records

James Elkington & Nathan Salsburg Release Guitar Duo Album

Albums of guitar duets are rare. Albums of guitar duets featuring one American and one Englishman, synthesizing their particular geographically specific approaches in a collection of new compositions, are even more rare. Not since Stefan Grossman and John Renbourn's partnerships of the 1970s has there been such a happy reconciliation of Merrie Old England and the good old USA, in which baroque meets the blues, music-hall steps out to ragtime, and Benjamin Britten sits down with Blind Blake.

James Elkington moved from London to Chicago around the turn of the millennium and has since released a string of albums as leader of The Zincs for Thrill Jockey Records.  After dissolving the band in 2008, Elkington has concentrated on acoustic, folk-tinged music with his band The Horse's Ha (that he shares with Freakwater's Janet Bean), culminating in the release of their debut album, Of The Cathmawr Yards in 2009. He is also the owner/operator of a clunky solo career, and moonlights convincingly as the guitar player in Jon Langford's (of The Mekons) Skull Orchard.

Nathan Salsburg is best known as an archivist and producer for the Alan Lomax Archive, curator of the Twos & Fews vernacular-music imprint on Drag City Records, and host of the "Root Hog Or Die" program on East Village Radio. But after a 2007 move from New York City back to his childhood home of Louisville, Kentucky - and the inclusion of a track on Tompkins Square's "Imaginational Anthem, Volume 3" compilation - he discovered adequate time, space, and energy to devote to guitar playing.

Elkington suggested a leap of faith into a collaboration, despite the fact that the two had never previously played guitar together. Avos, then, hither and thither over several seasons, between a porch in Louisville and a kitchen in Chicago, slowly took shape. Aptly, the name comes from the Russian word for the confident approach to new situations, and the faith that nothing tragic will occur once in them.

James Elkington & Nathan Salsburg play their record release show on Sunday, October 9th at The Hideout in Chicago. More shows will be scheduled in the coming weeks.

Buck Owens pre-Capitol 1950s recordings reissued on RockBeat

Buck Owens is synonymous with the Bakersfield sound of country music that also gave rise to the Maddox brothers and Rose, Tommy Collins, Ferlin Husky and in later years Merle Haggard.

Owens’ earliest recordings for independent labels in Southern California — ahead of his lucrative career on Capitol Records in the ’60s and ’70s — have been collected on Buck Owens — Bound for Bakersfield 1953-1956: The Complete Pre-Capitol Collection, scheduled for release on September 27 on RockBeat Records through e0ne Entertainment. The suggested retail price is $14.98.

The 24-song reissue opens with selections from his first known session in 1953 in Hollywood, which produced two singles (“Down on the Corner of Love” b/w “It Don’t Show on Me” and “The House Down the Block” b/w “Right After the Dance”) on Claude Caviness’ Pico Rivera-based Pep Records. It closes with a 1956 Bakersfield session that produced singles on Chesterfield Records and an album on La Brea Records. Included are previously unreleased alternate takes including an overdubbed version of “Hot Dog.”

Liner notes for Bound for Bakersfield were written by Rich Kienzle, a music historian with special expertise in West Coast country. RockBeat VP or A&R James Austin and Jim Shaw of Buck Owens’ Buckaroos compiled the collection.

According to Kienzle’s notes, “Buck Owens was 21 when he rolled into Bakersfield from Phoenix in May, 1951, a part-time musician and laborer who had his eye on a musical career. It would take some time. There were lessons to be learned and dues to be paid. But in the final analysis, the Buck of legend, of the raw honky-tonk vocals, catchy commercial tunes, twangy Fender Telecasters and churning, aggressive ‘freight train’ rhythms was forged in Bakersfield's honky tonks and recording studios there and in L.A. from 1951 to 1957.”

Owens is best known for his later Capitol Records hits like “Tiger by the Tail,” “Foolin’ Around” and “Act Naturally.” But his ’50s pre-Capitol recordings find him working in a honky tonk milieu (except for the rockabilly tracks such as the 1957 single “Hot Dog”). One can hear early flashes of the distinctive sound he'd perfect at Capitol, the sound that made him famous.

