austin walkin' cane
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austin walkin' cane

Cleveland, Ohio, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1990 | INDIE

Cleveland, Ohio, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1990
Solo Blues Acoustic




"Austin Walkin’ Cane was Born to Sing the Blues… and He was Made for This Moment"

• By Estelle Rodis-Brown - May 26, 2020
• Photo credit:
Jef Janis (Shutter35 Photography)

He was looking forward to his 50th birthday. He would be at the pinnacle of his performance career, two weeks into a six-week European tour as a solo blues artist. But instead of celebrating with adoring crowds, Austin ‘Walkin’ Cane’ Charanghat was stuck at home in West Park, practicing social distancing with his two teenage sons.

Despite the letdown, Austin took it all in stride. Disappointment has been a familiar lifetime companion, often accompanied by pain, loss and isolation. Maybe that’s why he’s a world-renowned blues musician. His deep, soulful voice, relatable lyrics and inspired guitar licks transport his listeners to calmer, deeper places.

“Enjoy what you’ve got while you got it. That’s the message of my damn fine blues,” he explains. “Get lost in the music, wherever it takes you.”

Music as Medicine
Austin’s music has been his best medicine since his youth. Born with an arteriovenous malformation in both legs (“bad veins, bad bones,” he says), a simple run across the yard often resulted in painful swelling where the blood pooled in his legs and feet. It was so extreme that he couldn’t wear shoes. The left leg was especially problematic. He spent years in doctor’s offices, seeking a cure. He exhausted medical options in Northeast Ohio and his father took him to the Mayo Clinic, Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital. He was on a cane or crutches by 17, often recovering from an invasive treatment, surgery or a broken tibia or fibula.

Austin grew up in Rocky River, the son of parents who emigrated to the U.S. from India in the 1960s. He made the most of life in the suburbs with the neighbor kids and a little sister who came 12 years after him.

Austin and his friends started sharing music when he was in seventh grade, grooving on the sounds of Jimi Hendrix, Duane Allman, Jimmy Paige, Eric Clapton and their bluesy musical influences. He bought himself an electric guitar when he was a high school freshman. Before long, he was performing with his Rocky River pals as the Stone Free band (the name inspired by a Hendrix tune).

“Music took over in my teen years because my body was so wrecked. I was always recovering from a setback with my leg and recovery after a break was so slow for me… 16-20 weeks at a time. I had nowhere else to go than deeper into my music. It heals in lots of different ways. Even to this day, I go to my instrument whenever I’m upset and within five minutes, it calms me. I’m cool with it, whatever it is.”

After graduation, Austin pursued an electrical engineering major at University of Toledo but quit after two years, simply for a lack of passion in the subject. He was much more interested in playing gigs with his jam band, Skydogs (a Duane Allman nickname). He started out as the guitarist but was encouraged to accompany himself as a vocalist during Acoustic Jam Night at Angela’s Attic, a pizza place on campus. Soon, Austin’s deep, smoky vocals distinguished the band’s overall vibe.

By the time Austin was in his early 20s, he felt healthy, was working out and getting in better shape. He recalls a day at the pool when he swam 25 laps then felt suddenly dizzy. The exertion had broken his leg. He crawled out of the pool, crawled into the locker room, crawled out to his car, drove to the doctor’s office, crawled into the doctor’s office and called it quits. After 10 years of chasing after a cure, Austin requested the very thing he’d been avoiding his whole life: amputation of his left leg.

“I gave up. I had to move on with my life. It was time to amputate.”

Free to Soar
Ironically, amputation translated into freedom rather than loss for Austin, his transportive chords carrying him farther than any two ordinary legs ever could.

His freshly-realized voice, which happens upon the listener like a raspy whisper until it amplifies like approaching thunder, fills the house and shakes your bones. It also got attention at the Memphis Blues Challenge. As a solo artist, he won the competition in 2009 and then found himself invited to a blues festival near Bordeaux and the FIMU (Festival International de Musique Universitaire) festival in Belfort, France.

He was the only American asked to perform there, among 3,500 musicians from around the world, playing for throngs of 25,000-30,000 fans for a three-day festival.

