Candye Kane & Sue Palmer
One Night in Belgium
BluesWax Rating: 9
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
Sue Palmer is San Diego’s Queen of Boogie Woogie piano. She was previously a member of Candye Kane‘s band when they were still called the Swingin’ Armadillos and she appears on four of Kane’s albums including Diva La Grande and 1998’s Swango. Palmer also has seven albums in her own name, including last year’s Honky Tonk Rockabilly Blues by Sue Palmer with The Hayriders. In 2010 Kane and Palmer we’re re-united as Palmer was hired to be musical director of The Toughest Girl Alive, Kane’s autobiographical play that was recently part of New York City’s Fringe Festival.
There is a certain simpatico that exists when Kane and Palmer are on stage together. Such was the case back in 1999 when Kane and Palmer appeared One Night in Belgium. Kane is an enormously talented vocalist whose set, primarily of covers, includes Bessie Smith’s “Gimme a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer”; two songs from Billie Holiday, including “Lover Man”; Rodgers and Hart‘s “The Lady is a Tramp”; Etta James’ “Only Time Will Tell”; Julie London’s “Cry Me a River”; Doc Pomus’ “Boogie Woogie Country Girl”; and, The Mamas & Papas‘ “Dream A Little Dream.” The remainder of the song selection is just as interesting. Throughout this intimate 44-minute set Palmer’s left hand performs miracles.
Kane’s brand new studio album on Delta Groove Records is Sister Vagabond. Co-produced with her guitarist Laura Chavez that album is receiving significant attention and airplay. Also just released is this older live set which recently received a San Diego Music Award nomination as Best Jazz Album of 2011. For another intimate look at Kane’s vocal talents One Night in Belgium is highly recommended.
Richard Ludmerer is a contributing editor at BluesWax. You may comment on this review below.
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