With his indie singles earning him both regional recognition and buzz from A&R departments at both Capitol and Columbia Records, Owens passed on New York’s Columbia (whose producer told Owens to “hold on” until he could come to the West Coast) in favor of Hollywood-based Capitol Records, which made him an offer on the spot. Owens was known to Capitol from his work on sessions by one of the originators of the Bakersfield sound, Tommy Collins. Buck’s own first Capitol session in 1957 aimed for a pop-rock audience, trying, as he later said, “to make the biggest hillbilly in Bakersfield into somethin’ he wasn’t.” In 1959, he was recorded as his true, honky-tonking self, with great success.

Kienzle notes, “Buck Owens was always known for his spot-on instincts. Clearly, his expectation that he’d have no recording career beyond Pep and the odd demo or two was a rare miscalculation. These raw, primal performances, blended with hundreds of hours onstage at the Blackboard (club in Bakersfield), were essentially part of a long rehearsal for the fame that came soon enough.”

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Track List:

1.            Blue Love (with Studio Chatter) (1953)
2.            Down on the Corner of Love (Alternate Take) (1953)
3.            Down on the Corner of Love (1953)
4.            It Don’t Show On Me (Alternate Take) (1953)
5.            It Don’t Show on Me (1953)
6.            The House Down the Block (Alternate take) (1953)
7.            The House Down the Block (1953)
8.            Right After the Dance (Alternate Take) (1953)
9.            Right After the Dance (1953)
10.         Hot Dog (1955)
11.         Hot Dog (Overdubbed Single) (1955)
12.         Rhythm & Booze
13.         There Goes My Love (Alternate Take) (1956)
14.         There Goes My Love (1956)
15.         Sweethearts in Heaven (Alternate Take) (1956)
16.         Sweethearts in Heaven (1956)
17.         Honeysuckle (1956)
18.         Country Girl (Leavin’ Dirty Tracks) (1956)
19.         You’re Fer Me (1956)
20.         Blue Love (1956)
21.         Please Don’t Take Her From Me (1956)
22.         Three Dimension Love (1956)
23.         Why Don’t My Mommy Wanna Stay with Daddy & Me? (1956)
24.         I’m Gonna Blow (1956)

Deerhoof's New Collaborative 7” with Jeff Tweedy

Jeff Tweedy fronting Deerhoof? You might be surprised just how natural the voice of Wilco sounds amidst the eccentric, swirling chaos of the Deerhoofian musical universe.

The Wilco-Deerhoof connection goes back a long way. They toured the midwest together in 2004. Wilco guitarist Nels Cline's "Suspended Head" from Instrumentals (2002) was the guitarist's raucous tribute to Deerhoof. Frontman Jeff Tweedy has been name-checking Deerhoof records in best-of lists for years. And when Deerhoof recently pointed to Wilco as the inspiration for their song "Behold A Marvel In The Darkness,” the idea was hatched that Mr. Tweedy should actually have a go.

Which brings us to "Behold A Raccoon In The Darkness," the fourth installment of Deerhoof’s collaborative 7” series in which guest vocalists perform over an instrumental track from the band’s latest full-length, Deerhoof vs. Evil.

The instrumental track, the melody, and the lyrics for "Behold" are unchanged from the original. But in place of Deerhoof chanteuse Satomi Matsuzaki, we hear the immediately identifiable pipes of Jeff Tweedy, with harmonies by his son Spencer.

Side B features "Own It," an original song by The Raccoonists, a group comprised of Tweedy and his two sons, Spencer and Sam. Although the band originally began as an instrumental duo (consisting of Jeff and Spencer), it has since evolved into a trio with Sam providing vocals. Recorded in Spencer and Sam's bedroom, "Own It" is the first Raccoonists song to be released. However, the group does have plans to record more tracks later this year.

You can listen to the 7” and watch the video for “Own It” now.

"Behold a Raccoon in the Darkness" comes out October 11 on Polyvinyl Records. It is limited to 2000 copies on clear pink vinyl and it is available for pre-order now.

