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Candye Kane: Diva la Grande

Former porn star turned blues diva Candye Kane delivers some sass and soul of her own on Diva la Grande (Antone’s/Discovery 74710; 53:13). More than just a high camp novelty act, this voluptuous vixen can really belt out with bluesy, gospel holler gusto, as she ably demonstrates on “You Need A Great Big Woman,” “Love ‘Em & Forgive ‘Em” and “Freak Lover.” She turns in a spicy cajun version of “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'” alongside labelmate Toni Price. Big Sandy & The Fly Rite Boys guest on the jumping western swing number “I Left My Heart In Texas” while California legend Dave Alvin provides some suitably raucous guitar licks on “Homewrecker.” Candye delivers with genuine feeling on the moving ballad “It Should Be Rainin'” then gets downright raunchy and X-rated on “Gifted In The Ways Of Love” and “All You Can Eat (And You Can Eat It All Night Long”). But then, raunchy innuendo has been a part of the blues going back to the days of Bessie Smith. Stellar support from her band the Swingin’ Armadillos, featuring Sue “Beehive” Palmer on piano, along with Austin stalwarts Derek O’Brien on guitar, Ted Roddy on harmonica and Mark Kazanoff on saxes. Surprisingly good. Fans of Marcia Ball take note of this one.

Originally Published