Born in rural Eastern Ontario, Rick “Caindawg” Adams heard his first country blues circa 1969 via the powerful FM station CHOM, Montreal.
The classic Blue Thumb label album Memphis Swamp Jam and especially the haunting sound of then 100-year-old Nathan Beauregard doing Nathan’s Bumblebee Blues was a favourite with late night DJ’s. The soul-etching had begun.
You can hear that soulful sound at the Royal Coachman’s Sunday Jazz this Sunday.
In the early 1970’s, Adams moved to Ottawa and now revelled in constant jam sessions and his growing record collection.
Influences from Johnny Winter, classic blues artists Furry Lewis, Bukka White and Fred McDowell, bluegrass wizards Tony Rice and Doc Watson and especially his adopted mentor John Paul Hammond, Jr. were added to the stew.
He bought his first good guitar, a Gibson Southern Jumbo.
String popping pull-offs and back beat thumb rolls now combined to define the hypnotic grooves that were happening.
Charlie Patton meets Michael Hedges, Fred McDowell meets Earl Scruggs. Delta blues, bluegrass and rock blues combined and morphed into the hard-driving, fast picking tunes that now poured out from under the steel finger pick’s and slide tubes.
Fast forward to the late 1990’s and Adams, now living on northern Vancouver Island, decides it’s time to get a little more serious about his music.
After nearly 30 years of playing around street corners, campfires and coffee houses from coast to coast, he starts organizing regular performances in the cozy lodge of the small community ski hill of Mt.Cain. “Caindawg” is born and the moniker applied to his first independent CD release, 2002’s “at the end of my chain.”
Whether it’s the relative solitude of the place Adams calls home, or the isolation in which he established his musical foundation, Caindawg has developed a truly unique voice.