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Worth checking out

Somewhere Along the Way
Somewhere Along the Way
By Chris Cain

Blind Pig Records: 1995

This review first appeared in the January 5, 1996 issue of the North County Times.

Chris Cain is part of a new generation of blues artists – Robert Cray, Kenny Neal, Joe Louis Walker – who came of age in the 1980s and are now coming into their own. Cain's third album for Blind Pig Records contains some pretty tasty guitar licks and some decent songs – but lacks the fire that might propel him into the mainstream.

As an instrumentalist, Cain is in the first rank – his guitar leads and solos show spark and humor. He rarely repeats himself on guitar, and he knows how to bed a string to get maximum feeling from each note.

But he's just not as strong as a vocalist. Inexplicably uneven, at times he's a smooth singer in a B.B. King mold, while at other times he's barely competent. At his best (as on the title track), he is phenomenal. At other times, his singing is a serious impediment to enjoying his playing ("Street of Broken Dreams").

Still, the excellence of his guitar playing makes him worth checking out.