Continental Club presents Candye Kane.
Candye Kane believes the universe makes no mistakes. She doesn’t view a stereotypical patriarchal God seated on a velvet throne in flowing white robes granting wishes and deciding who will live or die. Kane believes the universe, or your higher power or whatever you feel comfortable calling it, has already made decisions and already knows what you are capable of, long before you take your first step or have your first all night cry over the rejection of a girl or boy at school. The universe has already strengthened you for the most radical endurance race of all…LIFE.
In 1983, Candye was a teenage mom from the poor side of Los Angeles, it was welfare and food stamps by day, hard drug use and nude modeling by night, while at the same time yodeling and moshing alongside groundbreaking punk bands like the Circle Jerks, X and FEAR in Hollywood’s underground music scene. To help pay the bills she appeared on the covers of Hustler and High Society, whilst peddling her cassettes of original hillbilly music to anyone who would listen along the Venice, CA Boardwalk.
It didn’t take long before Candye signed a management deal with The Halsey Agency, the first agency to promote American music behind the Iron Curtain, she became close friends with Dave Alvin, Marty Stuart and Dwight Yoakum who wisely encouraged her to always be honest about her colorful past. "Be yourself Candye. It's what you're good at" said Yoakum.
It was advice well taken. Candye went on to record twelve CD’s on a myriad of record labels including Seymour Stein’s Sire Records and well respected independent label Rounder Records. She built a worldwide reputation by touring 250 days a year, wrote songs that appeared on television and in movies, landed appearances & performances on television shows like Penn and Teller, Queen Latifah, Rosanne & Donny and Marie, she’s collaborated with numerous artists that include Texas Women in the Blues with Lou Ann Barton and Miss Lavelle White as well as The Blues Caravan Series with Sue Foley and Ana Popovic, for which she wrote the theme song. She also penned and performed a stage play about her life called “The Toughest Girl Alive” to sold out audiences and at the New York Fringe Festival. Candye has been nominated for five National Blues Awards and has won the Best Blues Band Award in her adopted hometown of San Diego, CA a record nine consecutive times, all while raising two sons to adulthood.
Canadian guitarist Sue Foley introduced Candye to fellow guitar player Laura Chavez in 2007, Candyes’ guitarist was leaving the band to start a project of his own and Candye had an impending tour and no one to play guitar. Candye heard Laura’s playing and hired her sight unseen. “I’d never even seen a picture of her. But when I picked her up at the airport, we were both dressed in skull shirts and ordered the same cocktails. We felt the same on so many topics.” Finding what felt like a musical kindred spirit Kane and Chavez were excited to start writing songs together and make good on their promise to get out on the road but the pesky universe had plans of its own.
Candye hadn’t been feeling great and after an especially rough pain bout she went to an ER in Germany. The doctor on call saw a mass on her pancreas. He sent her home with a tragic look and a bottle of pain meds. As she looked up the cancer she had, she realized her odds of surviving were poor. She had already lost a close family friend, Dana Seguin, in a matter of months leaving behind a wife and two sons, almost the same age as Candye’s two boys.
Realizing her days were likely numbered, Candye told Laura she needed to find another band and get famous. “Look girl, you’re too GOOD. This world needs to see how awesome you are, you have to play with somebody else. If you stay with me I’d be robbing the world of your talent” Candye told Laura. But Laura insisted on waiting until Candye had her first Whipple surgery. Turns out that along with her guitar playing Chavez was also a bright student who once dreamt of med school, not only that, she actually enjoyed researching Candye’s rare type of neuroendocrine cancer and advocated for her in and out of the hospital. She’s not just a brilliant guitar player and an avid fan of House, she’s a guitar slinging, blues lover who reads pathology reports for fun. The cancer fight oddly brought Chavez and Kane closer, personally and musically. As Candye started to feel better the two celebrated by writing and recording two new CD’s and jumped in the Chevy van and hit on the road.
In May 2012 the cancer came back and a second Whipple revision was performed at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. As soon as they could the road warriors Kane and Chavez continued their hectic schedule around the world – playing music for people everywhere, from Finland to Australia to Europe and Africa. They performed at the National Congress for Downs Syndrome, for Candye’s charity United by Music and in spite of monthly injections to keep the cancer at bay, they show no signs of slowing down.
Kane and Chavez will release their third CD together, Coming Out Swingin’ in June 2013. Featuring thirteen songs, nine of them self penned as a team. Including enough string bending from Laura to satisfy any guitar geek, she wails, she swings, she jumps and boogies and she does it all with a medical journal in one hand and a guitar pick in the other.
Kane is her no holds barred self, telling heart wrenching stories of pain and survival, lust and heartbreak. Still the sexual dynamo she was in the 80s, she now does it as a petite size 8 but has lost none of the barrelhouse belting that made her a Bessie Smith contender. It’s as if cancer has strengthened both of these women, turning them into one powerhouse of guts and determination and one dynamic duo to be encountered, on and off the bandstand.
Coming out Swingin — indeed!