Candye Kane

Candye Kane
Guitar’d And Feathered

Ruf 1127

By Bill Copeland
September 2007

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This review is rated PG-13 for suggestive language.

What more can be said of Candye Kane’s profound decision to become a blues singer after she ended her career in the adult film industry?

While I’m not familiar with any of her film work, I have to respect her ability to belt out a tune as well as anyone in the business. If her former profession lends her greater name recognition, and a drooling fan base to boot - then hey - more power to her.

Because of Kane’s previous career in skin flicks, I’m always self-conscious about the word choices I make when I’m writing about her. Everybody clearly thinks about her former line of work when they are exposed to her music. (Uh-oh. I just wrote "exposed." Oops. See what I mean?)

Kane’s latest disc, Guitar’d And Feathered, finds her experimenting with new techniques (Oh man, there I go again) as a vocalist. She uses her voice in a multitude of belting and cooing fashions, and she also plays around (sorry) with a variety of blues formats.

She still offers some of the blues-rock format she featured on her Toughest Girl Alive record. Yet, Kane also lays down (sorry again) some Chicago blues on Guitar Slim’s "I Done Got Over It." A slow blues ballad called "Goodbye My Heart" features some fine Hammond organ (maybe I shouldn’t refer to Kane’s organs), as well as a post-Ragtime piano, old time feel (yikes!) to "Fine Brown Frame."

Kane has surrounded herself with many good musicians and many good songwriters. Guitar aces Bob Margolin and Ana Popovic double the pleasure (oops, sorry) on a few tunes, and Kane also has Billy Watson blowing (man!) harmonica, and Sue Foley on rhythm guitar.

She brings every verse to life on "My Country Man," with her vivacious belting, and she handles "Back With My Old Friends" sweetly, singing over the sparse instrumentation of acoustic blues slide guitar, string bass, and an old bass drum.

Kane sings her other acoustic blues tune "I’m Not Gonna Cry Today," with a torchy and almost show tune approach, with only an acoustic guitar for accompaniment.

Kane sounds more confident than ever on Guitar‘d And Feathered, and it shows mostly in these songs with minimal instrumentation. But she also likes to belt over a whole band sound, and "I Done Got Over It" gives her voice a chance to match the edgy mid-tempo assist from Margolin’s lead guitar, and Foley’s thick, measure-for-measure rhythm guitar.

For those who don’t mind driving rock numbers disguised as blues with bluesy guitar notes, Kane, with Popovic on lead guitar filling in tasty licks, does one of her better up tempo numbers.

She also has a potential contemporary hit in "I’m My Own Worst Enemy." Despite the pleasure it offers (uh-oh) the ear, "Enemy," unfortunately, sounds quite removed from actual blues, in favor of a commercial hit.

But overall, Kane has presented us with a fine collection of vintage blues, blues ballads, Chicago blues, country blues, and bluesy rock. There’s nothing like a singer who can specialize in many different formats to keep the customer satisfied. (I surrender!)

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