Chris Cain returns with his 15th solo album, and it’s marvelous. Joining forces with Alligator Records, Cain continues his musical path with troubled stories and a guitar style that combines Albert King with the harmonic sophistication found on the finest Steely Dan recordings. It’s an irresistible formula.
Funky grooves, toe-tapping shuffles, and ballads comprise an album with top-tier production. “Hush Money,” with its funky R&B grooves, horny horns, and wah, sets the mood. Cain brings an indelible touch and resonance to the blues, combining down-home sentiment with uptown feel and intelligent playing.
“Out Of My Head,” “I Don’t Know Exactly What’s Wrong With My Baby,” and “Can’t Find A Good Reason” is an inspiring revelation in the cross-pollination of blues-fusion guitar soloing over earthy R&B grooves. While Carlton and Ford are famous for this union of stylistic elements, Cain is a master of the silky-smooth bend, idiosyncratic pedal point, and the synthesis of B.B. and Albert King. On the gospel-tinged ballad “Down On The Ground,” Cain unleashes unadulterated fretboard genius.
Raisin’ Cain is sure to change Cain’s title from “Most criminally underrated blues guitarist” to “Most important blues player you need to hear.”
This article originally appeared in VG’s August 2021 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.