Now celebrating his twentieth year as a recording artist, Chris Canas has joined the Third Street Cigar Records roster with his new album, Detroit.
Yeah, you bet Chris is from the Motor City. They don't call him "Detroit's Prince Of The Blues" for nothing. And he got the title pretty quickly. When Chris found a broken down Fender bass (with just two strings remaining) in the back of his grandmother's garage as kid, he also found his true gifts. Already making a joyful noise playing jazz horn, Chris conquered the soon-to-be-fixed electric bass (and several more essential instruments) before settling in with a new guitar and a 4-track recorder, writing the songs for his first record at just 15 years of age.
Now, down the road apiece - but not even forty years old - Chris writes not as much as from aspiration as from experience. On Detroit, Chris walks us down the rough streets of his old 'hood, and makes it clear to anybody in ear shot that he's not here to be messed with. He dishes out warnings to anyone who might think of getting on his case in the scorching "Smoke In The City" and that goes double for the Sunday drivers and lazy boss men that we find in "Good Man About To Break Bad." Off the street and back at his own joint, Chris still finds discontent and pain, damnit. This time it comes from the woman he trusted and once called "Queen Of My World." And when he runs out of words about how much disappointment he's had to put up with, his Les Paul makes up the difference, with a solo that can break asphalt.
Yeah, a lot of the time Detroit has a pissed-off vibe. But it never feels like a cheap sell, and neither does the album plow the same musical ground over and over. The funk and hard soul that fuels Chris's city also powers the record of the same name, and he even finds room for a pinch of reggae in the recipe for "Cookie." And just a hint of another great music hub, New Orleans, can be found in the sunset simmer of "You Don't Give A Damn."
Other ingredients on Detroit were sourced from The D's neighbor to the south, Toledo. From the Glass City comes the incredible Nikki D Brown, and her second-to-none lap steel. And local journeyman jazzer Bob Manley adds his tenor sax to the horn section.
Detroit pulls no punches. But do you know a great blues album that does?