Austin Walkin’ Cane returns to the Opera House stage

Original and classic delta blues featuring slide guitar and soulful vocals.  A blues gumbo repertoire that can conjure up the ghosts of Highway 61 and the delta blues experience. 
Austin Walkin’ Cane comes to the Pocahontas County Opera House, Saturday, July 30, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10, and are available at the door and in advance at pocahontasoper or at the 4th Avenue Gallery in Marlinton.
Austin Walkin’ Cane is a blues singer, songwriter and slide guitarist that performs acoustic solo, duo and electric band sets. Austin Walkin’ Cane has toured Australia, Nepal, Colombia, France, Germany, England, Wales and the US – from New Orleans, Louisiana to Juneau, Alaska with only a guitar and suitcase in hand.
Austin walked for 10 years with a cane due to an arterial venous malformation at birth. While performing on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, a homeless man called out “Hey Walkin’ Cane, got some spare change for a brother?” Austin took the jibe as his nickname. In 1996, after years of battling the inevitable, his left leg was amputated below the knee. A year after the surgery, he returned to the music scene stronger and without need of a cane.
In 2002, Austin and Karen Starks were married at Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, and began recording his 706 Union Avenue CD at the legendary studio immediately after the ceremony.
“The thought of getting married and recording in the same room where many of my heroes took their first steps was incredible.”
Austin Walkin’ Cane is proud to be sponsored by National Reso-Phonic Guitars, Ernie Ball Strings, Dr. Z Amplifiers and Rocky Mountain Slide Co.
AWC’s 2008 CD, Murder of a Blues Singer, was inspired by an after hour diner conversation with blues legend Robert Jr. Lockwood.
“The stories were flowing like the grease off our plates,” subsequently, the album is saturated in classic delta blues, as were the tales of Lockwood’s stepfather, Robert Johnson. Lockwood had agreed to perform on the record, but fate changed that path. The Walkin’ Cane Band captured the perfect “live in the studio” feeling that Austin and co-writer Chris Allen had envisioned for these songs. The band is a well-oiled machine. Special guests on Murder of a Blues Singer include Colin Dussault, Eroc Sosinski and one of Cleveland’s finest gospel groups, the Prayer Warriors.
In 2011, an acoustic CD, A World Of Blues, was released. The Allen/Charanghat original songs were recorded live at the Brothers Lounge as a testament to Walkin’ Cane living on the road. The album uses excerpts of Austin’s world travels in addition to the show recorded in the heart of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame city.
During the summer of 2014, One Heart Walkin’ was recorded in two days at the historic G.A.R. Hall in Peninsula, Ohio.  Built in 1850, the former schoolhouse and Civil War Veterans’ hangout, set the perfect mood for this album.
Listening to Cane’s most recent album is like being a passenger on the old Illinois Central Railroad. These “Damn Fine Blues,” take the listener from the south side of Chicago, through the deep south of the Mississippi Delta. You’ll stop in Memphis, Clarksdale and Bentonia, and ride to the end of the line of New Orleans, Louisiana.
All of the songs on One Heart Walkin’ were co-written with songwriter and grade school friend Chris Allen. The album of Allen/Charanghat originals came to life with the help of legendary producer and bassist Don Dixon, harmonica extraordinaire Dave Morrison, Allen on acoustic guitar, Freddie Perez-Stable on drums and members of the Revolution Brass Band, bringing in the sound of New Orleans.
Performances at the Opera House are informal, family-friendly and open to all. The entrance and main seating are accessible to persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities are encouraged to attend; special accommodations can be arranged upon request by calling 304-799-6645.
The Opera House Performance Series is presented with financial assistance through a grant from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts. Support is also provided by Pocahontas County Dramas, Fairs and Festivals and the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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