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TOUR DATES

aug 07 - Katowice, Poland - OFF Festival (Scena Lesna stage)

sep 15 - San Francisco, CA - Atrium at SFMOMA (Adam Pendleton & Deerhoof present BAND)

sep 20 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg (White Suns, Mick Barr)

sep 21 - Philadelphia, PA - World Cafe Live (Joshua Stamper)

sep 22 - Charlottesville, VA - Jefferson Theater (Gull, Invisible Hand)

sep 23 - Cincinnati, OH - Know Theatre (Midpoint Music Festival)

sep 24 - Champaign, IL - Polyvinyl's 15th Anniversary Party at Pygmalion (Braid, Xiu Xiu, and many more)

sep 25 - Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge (Trin Tran, The Cloak Ox)

sep 26 - St. Louis, MO - Luminary Center for the Arts (Sleepy Kitty)

sep 28 - Ithaca, NY - The Haunt (Keir Neurings, Powerdove)

sep 29 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East (The Toughcats, Fat Worm of Error)

oct 01 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club (Benjy Ferree)

oct 02 - Asbury Park, NJ - ATP - Asbury Park Convention Hall & Paramount Theatre (w/ Portishead, Mogwai, Battles, Earth, and more)

Wayne Mills Band Releases New Single

Alabama-based Wayne Mills Band will release their first single, "She Knows the Words to Every Song," to radio August 16. Mills co-wrote the track to be featured on his new album, Long Hard Road, which will mark the first project for new Nashville record label Diesel Records.  "She Knows the Words to Every Song" will also be available on Itunes and www.waynemillsband.com August 16. Seasoned producer, Denny Diante, produced the track for the label's flagship artist.

"This song is a reflection of the emotions anyone, who works out of a suitcase, may go through while they are away from the one they love," says Mills. "My wife has been my biggest support system through the years and I wanted to express to her what she means to me and how I can't wait for us to just getaway with 'She Knows the Words to Every Song.'"

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Wayne Mills Band

Wayne Mills will soon release his 7th studio album, Long Hard Road, where he worked with powerhouse producer Denny Diante under new Nashville record label, Diesel Records. Mills, a native of Arab, AL, showcases his versatility as a singer/songwriter with tracks including “I Need the Country, Whiskey Bent and Jail Bound” and the title track “Long Hard Road” which tells the lonesome tale of a man making bad decisions and working through the consequences. With more than fifteen years of touring experience under his belt, Wayne has proved himself the consummate performer with a huge following in the Southeast while gaining influence in other markets.  This outlaw's traditional country style blended with an edgy rock sound will please new and old country music fans alike with Long Hard Road. His music is the soundtrack to his life: leaving no stone unturned when it comes to lyrics and his life.

Ott. at Fox Theatre | 10.13.11

Z2 Entertainment is proud to present Ott. at the Fox Theatre on Thursday, October 13th , 2011.  Tickets go on sale Friday, August 5th for $16.50 in advance & $20.00 day of show.

Ott, the veteran electronic producer known for his evolving sound of roots and dub, returns to the United States to tour in support of his latest album “Mir”. The new album finds this trusted producer taking his music to new heights. His prolific career with influential UK label Twisted Records, has seen two successful full-length releases including collaborative work with Simon Posford (Shpongle) and his world renowned “Hallucinogen In Dub”. The direct-to fan release, “Mir,” has been regarded by many as his best work to date. Ott will perform a reformatted live PA of the music spanning all of his releases as well as new unreleased material.

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Ott. (Twisted Records)

Fox Theatre

Thursday, October 13th

Doors:  8:30 pm

Show Time:  9:00 pm

The Deep Dark Woods to Release The Place I Left Behind

The Deep Dark Woods wake the ghosts of Appalachia with their prairie gothic pyre-side tales. On their new record, The Place I Left Behind, the band finds continuity in themes of temporal and geographic alienation, neglected inward trails, and the scars of abandoned intimacies.

Buoyed by the success of working with mastermind recording engineer Darren Van Niekerk, on their self produced CBC Songquest single “Charlie's (is Coming Down)” the band decided to approach their new album the same way. Recorded in Halifax with Van Niekerk behind the board once again, The Deep Dark Woods’ first self produced album allowed them to experiment in the studio as never before. Toying with numerous reverbs, vintage amps, instruments and mellotron, they also tried some never before played versions and arrangements of some of the album's songs. While more physically and mentally exhausting than previous albums, it turned out exactly the way the band wanted it to and the reward is their most realized album to date.

