I suppose this article may be a tad redundant, but it’s frankly criminal that I haven’t got round to talking about Boss Caine before now. While Boss Caine is, in actuality, an ever-shifting collective of musicians, the songs themselves are penned, played and sung by perennial figurehead of the York music scene Daniel Lucas (otherwise known to all and sundry as G.T. Turbo).
Lucas plays in a bluesy Americana style that by rights shouldn’t work for a gentleman born on this side of the Atlantic – and yet he carries it off with ease thanks to his deep, gravelly and arresting tones, blessed as he is with the type of voice that makes him sound as if he was raised on Tennessee whisky and cigarettes. He released his debut album as Boss Caine in April 2010 on York-based label Little Num Num Music, a record entitled The Ship That Sailed – and as the title might suggest, it comprises 14 well-woven tales of love, loss and heartache. You can listen to and purchase the whole thing via the Little Num Num Music Bandcamp page, or via the player below. Personal highlights are the simple but heartwrenching ‘Bring Back My Baby’, and the emotionally raw love triangle Lucas deftly illustrates on ‘Sweet Sorrow Surrender’.
There’s also a 6-track EP entitled Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch…, which is also available on Bandcamp – the dark and menacing ‘Murder On My Mind’ is a particular favourite of mine. Interestingly, this latter record received a physical release as one half of a split LP on Little Num Num – the other half being a record by fellow York musician Mark Wynn called Lovers, Losers And Wasters (he’s a man worthy of an article in his own right, but for now you can check that EP out here).
More recently, Boss Caine recorded a session for newly formed music video project York Acoustic – an endeavour that sees local musicians performing in local record stores, coffee shops, bars, and other unconventional venues. In the surroundings of local coffee shop Bison Coffee, Lucas played two tracks that are set to feature on his next record – a jaunty, wryly amusing love song entitled ‘Kind Of Loving’ (watch that here) and a nostalgic, touching ode to Gram Parsons called ‘Truck Stop Jukebox’, which you can see below:
If that’s whetted your appetite to see the man perform in the flesh, your best bet is to find him hosting Busk at Dusk in York every Sunday evening (generally kicking off around 10pm or so). Failing that, he’s currently booking gigs all over the place – February 11th at the 1 in 12 Club Cafe in Bradford, March 18th at The Greystones in Sheffield, May 2nd at The Duchess in York, and July 4th at Prince Albert in Brighton are among the confirmed dates. Fingers crossed audiences across the land will take to him the same way that dear old York has.