Friday, May 7, 2010

Candye Kane: Superhero Album

I am sadly late to the party in becoming a fan of Candye Kane and her music. I discovered her through her association with my imaginary internet friend, Kennan Shaw, who is playing bass in the band on her current tour.

She has a fascinating life story, and has truly seen the elephant. Her personal successes and challenges have surely contributed to her convincingly soulful voice.

Candye Kane is not just talented, but is also well-regarded amongst her blues compadres. For 2010 she was nominated for three National Blues Foundation Awards, including: BB King Entertainer of the Year Award, Best Contemporary Blues CD, and Best Contemporary Blues Female. Eat that, Matchbox 20.

I bought her latest release Superhero from Satan’s minions (iTunes). It has been in regular rotation on my iPod ever since, and is some of my favorite music for just listening to. It has not been reduced to the level of the more ordinary music in my library that I use to zone out while I am writing. By the way, you will not find me writing reviews of music I do not REALLY like.

Superhero has 14 tracks, and they are all solid tunes, of which she wrote 10 (if I counted right). It is kind of hard for me to pigeon-hole the album into just one genre, as there are a lot of different styles going on, depending on which track you are listening to. I am going to call it an inspirationally vintage-rocking countrified blues album. Is that close enough?

It is blues-based music, but it does not give me the blues to listen to the lyrics. Her music’s message is positive, and this is a fun album that makes me feel good when I listen to it. Oh, and have I mentioned that Candye Kane can really sing? She is marvelous.

Here are a few observations:

She has the talent to do her own rendition of Led Zep/Willie Dixon’s “You Need Love”. But, it is so much more gritty than the other versions I have heard, along with having a lot more soul and drive.

Jack Tempchin wrote the track “Who’s Been Sleeping In My Bed”, and this is one of his better works, which is saying a lot, because he has written some pretty big hits. Unfortunately, some of those hits were with bands and artists I do not really care for, but nobody is perfect. He did just fine here.

The album ends on an inspirational note with the a cappella “I’m Gonna Be Just Fine”. And I think she will be.

I regret missing Ms. Kane when she came through Southern California recently, but not too much. She has an old-school work ethic, and tours constantly (250 days a year is what I found on the internet), so I know I will have the chance soon.

You can find more information about Candye Kane at her website ( or through her fan page on Facebook.

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