Then, says Austin, “strange things started happening.” Good things, like being invited to a blues festival in Kathmandu, Nepal. Then on to Australia for Blues on Broadbeach in Queensland. Soon, Austin was back in France, then on to Belgium, Columbia, Switzerland, Ireland, England, New Zealand, Sweden, back to France and stateside, playing at B.B. King’s club in Las Vegas, college gigs in Florida, a music conference in Atlanta … and on it went.

In March, Austin was all set to perform a six-week tour throughout France, then gigs in New York City before returning home.

“It was gonna be an outrageous time,” he says wistfully from his coronavirus quarantine headquarters. “It would have been my longest time yet on tour. I was really looking forward to it.”

The Coronavirus Effect
All that’s on hold as the world holds its breath and does its best to flatten the curve. Despite going from the near-apex of his solo career to sudden confinement and overnight unemployment within a matter of weeks, Austin responds with a dramatic lack of drama. Accustomed to things suddenly going wrong, he’s finding a workaround to the situation.

In collaboration with his fellow musicians, coffee roaster Chris Allen and restaurateur Kelly Wright, Austin is hosting virtual concerts through Facebook Live. Every Saturday and Sunday, Austin Walkin’ Cane performs live from Borderline Cafe in Lakewood, from 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Listeners are invited to Breakfast, Coffee & Blues by simply ordering breakfast food and drink from Borderline (carryout or curbside delivery) then tuning in for the blues over Facebook Live. Making the most of his versatile voice and acoustic slide guitar, Austin is playing to bigger crowds than ever— averaging around 1,000 per virtual gig — with fans from around the world who tune in for their morning blues. Applause for Austin is appreciated via PayPal or Venmo donations. It’s a win-win-win for local businesses, local musicians and hungry/thirsty blues fans.

Once again, it’s the blues that keep Austin happy, calm and assured of better days to come. “Virtual tips are pretty mind-blowing. And the virtual platform is bringing me a worldwide audience. I have folks checking in from all around here but also from Canada, Australia, Bordeaux, Ireland, (and) Columbia,” he says.

In spite of the allure of exotic locales he’s visited, he says Northeast Ohio is his top choice as home base.

“The Cleveland community ranks cooler than any other place I’ve ever been to,” he says. “Altogether, the music scene isn’t cut-throat like Chicago or New York, not to mention the fans. Cleveland’s musicians and audiences are so welcoming and supportive. They keep me — a performing musician — working six days a week under normal conditions. Add to that the fact that Cleveland is affordable and drivable. I can get anywhere around town in 20 minutes and can drive from here to just about anywhere in a day’s time for an out-of-state gig.”

While it’s tempting to frame Austin as an optimist, he’s actually a realist who’s wired to find the possibilities in bad situations. To those chafing at the constraints brought about by the coronavirus, he warns, “Depression will slip in due to confinement. You’ve got to push back against it. Find a goal to achieve — something you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time. Whether it’s to finally read that book, pick up an instrument or fix up the house… whatever it is, you just gotta do it. You gotta find your way around the problem.”

“Suffering can work in your favor if you let it,” the bluesman says. “Find your way around it. Everything works out in the end if you make the best of it.” - Northeast Ohio Boomer

"Austin Walkin’ Cane – Muso | Album Review"

Based out of Cleveland, Ohio, Austin Walkin’ Cane is a slide guitar master with a deeply resonant baritone voice who delivers trademark arrangements of original and classic Delta blues in a relaxed manner and timeless feel, something that comes across from the opening bars of this pleasing set.

Born with malformed veins in one leg, he received his nickname honestly from a panhandler one night while walking down Bourbon Street in New Orleans. He began his recording career with the band The Skydogs in 1994 – two years prior to the continuing medical condition forcing a partial amputation. But that hasn’t slowed down Cane one bit.

This is Austin’s seventh release under his own name in a career that includes two albums with the Ohio City Singers and another with the Lonesome Stars. His most recent album, One Heart Walkin’, was a 2015 nominee in the best new artist album category.

A veteran road dog, he’s toured Europe, South America and Asia as a solo artist, and he’s appeared at several of the top blues events in the world, including King Biscuit, the Wheeling Blues & Heritage Festival and the Himalaya Blues Festival in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Cane mixes acoustic and electric elements on this CD — a collection of 11 originals and one cover – with helping hands from Chris Allen on tremolo, electric and acoustic guitars, Dave Morrison on harmonica, producer Don Dixon on upright bass, percussion and vocals and Freddie Perez-Stable on drums and congas.

