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Girl power

Blues singer Candye Kane is more than sugar and spice

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Named after pure sweetness and dressed to impress, - Candye Kane aims to empower.
  • Named after pure sweetness and dressed to impress, Candye Kane aims to empower.

In an age where Paris Hilton's tears constitute "breaking news," it's difficult to discern clear messages regarding the nature of true female empowerment.

However, blues singer Candye Kane tackles this evasive subject on stage every day. Her sound embodies blues, rockabilly and jazz and reflects the style of legends such as Etta James, Janis Joplin and Patsy Cline.

Before delving into music full-time 20 years ago, Kane pursued a women's studies major at a community college in San Diego. Her education opened her eyes to the critical part women played in shaping the U.S.

"It was the first time I realized women had a role in history," she says. "There weren't a whole lot of women in the spotlight beyond Betsy Ross at that time in public education."

Kane's awakening in the classroom solidified her desire to write songs that had social meaning, for both women and men. A self-proclaimed "fat girl," she calls herself an "activist for the disenfranchised": other fat girls, men who love fat girls, bikers, feminists, rockabilly kids.

"I've always been kind of an outsider, and that shines through in my music," Kane says.

Song titles like "I'm the Toughest Girl Alive," "Fit, Fat, and Fine" and "You Need a Great Big Woman" reiterate her message of self-acceptance and -empowerment. Although she hates using the phrase "role model," Kane hopes to inspire women and other marginalized individuals to pursue their passions.

"I think people may think, 'If she's done it in an unconventional way, maybe I can do it in an unconventional way. It's a constant effort to embrace who you are, and people give up way too easily."

Candye Kane

The Thirsty Parrot, 32 S. Tejon St., 884-1094

Tuesday, Aug. 21, 7-10 p.m.

Tickets: $13 in advance and $18 the day of the show. Available at

amusiccompanyinc.com, KRCC-FM's offices (912 N. Weber St.) or at the venue.

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