The record opens with a song about Saskatoon’s rougher edges. “West Side Street” is a study in contrasts – finespun vocals and a gently rolling melody cushion the gloomy story. “The Place I Left Behind” is loosely based on an old folk standard. Gorgeously morose, the title track confirms that The Deep Dark Woods capture lonesome yearning at its loveliest. “Sugar Mama” is a sweet and lively invitation to tap toes and shake off the blues; a seeming coming-of-age story is treated with playful banjo and an airy gait.

A rainstorm over the desert of modern music, The Place I Left Behind offers murder ballads alongside scrappy rockers, lovesick hymnals and slow-dance waltzes. The album illuminates folk traditions without stripping the shadows of roots music history. The Place I Left Behind echoes with traces of time and space that are never fully abandoned or forgotten.

The Place I Left Behind will be released on Six Shooter Records in Canada on August 2nd and Sugar Hill Records in the US and worldwide on October 18th.

Wade Barnes & The Bottom Line Ensemble at the Moldy Fig Jazz Club

Called, “The Future of Bebop (House of Blues, Review May 5, 2000), Wade Barnes is certainly considered by many to be one of the great drummers, and composers.  The Albany Times Union stated about his appearance at the 1997 Saratoga Jazz Festival, “Mr. Barnes has developed into a premier drummer, composer, and educator.”

Receiving a Master of Arts, in Music, Vermont College, Norwich University and two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music, Empire State College, S.U.N.Y., and in History, Queens College, after years of study and performing in New York City, as a teenager, has facilitated a holistic conception which incorporates the entire history of American music.

Drummers, who were born in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries such as: Cornelius Tillman; Buddy Gilmore; Paul Barbarin; Baby Dodds; and Chick Webb have been extremely influential. Notwithstanding, Wade Barnes is commonly recognized as extending the tradition of the drums, pioneered by drummers Kenny Clarke, Max Roach, ‘Philly’ Joe Jones, and Roy Haynes. It has been stated, by many, that Mr. Barnes has the “swing of Philly Joe Jones and the technique of Buddy Rich.” Although all the musicians stated above have been profound influences, Wade Barnes has incorporated the ideas of these and others, to fashion his very distinct personal sound.

Mr. Barnes is the director of The Brooklyn Repertory Ensemble (a 17 member ensemble) noted for its unique sound. In addition, he leads smaller ensembles. Two of his other regular working bands are: Wade Barnes and The Bottom Line (a ten member ensemble); and Wade Barnes and Unit Structures. Mr. Barnes, also, performed with: “Doc” Cheatham; Earle Warren; Dicky Wells; Howard McGhee; Cecil Payne; Leonard Gaskin; Joe Knight; Franklin Skeets; Candido; Albert Dailey; Billy Mitchell; Benny Powell; Jimmy Garrison; Bob Crenshaw; Archie Shepp; George Coleman; James Spaulding; Sonny Fortune; Jon Faddis among others.

Mr. Barnes has performed in venues such as: The Smithsonian Institute; The JVC Festival (in New York City and Saratoga Springs, N.Y.); Sweet Basil, Slug’s Saloon, The Village Vanguard, Small’s; Fat Cat; and The Iridium, New York City; Larry’s Hideaway, Toronto; The Rising Sun, Montreal; Snug Harbor, Satchmo Summer Fest and Club Strut, Tiptina’s, Ashe Cultural Arts Center, New Orleans.

His discography includes: Pragmatic Optimism, The Brooklyn Repertory Ensemble (360 Records); Passport To Brooklyn, The Brooklyn Repertory Ensemble (Progressive Records); The Brooklyn Four Plus One, Self-titled, (Progressive Records); The Sounds…They Show Us, The Wade Barnes Septet (360 Records); Bridgin’The Gap, The Brooklyn Conservatory Faculty Jazz Ensemble (360 Records); Deane’s Basics, Deane and The Jazz Masters (Progressive Records); In Your Eyes, Linda Presgrave (Metropolitan Records); Wild As The Wind, Pucci Amanda Jhones (CIMP Records); Fantasy For Orchestra, The Universal Jazz Symphonette (Independent).