The acoustic “Tell Me Why” opens the action with a swamp feel as Austin wonders where his lady goes in her mind every night when her eyes fill with tears. His picking is propulsive atop subdued action from the rhythm section in the background, and his voice is somewhat limited in range but warm and pleasant. The theme continues in the bittersweet ballad, “Her Heart, It Went Missing,” which brush work on the skins and harp accents throughout.

The mood brightens somewhat for “Some Bad Habits,” a medium-tempo shuffle in which Austin regrets having committed some unnamed, unwanted action again, before the electrified love song “Delilah” comes across with a funky, laid-back Big Easy beat. Morrison shines during an extended mid-tune solo, his first in the set.

The acoustic “20 Years Forgotten, 20 Years Gone” is a new tune that sounds as if it could have been written decades ago as it dwells on the memories of a lost love. It flows into the only cover in the set, a traditional take on Slim Harpo’s familiar “Got Love If You Want It.” The atmosphere changes dramatically for the finger picked ballad, “Last Day of Summer,” a sweet, quiet number full of imagery that signifies the passage of time.

The funk returns in “There Is No Blue,” a stop-time electric blues that mourns the absence of a lady at the end of a relationship, a theme that continues in the stripped-down acoustic ballad, “One Last Sunrise.” A regimental drumbeat opens the electric “Who’s That Knockin’,” which comes across with a Howlin’ Wolf feel, before the blazing-fast acoustic “I Don’t Understand” and the sugar-sweet ballad “Nothing Left of the Night” bring the action to a close.

Available through Amazon and other online vendors, this one’s chockful of great tunes and totally free of pyrotechnics – a welcome break in this chaotic, uptempo world. - Blues Blast Magazine • Chicago

"Austin Walkin’ Cane • One Heart Walkin’ • album review"

Artist: Austin Walkin’ Cane
Album: One Heart Walkin’
Label: Lazy Eye Records
Genres: Blues
⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Due respect to all instrumentalists, in the world of deep blues the rarest finds these days are voices up to the task. Guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Austin Walkin’ Cane’s smoky vocals never fail to convince here be they fierce or laid back. The title track is one of a number of standouts, co-written with guitarist Chris Allen. Others are “Waitin’ For A Little Sunshine”, “Wounded Dove” and “Living, Working, Dying”. The Revolution Brass Band guests and Don Dixon produced.

• Duane Verh
• April 12, 2014 - Roots Music Report

"Jay Leno returns with stand-up in Amp, Walkin’ Cane as opener"

Audiences might be used to staying up to the late hour of 11:30 p.m. for Jay Leno in the past, but Chautauquans can catch the comedian earlier when he performs at 8:15 p.m. Friday, July 22, in the Amphitheater.

It’s a familiar line-up for the Institution, as warming the crowd up for Leno is prolific blues guitarist Austin Walkin’ Cane with a performance starting at 7:30 p.m. tonight. It’s the same opener-headliner bill that debuted Chautauqua’s new Amp in 2017; while Aretha Franklin had been set for the first evening of that season, health concerns caused her to back out, and Leno stepped in as the replacement. With his opening act, Cane was the first musician to ever perform in the new Amp.

Now, five years later, both are back to show some love to Chautauqua’s biggest stage.

Leno famously hosted “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” which boasts four Emmys, 22 seasons and over 4,500 episodes.

In 2000, he also got his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Since the final episode of the show aired on Feb. 6, 2014, Leno has gone on to host “Jay Leno’s Garage” on CNBC where he gives car reviews, and has continued his stand-up comedy career — the skill that brought him to fame and his career as a television host.

Since Leno’s last visit, he has continued hosting “Jay Leno’s Garage,” which had its sixth season in 2021. The season featured guests like fellow car lover and comedian Tim Allen, entrepreneur Mark Cuban, and pop singer and host of her own television show Kelly Clarkson. All the while, Leno never stopped doing comedy, delivering around 200 shows a year.

