"It's no secret to anybody that I am a big woman. I make no attempt to hide it (and it would be a futile attempt!). It's the first thing you see when you meet me and many of my songs adopt themes about body size and image. Thus the title of my new CD Whole Lotta Love makes a lot of sense. I have tried throughout my musical life to spread my love message. Love each other - Love what you do - and most of all: Love Yourself. Whole Lotta Love encompasses all of the elements of Candye Kane. I don't think Willie Dixon meant for his song to become an anthem for big women and I am certain that when Led Zeppelin recorded it, the thought never occurred to them. But when I sing this song, it takes on a whole new meaning. It's a twisted, raucous, campy celebration of plus size love. I am literally a whole lotta love and believe that every one of us on this planet wants to find meaningful love in our lives. Love is the one thing every person can understand. It's the great unifier. And I make it my mission to spread love every where I go. Love can heal the planet... mile by mile, inch by inch, song by song.
I think this CD is timely because it is a perfect blend of the old and the new. The honorable traditions of delta blues; "Whats that I smell?" by Big Bill Broonzy meets the hard blues rock of "Whole Lotta Love". The expert production and advanced technology of the Reno Brothers meets the down home guitar stylings and relaxed vocalizing of Charlie Musselwhite and the old school grooves of laid back Larry Taylor on bass. The barrelhouse rawness of a simple piano and voice on "I'm not getting older" meets sophisticated strings on the smoky Squeeze torch song "When the Hangover Strikes".
Every one of the songs I chose has a blues foundation. I believe that for blues music to evolve, we must blend elements of the old and the new with respect and reverence. The diverse blues greats that made me want to sing this style of music are mostly gone now; Memphis Minnie, Dinah Washington and Big Maybelle are not coming back. Like these very different women with a common musical voice, I try to take all of the diversity of my own experiences and background and create music with one foot in the past and one foot firmly planted in the future. From teenage welfare mom to large size stripper to belting singer my music reflects all the essential elements of who I am.
I chose songs that were personally meaningful to me, but that might also be empowering to someone else. "Fit, Fat and Fine" is a swing tune I found on a jump blues record I have had in my collection for 15 years. It's a rare song by a little known artist, Billy Valentine, but I hope it will become a favorite of yours. "A Lion In My House" is a song I wrote about my painful divorce from my husband of 14 years. It was the moment I realized I shared a home with a stranger. I think anyone who has broken up will relate to this song about when things are not exactly how they seem.
"Wrap Around Joy" written by expert songwriter Carole King was a last minute find for me. People don't think of Carole King as a blues writer but she has written hits for so many great singers. Aretha recorded "Natural Woman" and "I Feel The Earth Move" and made them her own. Though I am no Aretha, I tried to make "Wrap around Joy" a song that blues listeners could relate to. "27 Times" is a fun, rockabilly flavored shuffle that I wrote on tour in Florida. A friend said he had cheated on his wife 27 times and I pictured him begging for forgiveness.
I have always wanted to record "Put It All In There" written by my friend from Alabama, George Wild Child Butler. I have had the privilege to sing this song with Wild Child onstage in the Netherlands as a duet. He insists the song is about putting money in the bank but I think you'll see that with me singing it, it can't help but take on a whole new meaning. Charlie Musselwhites' scorching harmonica solo make this the bluesiest track on the CD.
Being a huge Etta James fan, it was just a matter of time before I recorded this staple of her live shows in the 60's. I have opened for her many, many times and Etta taught me that you can still be big, sexy and powerful. I hope it comes across in "Something's Got A Hold On Me".
"I Got A Secret" is a song that came to me in a dream. It's a little different from some of the songs I have written with its reggae style groove but I think it's a sultry, sexy song just the same. I chose "Going Back Where I Belong" for the same reasons. The Sugar Pie DeSanto version oozed a dark, forbidden allure that I hoped would retain its' sensuality when I sang it myself.
I wrote "I'm Just A Sucker Who Believes In Love" after hearing a song by the ska band Reel Big Fish called "This One's For All You Suckers Who Still Believe In Love". My version is a 50's style rocker à la Jerry Lee Lewis (with a scorching piano solo by the insane Reverand Billy C. Wirtz). When I heard the Reel Big Fish song, I knew they were singing to me. The world we live in is crazy these days and life seems so uncertain. In spite of all the turmoil, I still believe that love is the quintessential healer. Love is the one thing that none of us can do without. I may be a sucker but I still believe in the awesome healing power of love and a Whole Lotta Love could do us all a whole lotta good right now."
A Whole Lotta Advance Thank You's from
- Something's Got A Hold On Me
- Wrap Around Joy
- Put It All In There
- I Got A Secret
- Fit, Fat And Fine
- A Lion In My House
- What's That I Smell?
- Whole Lotta Love
- When The Hangover Strikes
- I'm Just A Sucker Who Believes In Love
- Going Back Where I Belong
- 27 Times
- I'm Not Getting Older