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Candye Kane and Skip Heller: Fracas Among the Cactus

Candye Kane is a flamboyant, unabashed, over-the-top blues singer with bright costumes and a vibrant, extroverted personality.

She's well known among her fans not only for her voice, but also for her style. They love going to her shows for all sorts of different reasons, but they'll all tell you that she's loads of fun. They are doubly as grateful, because the blues songstress recently recovered from a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. In her typical, tough-girl, feisty way, she came back with even more of an exuberance than she had before.

Not only will she be playing at Rhythm Room tonight -- and, in the interest of full disclosure, I must tell you all that I work at the Rhythm Room, which is why this is the first time I've ever written about an event there -- but she's bringing with her one hell of an opening act.

Complimenting Candye Kane is Skip Heller. He's exceedingly charming, in an understated way. While Candye often takes opportunities to talk to the audience, L.A.-based Heller is stylistically old-fashioned. His music is straight up Americana. He belts out old style rockabilly and country, and he shoots through one song after the other with little banter. Not only is he unendingly endearing, but his take on the style is something to be admired.

As someone who works in a live music venue and hears quite a bit more than the average person in these genres, I can honestly say that the first time I heard Heller, I stopped dead in my tracks, looked at the manager of the club, and said, "Who is this guy?!?" This is why I asked for special dispensation to advance this show, though, again, I work at the venue.

As an added bonus to the Arizona excursion, Heller will be playing an early show at the Hotel Congress on Saturday, April 10 in Tucson with Arizona legend Al Perry. For fans of this style, this is not an event to be missed. While these two also seem like a perfect pairing, they've never played together before, and the show is being billed as the "Fracas Among the Cactus" with the tagline, "Witness the meeting of two musical masterminds."

Should be one hell of a night.

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Sarah Ventre