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Sister Vagabond (feat. Laura Chavez)

Candye Kane

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Album Review

Los Angeles native Candye Kane is the 21st century version of Bessie Smith, singing a tough, smart, sassy, and showbiz-savvy blend of blues and soul that takes no prisoners of any persuasion. Kane has been a lot of things in her life, from a mother and serious student to a pinup girl and actress (both on-stage and in risqué [to say the least] movies), and she even did a stint as a serious, full-tilt punk rocker. She’d be just another fringe player in L.A. except for one thing — she can sing like nobody’s business and she has a sexy, intelligent, and passionate musical vision to match her voice. On Sister Vagabond, her tenth album, Kane has really put it all together for her finest studio outing yet, mixing blues, torch soul, and funky swing numbers together into a smart and brassy whole, helped immeasurably by the brilliant guitar playing of longtime cohort Laura Chavez. The album, which opens with a fiery version of Johnny "Guitar" Watson's “I Love to Love You,” never lags or lulls, and Kane sings her heart out on song after song, sometimes with a wink, sometimes with a sexy bravado, and sometimes with an indignant sense of injustice. She turns Brenda Lee's “Sweet Nothin’s” into a brilliant, leering piece of Excello Records swamp pop that rides on Chavez's reverb-drenched guitar lines, and together, they completely reinvent the song. Kane transforms Glenn Frey and Jack Tempchin's “Everybody’s Gonna Love Somebody Tonight” into a blues stomper that replaces sad irony with passionate certainty, and on one of the nine originals that she wrote or co-wrote for the album, “You Can’t Take It Back from Here,” Kane manages to link Louis Armstrong, Storyville, dolphins, and the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill into a coherent, anguished rant that shows her considerable songwriting abilities. Kane may have a personal bio that suggests she’s a campy airhead, but nothing could be further from the truth. She’s an empowered, intelligent woman with a clear idea of what she’s doing, what era she’s in, and what her politics are, and best of all, she knows how to sing the blues in all of its flavors, and she sings like she’s been there and done that and isn’t afraid of what the end of the night brings. Candye Kane is the real deal, stripper name or not, and this is her best album to date.

Biography

Born: 13 November 1965 in Ventura, CA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Los Angeles native Candye Kane sings a sassy and showbiz-savvy blend of blues and soul that takes no prisoners of any persuasion. Kane has been a lot of things in her life, from a mother and serious student to a pinup girl and actress (both on-stage and in risqué movies), and she even did a stint as a serious, full-tilt punk rocker. She'd be just another fringe player in L.A. except for two things...
Full bio
Sister Vagabond (feat. Laura Chavez), Candye Kane
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