This week WUKY’s DeBraun Thomas features a guitarist continuing a rich Kentucky tradition.
Lexington Native CJ Cain first picked up a guitar at 13. He first fell in love with the blues, an influence that came from his mother. Cain’s musical interests changed one weekend when his father, who is also a musician took him to the Festival of the Bluegrass. Cain says what he loves most about Bluegrass is the culture of jamming and improvisation.
“The typical cool thing about Bluegrass is you learn these standard tunes and everyone speaks the same musical language, even a beginner, they know, most of them know the etiquette of jamming and what to expect and you can sit down and play music with a complete stranger and make music with someone you don’t even know and it’s kind of a magical thing.”
It has come full circle for Cain now as he is performing at Festival of the Bluegrass with his group Newtown. Newtown tours around the country and currently their song Widow’s Ghost, which was written by Cain, is listed number 12 on the Bluegrass Today charts. Cain attributes his success to every musician who has helped him along the way and tries to do for younger musicians, what his heroes did for him.
“I was very fortunate to be around good musicians and not just good in the sense of playing good, I mean they were good people, like they showed me how to be a good professional musician by treating fans and people that wanted to learn from you or just say hi, they taught me to treat people right, you know.”
C.J. Cain performs with The Newtown Bluegrass Band. Newtown plays Tuesday at The Southland Jamboree for the Best of Bluegrass and again Saturday at 1pm at the Festival of the Bluegrass. More information about Cain and Newtown can be found at the newtownband.com.