Cains & Abels @ Schubas (6/15)

credit: Cains & Abels’ Facebook

I have my high regard for Bare Mutants‘ music and David Sampson’s divine mane, I think, to thank for setting in motion such steadfast support for Cains & Abels these past few months. By that I mean it was Bare Mutants that got me through Saki’s door on Record Store Day and David’s excellent tuft of brown that had me stick around for more afternoon tunes. Shoulda picked up their seven-inch, come to think.

Not too far along after that, I published a review of their new one, My Life is Easy, and the album stands — year about half done — as my favorite of the year. Songs so accessible, yet curious and challenging all the same. (David’s words are as confounding as hell, you see, and yet I really appreciate the obscurities).

I’ve listened to My Life is Easy a ton, then, and so for most of its contents to be played live after a long day of work Friday was real gratifying. It had a kind of culminating effect on me in that I didn’t have context when I saw ’em at Saki, but dug in more at Schubas through the familiarity.

What’s striking is that David sounds about on record as he does on the stage. He’s got one of the more unique voices I’ve heard in awhile. Throaty, I think, yet distinguished and smooth, and clear. He’s as important if not much more important than any other instrument in the band. Because of him, Cains & Abels tunes can be spotted about a mile-and-a-half away. Huge, really, in an age of such sameness.

This isn’t from the same night, but enjoy a video of the guys from earlier in the year at Strobe. Tune is “Why Are You Lying to Me?” off My Life is Easy:

Video: “Why Are You Lying to Me?”


  • The Chicago-based Cains & Abels is David Sampson, Joshua Ippel and Jamie McGaw. | Facebook
  • My Life is Easy can be had for $12. | Whistler Records
  • Delighted C/A finished up Friday with “Grow Me Home”!
  • Heads up: Cains & Abels is playing the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival a/k/a the city’s best fest, in my opinion. Happens the weekend of July 20-22. | Milwaukee Arts Fest

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About Eric

Hello there. Email your things to chicagotunes[at]gmail[dot]com.
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