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Cantinero

You try and try, and then when you give up, it all falls into place. That's the story behind Cantinero, the left-of-center pop group that's really just multi-instrumentalist Chris Hicken. Born and raised in Birmingham, England, Hicken fell in love with America -- especially the American audience -- when he brought his band Bigmouth to the States in 1993. It was only a two-week tour but the positive response to his band made Hicken itchy to return. He got his chance when Bigmouth was offered a support slot on UB40's tour of the States, a support slot of which UB40 was unaware. Nobody ever figured out if it was the promoter or tour managers who were at fault, but after the "we're here"s and "who are you?"s were over with, UB40 let Bigmouth play a show and were impressed enough to take the band with them for the next six dates. The shows went well and energized Hicken, but four years later the band broke up with no record deal. Hicken tended bar in the East Village and basically gave up on a career in music until he started listening to Boards of Canada and the like. When his roommate -- Spacehog drummer Johnny Cragg -- bought a bunch of synths, sequencers, and electronic whatnot, Hicken spent the evenings poking at the machines and experimenting. Hicken felt his cyber music was the way to go until he caught Ken Burns' Jazz series on PBS and remembered how much he loved the warm sound of acoustic instruments. He wasn't going to lose any of the innovative spirit he found in electronica, so recordings of acoustic instruments were chopped, blended, and folded with electronics in Hicken's home studio. The Artemis label liked what it heard and released Cantinero's debut, Championship Boxing, in 2004. ~ David Jeffries, Rovi
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Please add Cantinero's new album 'Better For The Metaphor'. This new work is even better than Championship Boxing, and was produced by Chris Hicken in his own home, a cabin in the Catskills. The first song 'My House' is very upbeat and fun, with a topical subject.

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