Austin “Walkin’ Cane” Charanghat | Buddy Guy's Legends | Blues, Gospel, and R&B | Chicago Reader

Austin “Walkin’ Cane” Charanghat Recommended Free Soundboard Image

When: Fri., Jan. 16, 5:30 p.m. 2015

Austin “Walkin’ Cane” Charanghat’s sound is rooted in the Delta blues tradition he absorbed from mentors such as the late Robert Lockwood Jr., with whom he studied in Cleveland. But he’s also relentlessly eclectic, and he’s been known to bill himself as the “world’s finest one-legged East Indian Blues Guitarist.” On his latest outing, last year’s One Heart Walkin’ (Lazy Eye), he leaps fearlessly from hypnotic, modal “trance blues” or hard-rocking, juke-joint barn burners into intricate, Piedmont-style fingerpicking or jazz-tinged jump blues reminiscent of T-Bone Walker. Charanghat is equally wide-ranging as a lyricist: the current CD features folksy ruminations on optimism and fate (“Waitin’ for a Little Sunshine”), neopsychedelic free association (“Midnight Creep”), tough-minded relationship vignettes (“Who’s Gonna Love You?”), and dark-night-of-the-soul testimonials (“South of Lonesome”). Throughout he maintains a stance of total sincerity—ironic detachment is not in his repertoire, and that alone should make him a welcome presence on the contemporary scene. —David Whiteis

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