Reviews: Coming Out Swinging by Candye Kane & Laura Chavez
FRIDAY, JULY 05, 2013
Candye Kane Is Coming Out Swingin’
Candye Kane has a new album Coming Out Swingin’ on VizzTone that stands out in an already substantial catalog of music she has produced. Some have may regarded her as a novelty when she made her first recordings years ago, but she long ago established herself with her personality voice and heart. This latest album features her soul mate Laura Chavez on guitar and co-writer on most of the songs along with a terrific band that includes the rhythm section of Fred Rautmann on drums and Kennan Shaw on bass along with Leo Dombecki on organ, Sue Palmer on piano, Johnny Viau on saxophone, April West on trombone and Billy Watson on harmonica. Laura Chavez and her former husband Thomas Yearsley produced this and Yearsley adds some acoustic bass on some songs.
With drummer Rautmann doing a credible evoking of Gene Krupa’s drumming on Sing, Sing, Sing,Ms. Kane launches into the title cut, an exhilarating jump blues with terrific horn playing and slashing guitar from Ms. Chavez who is exceptional throughout this recording. The repertoire is varied allowing Ms. Kane to show herself equally able at handling a ballad (Rick Estrin’s What Love Can Do) as belting out the title track. Chavez adds a rockabilly tinge to the rocking reworking of Benny Carter’s Rock Me To Sleep, while Kane and Chavez demonstrate their ability to write witty songs I’m The Reason You Drink along with one of the most remarkable lyrics I have heard in a long time, Invisible Woman. This latter songs contrasts wealthy and celebrity women that might grace a cover of a tabloid or be on a television reality show to those who are not thin or young or rich enough to be worshipped. These are invisible woman that everybody looks through. The stark simplicity and directness of the lyrics contributes to the potency of this remarkable performance.
I have had the pleasure to see Candye Kane perform several times and always been impressed by her warmth as a person as well as the powerfulness of her music which has grown with her experience as a performer. This is heard in Coming Out Swingin’, which is an extraordinary recording by a remarkable singer and performer.
Candye Kane featuring Laura Chavez Coming Out Swinging
By August 2013
There is nothing pretentious here with the title of this disc. You load this CD into your player and POW, the title track comes swingin' in! It starts with Fred Rautmann on the drums, pounding out a contagious "Caravan" like beat followed by the extremely talented Laura Chavez on guitar. Then the horns come in with vigor. If you don't find yourself moving, at least in your seat, something's wrong. (I'd check for a pulse.) By the way, there is a tasty little treat of a solo from most everybody in the line-up.
It's amazing that with all that Ms. Kane has endured in the last few years, that she can sing at all. She defeated Pancreatic cancer not once, but twice!! You wouldn't know it, though, from the strength of her voice. The positive vibe on the disc is amazing! Most of the songs on this disc were penned by Ms. Kane and Laura Chavez, with the exception of tracks 2, 9, 11, and 13, and track 7, which was penned solely by Candye Kane. The common thread is the up-beat and often humorous attitude on this disc. I could write a book about this recording. Every cut is worth a chapter. It's SO delicious!
Track 2, "Rock Me To Sleep," was written by Benny Carter and has a unique intro and sweet sentiment. I can picture a ballroom dance floor filled with smiling swing dancers, twirling around. The next tune, "I'm The Reason Why You Drink" (Kane/Chavez) is a rollicking "up-town" shuffle, guitar and bass in perfect sync. Listening to the words, I can imagine an "AL-ANON" meeting in the future, lol! Once again, Ms. Chavez offers up a fine solo, followed by the equally talented Sue Palmer on keys!
Now for something a little different on track 4. "When Tomorrow Comes" has an old style R&B groove, as does "Rise Up!", but each with their own flavor. Both are penned by Kane/Chavez. The next cut, "Invisible Woman," takes it down and low, relating to the angst of feeling out of place in society ... the person who is bullied, but wants to feel "seen" as the worthwhile person they are. Aah, but the next song, Ms. Kane comes back with her composition, "You Ain't All That!" An attitude that could help any down-trodden to stand up for themselves.
Ms. Chavez struts her rockabilly bad self on guitar in "I Wanted You To Walk," with licks that I'm certain made Gene Vincent sit up in his grave and salute! Candye's vocals fall into place seamlessly with the style of this song.
We go into a stroll in "Darling Baby," a Holland/Dozier/Holland composition that Candye makes her own. Then it's time to jump up ... again! Laura tears it up in "Barbed Wire Mouth!" Candye channels her inner rockabilly/punk on this one. She changes her voice so much in this song, that I wasn't sure it was her.
