Thursday, March 08, 2012

Candye Kane's Strong Recording - Sister Vagabond

While it has been out for several months, I have been pleased to turn my attention to Candye Kane’s most recent release on Delta Groove, Sister Vagabond. Courageous as she is a brassy and vibrant blues and roots performer, this latest entry in her discography will certainly be welcomed by many. It is the first extended opportunity for this listener to hear her guitarist Laura Chavez who also collaborates on the originals here. A variety of first rank players such as drummer Paul Fasulo, saxophonist Johnny Viau and pianist Sue Palmer guest on selected tracks adding to the sound here.

Chavez sets the tone on the remake of Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson’s I Love To Love You, that opens this recording with her slash and burn playing that is modeled on Watson’s originals. Elsewhere her superior guitar playing shows a familiarity with Ike Turner and other significant blues guitar legends in developing a strong personal style. There is plenty of humor and wit as displayed in the original Love Insurance with Viau’s riffing horns set the mood for Kane’s lyric of needing coverage for heartaches but her heart has been broken too many times. She sings with fervor and there are strong guitar and sax breaks.

There is plenty of grit in an interpretation of Sweet Nothin’s, a hit for Brenda Lee that is is performed with plenty of grit and grease by Kane with Chavez adding plenty of atmosphere with her trebly tone and a slashing solo. The ability of Kane and Chavez to match lyrics with music is shown on Walkin’, Talkin’ Haunted House, where Chavez’s guitar recalls Ike Turner and his use of the whammy bar behind Kane’s anguished vocal as she recalls past loves and she can’t lend go of these memories. Stephen Hodges adding some percussive effects in addition to playing drums on this powerful performance.

You Never Cross My Mind is a country flavored shuffle about an ex-lover with spirited piano from Sue Palmer. Everybody’s Gonna Love Somebody Tonight from Jack Tempchin and Glenn Frey is a straight-ahead rocker with James harmonica adding harmonica here and Chavez further displaying her strong blues guitar playing that is free of any blues-rock cliches. You Can’t Take It Back From Here, was originally an angry song that was turned into a song about restoring our planet with Chavez again channelling Ike Turner on her trebly playing behind the passionate Kane vocal

The other pleasures here include You Can’t Hurt Me Anymore, a declaration against a former lover with another terrific guitar solo; Hard Knock Gal, about the ladies of today that can steal one’s heart away with a smile and not take crap from anyone; the zydeco flavored Have a Nice Day; and the spirited “I Deserve Love, with a skiffle-blues flavor including nice harmonica from Billy Watson.

Sister Vagabond is another strong addition to Candye Kane’s rather substantial discography.

I receive a review copy from Delta Groove.  Here is a video of Candye and Laura at the Blues Blast Awards.

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