Thursday, January 16, 2014

Review of Candye Kane Live at Harvelles in Long Beach, California


After following her music for years, I finally had the opportunity to check out Candye Kane live at Harvelle’s in Long Beach, California on Friday December 13, 2013. If you have not been to Harvelle’s before, it is a satellite location of the 80 year-old Santa Monica institution, and it opened in 2011. You will find this dark and cozy blues den in the basement of the Congregation Ale House on the Long Beach Promenade.

Candye Kane is a legend in her own right, with a truly amazing life story, and she is a heroic blues performer who has appeared on stages all over the world despite significant health challenges over the past few years. Her personal successes and challenges have surely contributed to her convincingly soulful voice. She was joined onstage by Laura Chavez on guitar, Kennan Shaw on bass and Kurt Kalker behind the drum kit.

On this evening, Candye got the 9:30 time slot, right after a party featuring White Boy James (which is quite an experience; you will have to ask me about it sometime). There was a $10 cover and 2-drink minimum, but nobody seemed to be enforcing the drink requirement. They loaded onstage in record time and kicked-off right on time with no fuss and a minimal soundcheck. They are professionals, you know.

And I was blown away by their performance! Her band is tight, and Laura Chavez has the most amazing chops, definitely ranking her among the best guitarists I have ever seen live – right up there with all of the rock and roll gods that I grew up with. The backline of Shaw and Kalker were dead-nuts on, and provided the foundation that any good band has to have.

Candye’s voice was great, and she played two sets peppered with songs from the dozen+ solo albums she has cut over the years, with the mix more heavily weighted with material from Superhero, Coming out Swinging and Sister Vagabond. Oh yes, and she even threw in a few Christmas-themed songs and provided plenty of banter throughout. She took time between sets to greet her fans and sign autographs, so that she got no break at all – she is the hardest working woman in show business.

It turns out that Friday the 13th was not unlucky for me, and I had a great time! I cannot stress enough that you have to see her live show, so please check out her Facebook page to get the latest tour dates, and for more info seek out her website at -- you will be glad you did!

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