Cain, 44, is a California native who came under the spell of the guitar styles of Riley "B.B." King, Albert King and Albert Collins. He put together a tough band in the 1980s that included dazzling saxophonist Noel Catura, and they built a solid following in the blues clubs around the Bay Area.
After recording a hard to find W.C. Handy Award-nomination album for Patrick Ford's tiny Blue Rock'It label in 1987, Cain hooked on with Blind Pig, where he stills resides. On his CDs, Cain uses his throaty vocals and Gibson-inspired guitar tone as effective counterpoints to his musical interplay with the fellow musicians who join him in the studio or on the stage.
His passion and intensity are a blend of his mother's Greek ancestry and his father's soulful black heritage. Raised on stories of his father's childhood upbringing on Memphis' Historic Beale Street, Cain cut his teeth on early recordings by Ray Charles, "B.B." King, Albert King and Michael Bloomfield.
At the age of eight, Cain taught himself to play guitar and began playing professionally before he was eighteen. He studied music at San Jose City College and soon mastered piano, bass guitar, clarinet and alto and tenor saxophone.
"Live at the Rep" was recorded at San Jose Repertory Theater June 26, 1998 and contains 10 tracks of which four are tunes Cain performed in the musical score "Thunder Knocking on the Door: A Blusical Tale of Rhythm & the Blues." A decent CD that finds Cain singing with a distinct and deep baritone voice and playing his guitar in the same vein.
(408) 793-5122 or P.O. Box 1271 Santa Cruz, Calif. 95061-1271
This review is copyright © 2000 by Matt Alcott, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.