Monday, November 19, 2007

A Pair of Queens

Festive Living kind of slows down this time of year, but just because there haven't been any festivals around here lately doesn't mean there is a shortage of good music to be enjoyed. Earlier this month I got to see an old festival favorite, Candye Kane, at the German Club. She is a big blues mama who sings her heart out, backed by a band that rocks, and includes her son on drums. They were a couple hours late due to traffic, but everyone who came was treated to a lively performance reveling in her uniquely bawdy style. With songs like, "I'm on a Bender", "Eat it all night long", "Who do you love (it's OK) ", "White Trash Girl", and "Estrogen Bomb", it makes me think of Led Zeppelin's, Living, Loving, She's just a Woman", because those are the recurrent themes in her music. Throughout the show she tells stories of how writing songs was like her salvation, and a way to feel good about herself through tough times. She may have seemed like a novelty act in the past, playing the piano with her boobs and all....but she makes no apologies and showcases her singing, which is as robust as ever.

A couple of days later Wanda Jackson performed at the Towers in Narragansett, backed by the Lustre Kings from NY. I was not sure what to expect from the 70 year old rockabilly star from the 50's, but she was great! At only 5'2" she is a little dynamo of a singer who still enjoys performing and loves to rock and roll. Sparkling in a silver jacket, she pulled out one hit after another, and also shared many stories of touring around the world, hanging out with Elvis, visitng Japan, where they loved her song "Yokohama Mama", and even finding salvation in Jesus.

Even though in some ways she's the opposite of Candye Kane, because of her small size, they really have alot in common - both started out their careers as country singers, but preferred the more energetic genres of rockabilly and blues, which are mostly male dominated. And they both have big hair, love to perform and tell stories, and aren't afraid to be themselves. So I was not surpised when searching on Rhapsody a few days later for both of these artists, I found Candye on a tribute to Wanda Jackson CD!

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