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Still powerful, still magic

By Candye Kane

Delta Groove Music: 2009

This review first appeared in Turbula in June 2009.

Fresh off a victorious fight against cancer, Oceanside's Candye Kane has every right to title her new album "SuperHero." On her first studio album since 2007's "Guitar'd and Feathered," Kane has turned out a superb set of her larger-than-life blues shouting, mixing in some of her best original compositions with spirited covers of songs by Jack Tempchin and the Farage brothers (all of whom are also local to San Diego, even though Tempchin wrote some of the Eagles' first hits).

Of other blues singers of a national reputation, only Shemekia Copeland can possibly match Kane's sheer physical force as vocalist. Deeply immersed in the style of the recently departed Koko Taylor, Kane has access to a reserve of pure lungpower that can provide punctuation to a song that lesser singers just don't have.

On this new release, though, Kane reminds us that the power of her forceful singing comes from her discretion in using it. If she sang at full volume all the time it wouldn't have half the impact it does when she unleashes her fury on a song's climatic chorus.

Or, sometimes, on a song's opening verse, as on the first track, "SuperHero." But that song is surely a statement, a reminder that Kane beat cancer and is still with us. It's also one of the catchiest songs she's ever written, and guitarist Laura Chavez ande bassist Paul Loranger provide some tasty fills behind her. Other highlights are the boogie shuffle "Hey! Toughen Up!", the doo-wop "I Didn't Listen to My Heart" and the nod to Screamin' Jay Hawkins, "I Put a Hex on You."

Kane's singing is in top form, the backing band is as tight as she's ever had, and the production is first-rate. We're lucky to have her with us still, making music this magic.