Blues Bytes

Feburary 1997

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Chris Cain Band
Late Night City Blues
Blue Rock'It

The following review was first published in the November 1994 issue of the Phoenix Blues Society’s Blues News. Needless to say, Late Night City Blues is still one of my favorites by this talented Bay Area blues artist. Since the original publication of this review, Cain has released a third CD for Blind Pig Records.

The first effort by the San Francisco-based Chris Cain Band originally came out on vinyl in 1987, but received very limited distribution. It’s a shame since I thought then that this album deserved to be heard by a lot more people. Now that Blue Rock’It has re-released it on CD, everyone gets a second chance to pick up on Late Night City Blues. Since the original issue of this album, Cain has done two CDs for Blind Pig Records. I’m surprised that they never grabbed the rights to this disk.

Chris Cain is a strong guitarist in the style of B.B. King and has a big deep voice that shouts out his original tortured blues tunes. This guy must have had some kind of serious hurt from more than one woman! The band really cooks on all nine numbers from the disk. "Wake Up And Smell The Coffee" starts things out smokin’, as Cain announces that he’s finally had enough with a failed relationship. The title cut is a slow, after hours blues that features some particularly tasty guitar.

One of the best numbers, "A Woman Don’t Need (To Have A Reason To Give A Man The Blues)," has Cain giving some heartfelt advice to all of the men out there. Ironically, some of the strongest solos on this tune comes from the lone woman in the band, keyboardist Liz Fischer. The album momentarily takes on a more cheerful mood with "She Takes Good Care Of Me," but eventually Cain takes the listener back to some serious blues with "Lonely Room."

Seven years later, Late Night City Blues is still a gem. If you missed it then, pick it up now.

- Bill Mitchell

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