Best Really Tall Singer/Songwriter

To say the 33-year-old Cain makes a strong first impression is like saying fire burns: He's 6 feet, 8 inches of solid mass that tips the scale near the 350-pound mark. So it's little wonder that when Cain enters a bar for the first time, people assume he's the bouncer, not the talent. But the instant he straps on his guitar and opens his mouth, everyone in the room gets it. No one—Cain's size or smaller—should be as freakishly talented a singer, guitarist or performer. Cain was born with music in his blood—every member of his large family in Weirton, West Virginia, banged, plucked, blew or strummed some kind of instrument. Folk met rock after he discovered the radio and record albums, and Cain's musical education got formal when he studied theater and musical theory at West Liberty State College. He then hit the road and hasn't stopped since. For the past seven years, he has split his time between West Virginia and Southern California, performing his original tunes and an astonishing array of covers at places as varied as the District Lounge in Orange to 2J's in Fullerton. Cain's covers—and his frenetic, boisterous way of presenting them—are guaranteed to get just about any crowd on its collective feet, from the Dead Milkmen's “Punk Rock Girl” to REM's “It's the End of the World as We Know It.” But it's in Cain's original songs, from his signature tune “Make Life” and his emotionally baring “Rain” to his triumphant ode to making your own way in life, “Opportunity,” where his real power lies. They demonstrate he's much more than a talented mimic and cover artist; he's also a genuinely gifted creator and thoughtful tunesmith.

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