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WALL OF FAMERAINER'S POPULARITY IS ABOUT TO SPREAD BEYOND TUCSON'S GRAFFITI ARTISTS

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"I know a good thing when I see it, and that's why I'm still in Tucson. I guess it's like what Miles Davis always said, `I'm local as a motherfucker,'" he says with his small grin. "But I am more focused these days. And I've adapted `serendipity' as my new favorite word. Right now, I'm expecting nothing but prepared for anything."

Rainer will perform on Monday, December 16, at the Rhythm Room. Showtime is 9 p.m. Hans Olson will open.

Making it onto the walls of the Fourth Avenue tunnel is the surest sign that Rainer's hit the big time.

He is every bit as talented as most of the so-called "national" blues acts. If the Chicago Music Store doesn't have it, it don't exist. "The whole time I couldn't believe that there I was, listening and playing blues in the Delta."

Rainer's recording history reads a lot like his performing history: great, but hard to find.

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Robert Baird