Rick Estrin penned cut 11, "What Love Can Do," a soulful, slow stroll, that once again, Candye sings as though it was her own composition. Organist Leo Dombecki pours his heart out in his solo. Then ... it's rumba/swing time with this playful bi-lingual, English/French (Kane/Chavez) "Au Rumba Y'll" (good bye, y'all) She throws in a little Spanish "adios"... just to punctuate the end of the song. But that's not the end of this adventure in music. The last cut, en Espanol, "Marijuana Boogie" written by Lalo Guerrero ends this CD on a jump-swing note and some fine solos from guitarist Laura Chevez and some yummy boogie woogie tickling of the ivories by pianist Sue Palmer. This disc is just plain tasty. Well ... what are you waiting for? Go buy it...NOW!
GUITARS; Laura Chavez BASS; Kennan Shaw, Thomas Yearsley ORGAN; Leo Dombecki TRUMPET; Bill Cabalero TROMBONE; April West SAXOPHONE; Jonny Viau PIANO; Sue Palmer HARMONICA; Billy Watson VOCALS; Candye Kane, Casey Hensley
Candye Kane has never been one to shy away from a fight, whether it’s been addiction(s), raising two sons, or beating cancer. With this kind of drive and determination, it is no wonder that she has built a successful career with her music. She has been nominated for for several Blues Music Awards, including BB King Entertainer of the Year (twice), Best Contemporary Blues Female (twice), and Best Contemporary Blues CD (Superhero).
Coming Out Swingin’ is her third release with guitarist and songwriting partner, Laura Chavez. Released on the Sister Cynic/Vizztone label, the album’s 13 tracks clock in at just under 44 minutes. Personnel on this album are: Laura Chavez – guitar, Kennan Shaw and Thomas Yearsley – bass, Fred Rautmann – drums, Leo Dumbecki – organ, and Billy Watson on harp. Providing some fine horn playing are Bill Caballero – trumpet, April West – trombone, and Jonny Vaiu on sax. Tickling the ivories is Sue Palmer, and of course, Candye Kane provides the vocals. Production values are good, and the mix is excellent, letting everything speak in just the right voice, and at the right depth.
If you like swing and jump style blues, you will love this album. The musicianship here is first rate, as are Kane’s vocals. Standout tracks include the title track, which is a whole lot of swing infused fun, and “I’m The Reason You Drink,” with Kane’s great vocal and tasteful soloing from Laura Chavez. Kane’s vocal on “Invisible Woman” is a cross between Peggy Lee and Etta James; delightfully smooth and smokey. We also enjoyed the slow and soulful “What Love Can Do,” and the horn and piano driven, playful cabaret stylings of “Au Revoir Y’all.”
If you crave something that is fun, but really good music, this is for you. This album is well written, well produced, and well played. Give it a go soon.
I just received the newest release (June 25, 2013), Coming Out Swingin' from Candye Kane and it may be her best effort to date. Opening with the title track, Coming Out Swingin' Kane and notable guitarist Laura Chavez literally come out swinging!! This authentic swing track features really tasty guitar riffs but conjures the feel from the 40's with Bill Caballero on trumpet, April West on trombone, Jerry Viau on sax and tight tom tom work from Fred Rautmann.On Rock Me To Sleep, Kane leads the way with swell vocals and Chavez plays some remarkably clean guitar work backed by Sue Palmer on piano and Kennan Shaw on bass. I'm The Reason Why You Drink has a Chuck Berry flavor but with a twist of horns and of course Kane on vocals. Chavez steps up again on this track showing that she well knows the fretboard. Bill Watson also adds nice harp work on this track. One of my Personal favorites, Invisible Woman, is a slow bluesy ballad track with shimmery guitar work. Low fretboard guitar solos, and especially cleanly inventive ones always draw my attention and Chavez is all over this. Excellent! A catchy swinger, You Ain't All That gets you back up and rockin' and Kane's vocals are bounce nicely along with the support of Chavez. Have I mentioned that I love her guitar work on this release? I Wanted You To Walk has a bit of an old western (but rockabilly) feel to it and it's nicely done. Darling Babyis an old Holland, Dozier, Holland classic and possibly showcases Kane's voice better than any other track on the release. Barbed Wire Mouth is a rocker with a bit of punk sass. Kick out the stops and in with the surf. Twanging guitar riffs flow and Chavez again shows her mastery of the fretboard. Rick Estrin's What Love Can Do is another nice addition to this release. A R&B style track, Kane belts out the melody and the bands stays low in support. Leo Dombecki adds some really nice organ work to this track as well. In a tribute to New Orleans Kane and Chavez play Au Revoir Y'All, a track starting in classic NO strut style but developing to a full swing. Sue Palmer lays down some really nice keys on this track backed by the horns. Lalo Guerrero's Marijuana Boogie is a great choice to wrap up this release. Kane is in full tilt and Chavez is stepping on the gas. I can see my pal Still A Dog stompin' his foot and whistling away. Palmer again steps up and really rides the keys. This is surprisingly really really good. Check it out!