Saturday, June 24, 2017

Candye Kane White Trash Woman

Candye Kane
White Trash Woman
Ruf Records 

If blues is, as some describe it, “grown-up music, then Candye Kane’s emergence as a blues diva is not far removed from her earlier career in the adult entertainment business. But while her background may make her seem like a novelty, when you hear him pounding the ivories, belting out a remake of Bullmoose Jackson’s Big Fat Mamas Are Back in Style or listen to her caress the country-ish ballad What Happened to That Girl, one realizes her talent leads one to quickly forget the novelty of her background. 

Her latest album, White Trash Woman was recorded in Austin, Texas and is on the German Ruf label. Produced by Mark 'Kaz' Kazanoff, who also leads the horn section, he is joined by a stellar studio band that includes drummer Damien Llanes, bassist Preston Hubbard, guitarist Jeff Ross (with appearances by Johnny Moeller and David Grissom), harp wiz Gary Primich, keyboards by Riley Osbourn. Together they bring together a smorgasbord of blues moods and settings and Candye Kane comes across equally compelling belting out the title track (“It is an honor to be called a trashy broad in the traditions of legends such as Divine and Dixie Rose Lee), and Estrogen Bomb which she is the strong woman who offers no apologies and takes no prisoners when she gets crossed. 

She reworks the Loving Spoonful’s What a Day For a Daydream into a blues while lending a country feel to What Happened to the Girl, and sings about being Misunderstood with the band providing a traditional jazz backing including some nice clarinet. Leiber and Stoller’s I Wanna Do More evokes Little Walter’s hit, My Babe, with its groove and some fine harp by Mr. Primich. The following track, the original It Must Be Love, is a rocking shuffle with a fine fifties T-Bone mixed with B.B. guitar solo and strong jumping horns and a clean, soulful vocal. In contrast Queen of the Wrecking Ball, has her singing woman who breaks hearts with some nice guitar evoking the gulf coast swamp blues sound. 

Other songs include a boogie woogie about sexual self-gratification, and, Mistress Carmen, about a Grand Domme who is proud of her sensuality set to a New Orleans groove (Please Mistress Carmen, we just want to watch you dance), and a lovely love ballad, I Could Fall For You. With truly memorable songs and strong backing, Candye Kane convincingly delivers this varied programme with humor and passion. Candye Kane may be a White Trash Woman but this recording is most certainly high class.

I likely received a review copy from Ruf Records or a publicist. This review original appeared in the September 2005 DC Blues Calendar and the March/April 2006 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 280). Here is a video of Candye (who passed away in 2016 with Little Willie Littlefield (who passed away in 2013).

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