Some believe the blues can be properly realized only by people who have experienced some serious shit. By that criterion, Candye Kane is a totally authentic blues artist. At various points, the San Diego-based vocalist has been a teenage mom, a drug addict, a battered wife, a stripper, and a pancreatic cancer survivor. On the music front, she played in a grade school band that did Bobby Darin tributes, sang doo-wop as a teen, performed in the L.A. punk scene's '80s heyday, and tried her hand at making country music for a major label. By 1987, she realized her proper route: absorbing the work of black blueswomen like Big Mama Thornton and Bessie Smith and becoming a blues artist herself. Today, she's as notable for representing self-empowerment and hard-won happiness as she is for tongue-in-cheek tunes and her charismatic, tremendous voice.