Thursday, July 31, 2003
Photo: Get some Candye Kane at Sly McFly''s.
Candye Kane says she was well on her way to becoming a country singer in 1986, until her appearance on the cover of Juggs magazine caused her to lose her record deal, and to wonder if she would ever find her place in the music industry.
Now, 17 years later, Kane has released her seventh album, Whole Lotta Love, and she is preparing to tour eastern Europe in the fall. Speaking from her home in San Diego, Kane says she learned a big lesson from her dealings with the country music industry. "My advice to other musicians is to find a way to be themselves within the music," says Kane.
For Kane, that meant embracing her past as a former porn star, phone sex operator and topless model.
Her inability to gloss over her past for country music executives caused her manager at the time to proclaim that she was "unmanageable," she says. Kane was not unmanageable, she was just in the wrong genre.
In 1988, she used her voluminous assets to finance her debut album>, Burlesque Swing, a cassette of dirty blues songs. Not only did Kane discover that blues labels were able to get past her past, but she found that there was a long history of provocative songs with sexual themes within the genre. "There are a lot of incredibly sexual songs from the early blues era," she says.
The cassette led to Kane getting a record deal with the Texas blues label Antone''s. Her first album for the label, 1994''s Home Cookin'', featured songs like "Catch an Honest Man" and "Seven Men a Week."
Since then, she has toured extensively, gathered accolades and appeared on countless television shows--including CNN''s The Point and Penn & Teller''s Sin City Spectacular.
Her new album has a version of George "Wild Child" Butler''s song about putting your money in the bank, called "Put It All In There," which Kane believes is not really about being financially prudent. There is also a rocking cover of "Whole Lotta Love."
Instead of doing the original blues version by Willie Dixon, Kane chose to perform the song like Led Zeppelin''s cover. "I prefer the Led Zeppelin version," Kane says. "I smoked my first pot listening to Led Zeppelin."
Kane, who performs around 250 shows a year, says that her openness about her past has led to some interesting gigs. One of the most interesting was a slot performing at San Francisco''s Hooker''s Ball, a party for swingers and members of the sex industry.
The big blues-woman hopes that all this information does not scare away her female fans.
"Most of the time, men are coming to the show to see how big my boobs are, but my show is not vulgar and it''s mostly for women," she says.
Candye Kane will be performing at Sly McFly''s, 700 Cannery Row, Monterey, Friday and Saturday 9pm.