black heritage.
Cain was raised on stories of his father's childhood upbringing on Memphis' Historic Beale Street Dad introduced him to Ray Charles, Guitar Slim and B.B. King. Mom turned him on to Michael Bloomfield. Blues music played continuously on the home stereo and family outings were often trips to concerts. He attended his first concert at the tender age of three - B.B King and was changed forever. Cain recalls, "I remember when I was a kid, my Dad would be mowing the lawn with the stereo blasting Muddy Waters. When I look back, that was pretty cool! There was always music playing at our house, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Freddie King, Albert King, all the greats."
At the age of eight, Cain taught himself to play guitar and began playing professionally before he was eighteen. Chris studied music at San Jose City College, and was soon teaching jazz improvisation on campus. The combination of his blues upbringing and his jazz studies melded to form the searing guitar style that sets Chris Cain apart and has moved him to the top ranks of the blues music scene. Cain's ’87 debut DIY recording, Late Night City Blues showcased his fine original songs and fat-toned guitar work. Bill Dahl noted that Cain "goes down smooth as a blast of Southern Comfort (and kicks just as hard)“. On the strength of his debut album, Cain and his band were nominated for four W.C. Handy awards, including "Guitar of the Year" and "Blues Band of the Year.” Offers to play festivals all over the country soon followed. Festival gigs enabled Cain to play on the same stage with some of his boyhood heroes and musical influences, including B.B. King and Ray Charles. “It was like a dream come true to have B.B. call me in the room and say, "Hey, can I have your pick? Hey, you can have the guitar! Albert Collins, he was so kind. And Albert King. It's beyond anything I would have imagined. These were on my wall; now they're coming to my gigs. I just thought, "Wow." It blows my mind.”
Some music has the power, the elegance, and the full-throated roar of the big cats. Graceful, luxurious and powerful, it entices you and draws you in with the hypnotic power of a tiger's eyes. Chris Cain is like that. His monster guitar chops, big bass voice and huge stash of original songs place him in the vanguard of contemporary blues. His work is solidly within the tradition yet pulls and stretches the form by including elements of jazz, R&B, funk and pop. An example of how, is his tribute to hero, Albert King: "World Got The Blues At Sunrise". It uses the mentor’s style without copying it. From this jumping off point he demonstrates his mastery over a plethora of blues styles that incorporate jazzy nightclub feels to raunchy after-hours raves. Chris presents a seamless and sophisticated set of contemporary guitar based blues. Through his guitar mastery and remarkable creativity as a songwriter, Cain has carved out a sound that’s unmistakably his own establishing himself as a musical force to be reckoned with. And as San Jose Mercury News music reviewer John Orr put it, "more than anyone else, anywhere, Chris Cain represents the future of the blues."
“Separate Ways (Worlds Apart):