Gary Cain’s third album, “Outside the Lines,” was released on May 3rd. 

Gary Cain is a Canadian-born, Austin-based guitarist, singer, and songwriter with one foot planted firmly in the blues, and the other foot planted in seemingly everything else. He’s been called “ridiculously talented” and a “jaw-dropper” by Blues Matters Magazine. 

Long days of poring over the musical styles of blues legends gave him a deep respect for the music, but he’s not beholden to it. “I’m not a traditionalist.” He says: “What made those players so great was what they brought to the music to make it their own. Albert King was the best Albert King there’ll ever be. You gotta do your own thing with it.”

Recorded and mixed in Austin, Texas, the album intertwines Cain’s blues roots with rock, funk, and, in the case of the restrained and personal “Resting on My Mind,”  gospel and R&B. “It’s a snapshot of where I’m at as an artist and a person – an effort to find a new way forward and stay true to myself amid a lot of uncertainty and great personal loss.”

The death of Cain’s father in 2023 was devastating and sobering, catalyzing a new urgency in both life and art. It also reinforced a determination to forge ahead, evident in the tracks “Ain’t Giving Up,” and “Keep On Walking,” a pounding Hendrixian epic. Cain’s headlong forays outside the tried-and-true may twist the ear of blues traditionalists, but the guitar-slinger clearly sees them as a feature, not a bug, singing “You keep drawing the lines I’m going to color outside” in the pointed “Blues Enough.”.

Gary is a singer-songwriter who tells a story and pulls from his personal experiences to create his music.


And now, on to my review of the album of ten tracks, which runs to just over 37 minutes.

“Ain’t Got the Blues:” This opens the album with a great little rocker, a little storm brewing with rocking blues guitar. As an opening number, it has a decent groove and places a marker on the music to come. It slips in and out of the riffs and plays a mean guitar.

“Resting on my Mind:” has a funky feel to it, an easy dance sway. I could imagine listening to this one on a beach with my partner as I sway gently in his arms. The guitar work reminded me of Hank Marvin, with a lovely vibe with the notes heading out into the night sky. Gary says he hopes that I will choose to stick around, and I will!

“Pretty:” returns to a rockier edge. There is a solid bass beat with this track. It was a fine track, it settled into the album without grabbing me.

“Ain’t Giving Up:” on the other hand, is not settling anywhere! A heavy blues riff with a melodic chorus provides us with a track that I am sure would hit hard live. I liked the harmonised vocals in the chorus and this great guitar break mid-track that definitely rocks.

“Attitude:” is a track in a hurry! Play that guitar fast, with the notes flying out and the drums hitting a beat. Cool vocal performance, guitars assailing the amps, and attitude? Yes, definitely!

“Blues Enough for You:” is a track that certainly takes us to a smooth blues song that entertains and is one that I’m sure would sound great live. It is a track with a whole lot going on in the background in the mix, a lot of little musical run-ons giving us plenty of listening pleasure.

“Far from Home” This is an extended instrumental that seemed to belong in a movie without being in one! It is a great track, and I loved the feel of the piece. Sometimes we do feel far from home, and for me as a listener, there is that sadness in the guitar sound here. 

“Lie to Me” is one of the heaviest tracks on the album. It provides a solid vocal, and I liked those drums on this one. I was going to say it was a decent album number, but then the guitar break mid-section elevated it upward. It flies!

“I Don’t Care What You Say.” This one opens with a drum break and these little intricate guitar moves. It is a change of direction—one of those confident songs that sees you walking down the high street with your head up and feeling good! 

“Keep on walking.” This song was referenced at the start of this piece in the press release. It is another quite heavy track, but with more of a funk feel. I get the Hendrix touch in the guitars, and it ends the album with a feel of closure; it is positioned right in the running order.

Summing up, the much-missed fantasy writer Terry Pratchett wrote about music with rocks in it, and this has plenty of rocks and plenty of really cool instrumental breaks as well. Gary Cain is clearly having a whole lot of fun here; it got me up having a quick boogie or just enjoying the varied instrumental breaks at other times. Enjoyable fare all around!

Standout tracks: ““Ain’t Got the Blues,” “Resting on my Mind,” and “Far from Home.”

As a finishing point, to keep us improving the magazine, we really do need your support, and if you can go to the ‘support us’ button and buy us a coffee, it helps us feel appreciated and keep improving the magazine. We also have our merchandise shop, Lorraine, looking great in the gear! Read on, check out our many great features and reviews, and do bookmark us on your pages!

Download the album here

Artist Website here

By Stevie Ritson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.