“Comedy is funnier when you share it with other people,” Leno told the Daily in 2017. “I’m sure you can sit in a room and laugh by yourself watching something. But it’s not nearly as much fun as being in a crowded room and people are laughing around you.” - Chautauquan Daily



Muscle Shoals • 2023 • HOBOVILLE Records 

• Muso • 2020 

One Heart Walkin' • 2014

A World Of Blues • 2011

 Murder of a Blues Singer • 2008

706 Union Ave • 2003

Radio Cafe • 2001

Help Yourself • 1996



(original rock 'n' roll • x-mas • band)

Ring Out The Wild Bells • 2016

A Town Called Christmas • 2013

Snow Days • 2011

Love & Hope • 2008



• 2022 • HOBOVILLE RECORDS • signed to German Indie record label. 

• 2015 Blues Music Award Nominee (Formerly W.C. Handy Awards)
"Best New Artist Album"
- One Heart Walkin'
Blues Foundation - Memphis, TN

"Austin Walkin' Cane arrives bearing not only a cool blues calling card but a commanding voice and fiery Delta chops."
The New Yorker

"If you like Muddy Waters, go see Austin Walkin Cane."
Washington Post

Austin Walkin' Cane is a blues singer, songwriter, and slide guitar impressario who performs across acoustic, solo, duo and electric band mediums. He has toured around the world with only a guitar and suitcase in hand.

Austin walked for ten years with a cane due to an arterial venous malformation he had since 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 subsequently 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.

Austin Walkin' Cane's 2015 release, "One Heart Walkin,'" was nominated for Best New Artist Album by the The Blues Foundation as part of its 36th annual Blues Music Awards. The Blues Music Awards are universally recognized as the one of the highest accolades afforded blues music performers.

"MUSO” is the latest incarnation of Walkin' Cane's synthesis of original compositions with roots music cultures, combining and transcending the troubadour traditions of Delta blues, Memphis blues, Chicago blues, and Bourbon Street jazz.

AWC original songs are co-written by Austin with collaborator, guitarist, and grade-school friend, Chris Allen. The albums of Allen/Charanghat originals have come to life with the help of legendary producer and bassist Don Dixon.

Fans may recognize Walkin' Cane's work from his performances on National Public Radio's nationally-syndicated game show, "Says You," broadcast from Cleveland’s historic Capitol Theater, as well as from his musical work airing on Sirius/XM Radio's, B.B.
King's Bluesville. The Chicago Reader put Austin on
the cover to promote the 2015 Chicago Blues Festival.

National Reso-Phonic Guitars 
Ernie Ball Strings
Dr. Z Amplifiers. 

AWC has opened for or performed with: B.B. King, Gregg Allman, Z.Z. Top, Buddy Guy, Gary Clark Jr., Taj Mahal, Bobby Blue Bland, Johnny Winter, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Bobby Rush, John Hammond Jr., Hubert Sumlin, Willie Big Eyes Smith, John Mooney,  Jaimoe (Allman Bros.), Watermelon Slim, John Primer, Rare Earth, Deep Purple, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Blind Mississippi Morris, Nappy Brown...


• Chicago Blues Festival • Chicago, IL 

• The King Biscuit Blues Festival • Helena, AR 

• Himalayan Blues Festival • Kathmandu, Nepal

• Blackstairs Blues Festival • Ireland 

• Bay of Islands Jazz & Blues • New Zealand

• Pinetop Perkins Homecoming • Clarksdale, MS

• Blues On Broadbeach Festival • Australia   

• Cali Blues & Folk Festival • Colombia 

• Shakedown Blues • U.K.

• Cita Delta Festival • Bordeaux, France

• Nantwich Jazz & Blues Festival • U.K.

• Juke Joint Festival • Clarksdale, MS

• FIMU World Music Festival  • France

• D.C. Blues Festival • Washington D.C.

• Wheeling Blues & Heritage Festival • Wheeling, WV & many other festivals.


• Muscle Shoals • 2023 • HOBOVILLE Records 

• Muso • 2020 

• One Heart Walkin' • 2014

• A World Of Blues • 2011

• Murder Of A Blues Singer • 2008

• 706 Union Ave • 2003

• Radio Cafe • 2001

• Help Yourself • 1996



(original rock 'n' roll x-mas band)

• Ring Out The Wild Bells • 2016

• A Town Called Christmas • 2013

• Snow Days • 2011

• Love & Hope • 2008

Band Members