The Brooklyn Four Plus One Inc. has been awarded grants to conduct education programs from: The Charles Evans Foundation; The New York City Council and The Department of Cultural Affairs; The Music Performance Fund; The Vermont Arts Council; Vermont College; New England Life; and The Jazz Foundation Of America. The grants were awarded to The Brooklyn Four Plus One Inc. in order to administer music education programs created by Mr. Barnes.

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WADE BARNES AND THE BOTTOM LINE ENSEMBLE
Appearing Monday nights at the Moldy Fig Jazz Club
Beginning Monday, July 11, 2011
Time: 8pm - 12am  | Cover - $5.00
The Moldy Fig Jazz Club is located at 178 Stanton Street between Clinton and Attorney.    Lower East Side, NY
Open from 5:00pm to 2:00am Sun. - Thur. and 5:00pm to 4:00am Fri. and Sat.

Classic blues singer Alberta Hunter reissued on RockBeat Records

It’s difficult to decide which was the most remarkable facet of pioneering blues chanteuse Alberta Hunter’s incredible career. Was it her role in the vanguard of the “classic blues” movement of the early 1920s, when she recorded prolifically for Paramount and other labels during the industry’s first foray into the idiom? Her entertainment of grateful U.S. troops during not one war, but two? Or her heartwarming late 1970s/early 1980s comeback on the New York cabaret circuit after more than two decades away from singing professionally, when she was well into her 80s? One fact is inescapable: when she died on October 17, 1984 in New York at age 89, Hunter was a genuine star once more.

In 1974, the singer had largely retired from music due to health concerns. But musical pursuits called once again when club owner Barney Josephson invited her to star for six weeks at the Cookery, his hip Greenwich Village cabaret, in October 1977. The live recording of a subsequent 1981 Cookery performance resulted in Downhearted Blues: Live at the Cookery, which will be released on both CD and 180-gram vinyl August 30, 2011 on RockBeat Records, a new label focused on quality reissues and new recordings by heritage artists, distributed by eOne Distribution. Musicologist Bill Dahl contributed liner notes. (The title was previously available on CD, but has been re-mastered and will now be available on CD and 180-gram vinyl for the first time.)

Born on April 1, 1895 in Memphis, Hunter was weaned on W.C. Handy’s pioneering blues. By 16 she was in Chicago in the midst of a celebrated five-year residence at the city’s Dreamland club, singing in front of King Oliver & His Creole Jazz Band with Louis Armstrong. Hunter made her recording debut in 1921 for Black Swan Records, one of the first black-owned labels, with “How Long, Sweet Daddy, How Long” b/w “Bring Back the Joys.” From there she went to Paramount Records, cutting half a dozen sides including the original “Down Hearted Blues,” which she wrote with piano accompanist Lovie Austin and forcefully revisited on the 1981 live album.  (Bessie Smith, the immortal Empress of the Blues, ended up scoring a bigger hit with the song in 1923.) Hunter continued to record prolifically for Paramount, backed by Fletcher Henderson and, on 1923’s “Stingaree Blues,” Fats Waller.

Having conquered Chicago, Hunter moved to New York in 1923. She recorded for Gennett, OKeh, RCA Victor and Columbia. During this time she ventured to jazz-obsessed France in 1927, where she co-starred with Paul Robeson in a production of Showboat and recorded into the ’30s for HMV. When she returned to the U.S., she recorded for ARC, Decca and Bluebird.  She hosted a radio program in the ’30s and Broadway welcomed her back in 1939, when she shared the stage with Ethel Waters in Mamba’s Daughters. When World War II broke out, Hunter boldly served her country in the USO, entertaining troops across the globe. She continued into the Korean conflict.

There were scattered post-war sessions. But when her beloved mother died in 1954 and after starring in a Broadway flop, Hunter bowed out of performing to train as a nurse. Upon graduation in 1957 at age 62 — an age at which many folks contemplate retirement — she began a new career at a New York hospital. Other than recording a couple of Chris Albertson-produced LPs cut two weeks apart in 1961 (Songs We Taught Your Mother, a set for Prestige Bluesville also featuring Victoria Spivey and Lucille Hegamin) and Chicago: The Living Legends for Riverside, she kept a determinedly low profile for more than two decades — afraid the hospital would learn how far past mandatory retirement age she was and let her go.

