Thursday, May 31, 2007

Way back in Minnesota...

I didn't listen to this band or album when it was released. But hearing it later, it's not hard to understand that this band made quite a stir and made some fans believe this was the next big thing. Amazingly rockin' good hard rock, by very competent musicians. Great fun to listen to. And, for a '75 release, this is remarkably fresh & rocking. I only wish I bought it when it was released, then this Minnesota band would really have a place in my heart.

Jiggs Lee - Vocal
Dave Elmeer - Bass, keyboards
Lloyd Forsberg - Electric guitar
Kevin DeRemer - Drums

Cain was a hard rocking Twin Cities band that tried to take on the music industry in the mid-seventies. Their two small label albums were serious hard rock guitar extravaganzas, but with great fun original tunes, raucous lead vocals, and sweet backing vocals. Their influences ranged from the guitar of Deep Purple and Robin Trower, the majesty of Queen, and the vocal harmonies of Styx.
Cain's roots went back a number of years. In 1969, the Twin Cities band The Bananas went through some personnel changes. Guitarist Lloyd Forsberg, bassist Dave Elmeer, and keyboardist Al Dworsky brought in Jiggs Lee on vocals and Mike Mlazgar on drums. Jiggs (from the Grasshoppers) and Mike (from Crow!) replaced Jim Offerman and Joe Soucheray. A name change was desired and Lloyd came up with "Cain."

Like many local bands, Cain performed at teen clubs and school dances. Eventually, they worked their way up to college shows and started to gain a "heavy" reputation outside of the Twin Cities. Along the way, Mike Mlazgar was replaced by Tom Osfar and Al Dworsky was replaced by Jerry Magee. Of course, Cain started writing their own material. The popular ballad "Katy" was written by their next keyboardist, Chas Carlson. Their tours took them to neighboring states with gigs in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Carbondale. They worked clubs with other Midwest bands like Styx, Kansas, and Cheap Trick. More personnel changes occurred before they went in to the studio to record their first album in 1975: Tom Osfar was replaced by Kevin DeRemer (from the Everett James Band) and keyboards were dropped from the line-up entirely.

Their first hard rocking album was titled "A Pound of Flesh" (a reference to Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice"). It's not known what the band thought of the cover image that ASI Records' marketing department created.
The album's guitar sound brings to mind Richie Blackmore; the main riff of the album's opener "Queen of the Night" is in the same vein as Deep Purple's "Burn." Lloyd's Stratocaster sound ventures into Robin-Trower-land on "Badside." The album features an ode to girlie magazines on "If the Right Don't Get You the Left One Will," a big power ballad with "Katy," and an epic rocker with "All My Life." They supported the album with tours that took them as far as Texas.
In 1977, the second (and last) album in their ASI contract, "Stinger," was released. This album was just as hard rocking as the first, but the song writing really advanced. The Queen influences come out strong on "Welcome to the Dance" and the title track "Stinger" (which was a big live favorite when Jiggs broke out the burning book!). The album's Big Power Ballad was "The Minstrel Song."
A third album was only half completed in 1978 when disco and other pressures took its toll on the group. Dave and Jiggs left the group, while Lloyd and Kevin continued on as Cain for another year before calling it quits.

Where are they now? Today, Joe Soucheray is a broadcast professional (KSTP am 1500), author, and columnist (St Paul Pioneer Press). Jiggs works as a commercial sound system designer in the Twin Cities and recently returned to music performance himself with a 2003 solo album. Dave is an anesthesiologist in Minneapolis. Kevin married Melissa Manchester and so has continued in the music profession.

Cain - A Pound Of Flesh
BitRate 160

1. Queen Of The Night
2. Katy
3. South Side Queen
4. Badside
5. Born Of The Wind
6. Heed The Call
7. If The Right Don't Get You, The Left One Will
8. All My Life

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Residentevil2 said...

great to see you back,some cool stuff thanks. Hope you still going to post the first REX album.

Anonymous said...

Some good postings, but mostly from CD, do you have anyhing GENUINELY RARE from VINYL????????

Alocacoc said...

And, yes. And a new pc with lots of problems. The turntable are ready, a full format next, in a couple of days. Sorry for takin' quite some time. I'm jinxed when it comes to computers and the concept of 'working/functioning'.
But, soon I'll attack the vinyls.
Lookin' forward to that too. ;)

Rock Junkie said...

hey alocacoc i found you again here..
great blog and music!!! Keep it dude!

Anonymous said...

corrupt rar file again, lots of them here on yer pages, reupload please if you can.

Anonymous said...

Go to WWW.ROCKADROME.COM to buy the new re-issue of the CAIN CD with 4 bonus tracks from their never-released 3rd album!

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viagra online said...

I can not believe that they are going to be again in Minnesota, this is one of my favorites bands. I don't like too much hard rock, however I love Cain they are an exception.

Pam said...

I attened the Mid-West Music Hall of Fame this past weekend where "Cain" was Inducted into the Music Hall of Fame. It was great to hear the music sounded amazing! Best Band ever! The still have It!!!! said...

This cannot have effect in actual fact, that's what I think.