Blues singer Candye Kane has a nonmusical reputation that precedes her. “A lot of people come to my shows to see how big my boobs really are,” observes the forthright Kane, a former punk/stripper/porn-mag model whose sizable cleavage once landed her on the cover of Jugs. Now she’s moved on to a career in music, and her rep as a serious country-blues phraser is beginning to catch fire. From a look at the retro-50s kitsch cover of her recent album, Home Cookin’, released on Austin’s Antone’s Records, it’d be easy to assume that she’s running on borrowed time. But Kane surprises by playing it straight, backed by the excellent Swingin’ Armadillos. While she’s not as sophisticated as past mothers of cool–Peggy Lee, Jo Stafford, Kay Starr–there’s a directness to Kane’s presentation that proves she’s dedicated to following in their paths, and her occasional dips into country, like the lovely “Dance Hall Girls,” show she’s not treating the genre as a repository for white-trash jokes. These days Kane’s musical ability lands her in the pages of more respectable rags. She deserves the change, although it’s hard to imagine that even a stint in the sex industry could prepare anyone for the indignities of the music business. Locals the Riptones, with their unique brand of roadhouse country boogie, and Nubile Thangs open. Friday, 9 PM, Elbo Room, 2871 N. Lincoln; 549-7700.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Jettoto.