In 1974, Hunter was forced out of her job by hospital regulations. It was October 1977 when Cookery’s Josephson invited her to headline his room. Next, legendary A&R man John Hammond cut an album’s worth of her classics (with a few new ones) for the Columbia soundtrack of director Alan Rudolph’s 1978 film Remember My Name. Dick Cavett and Mike Douglas invited her to brighten their TV talkfests, 60 Minutes profiled her, and Columbia recorded three more albums.

The live recordings that form Downhearted Blues: Live at the Cookery are from one of her many triumphant evenings at the club. Her sense of swing and theatricality remained impeccable, with longtime pianist and arranger Gerald Cook and sturdy upright bassist Jimmy Lewis providing sterling accompaniment. Hunter glided through saucy double-entendre-loaded numbers (“Handy Man,” “Two-Fisted Workin’ Man”), time-honored standards (a rip-roaring “I Got Rhythm,” the tender “Georgia On My Mind”), and the touching ballads “The Love I Have From You” (from Remember My Name) and “You’re Welcome To Come Back Home.”

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's New Live EP Under the Big Top Vol. 1 Available Now

The iconic and profoundly influential Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (NGDB), often cited as a catalyst for an entire movement in Country Rock and American Roots Music, released their new live EP called Under the Big Top Vol. 1 this week. The EP features six fan favorites performed live including "Mr. Bojangles," "Bless the Broken Road" and "Fishin' in the Dark," which was recently certified GOLD by the RIAA for digital sales. Recorded in 2010 at the band's performance at Big Top Chautauqua in Wisconsin, the EP perfectly captures a live experience with NGDB.

"It's a little slice of Dirt...a combo platter of hits, fan-favorites and even some music from our latest CD, Speed of Life," said band member Jeff Hanna. "We recorded it last summer at one of our favorite venues, Big Top Chautauqua in Bayfield, Wisconsin. We had such a blast we knew it had to be shared with the fans!"

Available now and featured for digital download at iTunes and in the band's online store, Under the Big Top Vol. 1 is a must-have for any Nitty Gritty fan. Physical albums of this new Live EP are available now, only at nittygritty.com or a live NGDB show.

With multi-platinum and gold records, a string of top ten hits, multiple Grammy, IBMA, CMA Awards and nominations, and recent GOLD Digital Certification, the band's accolades only continue to accumulate. Showing no signs of slowing down, NGDB is currently on an extensive North American Tour in support of their most recent release, the critically acclaimed album Speed of Life (2009, Sugar Hill Records). Proving the "circle won't be unbroken," the band is celebrating another HUGE milestone this year, over four decades of touring and making music!

For a full list of tour dates visit www.nittygritty.com

Candye Kane's 'Sister Vagabond' album rings triumphant in challenging year

Candye Kane has been called a survivor, a superhero and the toughest girl alive. (All are also titles of her self-penned songs.) Her eleventh CD release, Sister Vagabond, will hit the streets on August 16, 2011 on Delta Groove Records. Produced by Kane and her noted guitarist Laura Chavez, Sister Vagabond is a worthy successor to their 2010 collaboration, Superhero, which was nominated for Best Contemporary Blues CD in the Blues Foundation’s Blues Music Awards.

The jump-blues singer, songwriter and mother of two from East Los Angeles is a five-time nominee for Blues Music Awards, has nabbed ten San Diego Music Awards and starred in a sold-out stage play about her life. She’s beat pancreatic cancer in the last two years. She has performed worldwide for presidents and movie stars.

But her path to success was not always glamorous or easy. Raised in what she calls a dysfunctional blue-collar family, Candye became a mother, a pinup cover girl and a punk-rock, hillbilly blues-belter by the time she was just 21 years old. Ten CDs, six record labels, millions of international road miles and countless awards later, Miss Kane has proven to be a true survivor as she scrambled her way to the top of the roots-music heap, creating a world renowned reputation that has spanned two decades.

