Candye Kane Guitar'd and Feathered

A contemporary version of Bessie Smith with a self-depreciating sense of humour and a merrily pansexual persona, Candice Louise Kane (aka Candye Kane) has produced the finest recording of her career. The song selection is first-rate, many of them stripped to their essence, allowing her powerful voice to shine. And it’s her singing that’s the focal point of this CD; it’s matured, sounding rich and robust, and more flexible, achieving greater nuances in mood and atmosphere. Kane sings in a wide variety of styles, varying the set list with jazzy ballads, tough blues rockers, swinging retro R&B and acoustic settings. She particularly shines on the seven originals she contributes, such as the humorous "I’m My Own Worst Enemy,” a soul stroll dedicated to her friends and adversaries on various e-lists she’s a member of. Making this CD even more fun is the fact that each track pairs her with a different guitarist. Guests include Bob Margolin (who co-produced with Kane), Sue Foley, Junior Watson, Bob Brozman, Ana Popovic, Kid Ramos, Dave Alvin, Popa Chubby and others. Each guitarist works to blend their playing style to Kane’s voice, resulting in a series of diverse sounding songs in which her singing provides the cohesion. Brozman, an early blues and country National Steel specialist, shines on the folk protest tune "Jesus and Mohammed.” Kane manages to do all this without having to flaunt the more out-there aspects of her sexually liberated persona, except perhaps on her cover of Big Maybelle’s cheeky "My Country Man.” (Ruf)