Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Candye Kane's Home Cookin' Keeps One Satisfied

Candye Kane certainly has established herself as a significant and powerful presence on the blues and roots music scene. Back in the October 1994 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 195) I wrote the fopllowing review of her Antone’s album, “Home Cookin’. You may have to look for this for sellers specializing in out-of-print recordings (on amazon or through ebay), but I suspect her fans may want to seek this out. I certainly enjoyed it greatly at the time. Her website is

Given her background, many will approach Candye Kane’s debut album on Antone’s with curiosity and skepticism. After all when she sings on Dance Hall Girls - about strippers with their g-strings hoping for a “Mr. Right to save a girl tonight,” it is something she knows about. But- when you hear her sing, you’ll be stunned.

She is fabulous singer, and this is a fabulous recording. Mostly jump blues based, she shows she can belt out the blues with the force of a Koko Taylor on the opening It Won’t be Long, and she also can tear into a slow blues groove with Big Mama Candyes’ Blues - where she boasts that”bigger is better,” and “I know the reason why. I’m soft and full of lovin’, guaranteed to satisfy,” with legendary guitarist Roy Gaines adding his singular touch to the track.

She’s not simply a blues belter. She is at home in a country vein on Dance Hall Girls, and the Tex-Mex flavored She Wore a Red Carnation with Los Lobos’ Cesar Rojos on bajo sexto and Chris Gaffney adding some accordion. And the boppish Why Did You Have to Say That “L Word?”, is a swinging number where she doesn’t overpower the lyric. Roy Gaines is also present on this selection playing some nice Grant Green flavored lines, as well as on the rocking Seven Men a Week. Kim Wilson does a duet with her on Don’t Blame It On Me. Her own band, The Swingin’ Armadillos, certainly do more than yeoman service in backing her, and horns, arranged by saxophonist Johhny Viau, are fresh and imaginative, with plenty of nice touches such as April West’s imaginative trombone smears on Why Did You have to Say That “L Word?

Candye Kane wrote most of the songs here, and they are generally not typical hackneyed blues lyrics. Perhaps it is because she is such a good singer that the lyrics stand out. Given her voice, the power, subtlety and range of her singing, strong original material and the excellent backing she receives, it has resulted in a terrific album, and for that reason, one should be very curious about how she sounds live.

Candye is such a wonderful person as well as singer and I will post my review of White Trash Woman from 2006 in a few days.

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