A colorful mixture of the traditional and the eclectic, Kane cut her musical teeth in the early ’80s onstage with Hollywood musicians and friends Social Distortion, Dwight Yoakam, Dave Alvin, Los Lobos, The Blasters, X, Fear and the Circle Jerks, to name just a few. While raising two sons, this role model for the disenfranchised championed large-sized women, fought for the equal rights of sex workers and the GLBT community and inspired music lovers everywhere. Her fans are a mixture of true outsiders: bikers, blues fans, punk rockers, drag queens, fat girls, queers, burlesque dancers, porn fans, sex workers, rockabilly and swing dancers, gray-haired hippies, sex-positive feminists and everyday folk of all ages.

In 1986, then married to Thomas Yearsley of the Paladins, she was touched by the music of Big Maybelle, Big Mama Thornton, Ruth Brown and more. Her self-released 1991 Burlesque Swing caught the ear of Texas impresario Clifford Antone, who signed her to a deal with Antone’s Records. Los Lobos’ Cesar Rosas and Paladin/Hacienda Brother/Stone River Boy Dave Gonzalez co-produced the first album of the deal, Home Cookin’. Picked up by Discovery (later Sire) Records, the Dave Alvin/Derek O’Brien-produced Diva La Grande was followed by Swango in the height of the swing craze.

Rounder/Bullseye Records signed her in 1995, releasing The Toughest Girl Alive, produced by Scott Billington. Four albums followed on the German RUF label, including the Bob Margolin-produced Guitar’d and Feathered. She then pacted with her current label, Delta Groove, releasing Superhero in 2010 and now Sister Vagabond in 2011.

Her full-time, 250-days-a-year touring schedule started in 1992. And today, Kane’s live shows are the stuff of legend. She honors the bold blues women of the past with both feet firmly planted in the present. She belts, growls, shouts, croons and moans from a lifetime of suffering and overcoming obstacles. She uses music as therapy and often writes and chooses material with positive affirmations that leave the audience feeling healed and exhilarated. In a show that is part humor, part revival meeting and party sexuality celebration, she'll deliver a barrelhouse-tongue-in-cheek blues tune or a gospel ballad, encouraging audiences to leave behind religious intolerance. She’ll slay the crowd with her balls out rendition of “Whole Lotta Love” or glorify the virtues of zaftig women with “200 Pounds of Fun.” She often says she is a ”fat black drag queen trapped in a white woman's body” and she dresses the part.

Kane has been included in countless blues and jazz CD anthologies including Rolling Stone Jazz and Blues Album Guide and Musichound: Blues, The Essential Album Guide and Dan Aykroyd’s 30 Essential Women of the Blues. She appeared on the influential call-to-arms of Southern California roots music, A Town South of Bakersfield on Enigma Records, alongside Lucinda Williams and Dwight Yoakam.

In addition to her musical achievements, Kane has become an activist and philanthropist in recent years. In August 2009, she appeared in Dublin, Ireland for the World Congress for Downs Syndrome with her United by Music charity. The project provides performance opportunities, blues history lessons and songwriting instruction to young people with disabilities, encouraging them to write their own blues songs to help them overcome their daily challenges.

A fighter par excellence, Candye has an authenticity, determination and optimism that keep her shows passionate, honest and irresistible.

“I take things one day at a time and today I am feeling great and very optimistic about my new CD,” Kane says. It’s been awesome to write and co-produce again with my guitarist Laura Chavez. I am grateful for every chance I get to make music live, or in the studio. Most people are given only three months to live after a pancreatic cancer diagnosis and three years later, I am still here. So any opportunity I have to create music makes me humbled and grateful.

“People ask me why I want to work so hard and so much, since I tour 250 days a year. Everyone says I should stay home and relax after my health struggle. But music is my life and neuroendocrine cancer is a mostly manageable disease. I will continue to work as much as I can because I know life is fragile anyway. I would be fine if I died onstage doing what I love like Country Dick Montana or Johnny Guitar Watson. I’m not planning on going anytime soon, but when I do exit this plane, I hope it’s making someone else feel inspired by the powerful words in my songs.”