Let's have a look at a new figure on the Canadian blues circuit. Brian Blain is a native of the eastern townships of Quebec. That's the portion of Quebec that borders on Vermont and New Hampshire. You're thinking to yourself that this isn't a likely setting for a bluesman. You're right!
Brain Blain didn't begin with the blues but played everything from Bach to the Beatles. Music has been part of his life for forty of his sixty years. Like many others, Blain learned the blues from an old 1964 Folkways LP by Jerry Silverman The Art Of The Folk-Blues Guitar
. He learned his craft very well and is now an accomplished guitarist.
More importantly, Blain is a brilliant writer incorporating everyday experiences and situations into his lighthearted blues songs. Happily, the new CD Overqualified For The Blues
is composed of a dozen original works and one cover tune. From the sentimental "Enfant Choisi" to the funny and topical "Hi-Tech Blues," the singer holds his listener's attention.
Brian Blain moved to the Toronto area fifteen years ago and uses many of that city's top musicians on the new album. The backbone of the Downchild Blues Band backs Blain on "Hi-Tech Blues." The title tune "Overqualified for the Blues" features harp ace Paul Reddick and ex- Janis Joplin piano-man Richard Bell. Guitarist extraordinaire Harry Manx appears on Blain's politically oriented "Peace."
Brian Blain's CD is a portrait of a folk-blues artist having fun with his music. He pokes fun at the music industry and especially the press with "One More Weasel." Thanks Brian! His "Saab Story" tells the funny tale of a girl and her car. Blain's guitar artistry comes to the forefront on the beautiful "Sailing." This reviewer enjoyed the guitarist's cover of Betty James and Edward Johnson's "I'm A Little Mixed Up." Brian Blain could put a smile on a gargoyle.