Raising Kain
With Lit Up Inside coming in the autumn I was thinking of the lyrics of a Van Morrison song, ‘Back on Top’, intrigued by the title of this new record. “Just how you get there will be anybody’s guess / With all the so called trappings of success / Left all the deadbeats on the top of the hill / Too busy raisin’ Cain’.” Dave Kain, a new name to me, has left no pun on his surname languishing underused on earlier albums Citizen Kain, the spectacularly monikered No Pain No Kain, and even (there’s no doubt about this at all incidentally on the new record) Kain is Able. That ‘Ability’ and flair is easy to pick up on this enjoyable trio album full of good tunes the guitarist joined by double bassist Thomson Kneeland, and drummer Joe Abba recorded in New Jersey just in March. The guitarist reminds me a little of a slightly more introspective version of John Abercrombie and on a tune such as the yearning ‘Lie and Deny’ a piece that exudes a bittersweet quality an attribute that Kain seems to specialise in and run with, the bassist and drummer letting the guitarist express himself fully on an unselfconscious set. It also made me want to listen to Gateway once more for which I’m very grateful, but Kain hopefully will become better known if enough people get to check out this record and realise that as Jon Cowherd of the Brian Blade Fellowship band has commented it’s by a player “who writes intelligent and thoughtful music that packs quite an emotional punch.” SG