The Bay City Blues is our weekly showcase of world class Blues music and superb instrumental talent. This event is a celebration of the Blues in all its forms and an adventure into the depth of a national genre. Hosted by the nationally recognized Chris Cain & his All-Star cast of Musicians, every week they invite a new special guest to accompany them on stage and present new, upcoming, & old talent from the blues world! Bay City Blues is our tribute and exploration into the Blues genre, it is a special event in which we all get to help, share, & “Preserve the Blues."
Special Guest: Nancy Wright
“Her tenor is, by turns, slathered with Noble “Thin Man” Watts Southern-fried grease, robust with King Curtis soulfulness and buffed to a gleam with pungent Junior Walker funk.”
– Frank-John Hadley, Downbeat
Though she’s called the Bay Area home for 30 years, Wright’s saxophone career got its start in Dayton, Ohio. She was a classically-trained bassoon player majoring in Music, when the university theater department offered her the sax player role in a production of “Cabaret.” Arriving early for rehearsal one day, she found a group of musicians in the hallway jamming on the blues. They invited her to sit in. “The coin dropped that day,” says Wright, “and I discovered the world of improvisation.” Having trained on piano, violin, concert harp, flute and brass, as well as bassoon, Wright says it was also “a question of finally getting to the right instrument.”
While in Dayton, she discovered a mentor in Lonnie Mack, one of the founding fathers of blues-rock guitar, joining him regularly on stage. She also toured with Grammy-award winner John Lee Hooker, performing at Carnegie Hall and the Mississippi Delta Blues Festival, and performed with Stevie Ray Vaughn, Albert King, and Albert Collins.
Wright first appeared on the Bay Area music scene in 1984 with the critically acclaimed New Orleans Rhythm and Blues Band, Hot Links. Following a successful North American tour, Wright and Hot Links were tapped to perform with Swamp Boogie Queen Katie Webster, appearing on her Arhoolie Records release, “You Know That’s Right.” Wright and Webster also performed together at the Chicago Blues Festival and appear together on B.B. King’s album, “Blues Summit,” winner of the 1994 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album.
About Chris Cain:
Chris Cain's jazz-tinged, blues soaked guitar and deep, warm vocals have the maturity and authenticity of bluesmen many years his senior. His expressive style is the result of a lifetime of study and the relentless pursuit of music mastery. His passion and intensity are a blend of his mother's Greek ancestry and his father's soulful black heritage.
Cain was raised on stories of his father’s childhood upbringing on Memphis’ Historic Beale Street and attended his first B.B King concert at the tender age of three. Blues music played continuously on the home stereo and family outings were often trips to concerts. Cain recalls, “I remember when I was a kid, my Dad would be mowing the lawn with the stereo blasting Muddy Waters. When I look back, that was pretty cool! There was always music playing at our house, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Freddie King, Albert King, all the greats.”
Larry Nager (syndicated Scripts-Howard music critic) writes, “Nowadays most young blues players are Strat-wielding Stevie Ray Vaughan-a-bes. Not Chris Cain. With a voice that recalls B.B. King and a thick toned Gibson guitar sound reminiscent of Albert King, Cain is forging a unique style. With his own highly personalized songwriting, “Hall Of Shame” is a giant step in the development of one of the most compelling young bluesmen on today’s scene.”
Through his guitar mastery and remarkable songwriting ability, Chris Cain has established himself as a musical force to be reckoned with. And as San Jose Mercury News music reviewer John Orr writes, “more than anyone else, anywhere, Chris Cain represents the future of the blues.”