Monday, February 10, 2014


I saw 3 tough broads yesterday at the Blast Furnace Blues Festival in Bethlehem PA. Musicians & singers rocked the blues for a hot weekend in the snowiest, coldest winter I remember. I'll write more about the blues & me in another post, but today I want to write about 3 women I call tough broads in all admiration: Naomi Shelton, Candye Kane and Maria Muldauer. Each has her own take on the blues, & each sings from the heart & has a story to tell.

What's a tough broad? Well, she's over 50-- hey, she's a survivor. It takes time to build the scars & learn how to heal.

She sings the blues-- no matter what her line of work is. Naomi sings gospel & old soul-tinged blues, & screams like James Brown. Her first album is coming out in a few months. And don't ask how many decades she's been in the music business. You can catch her every Friday night at Fat Cats, a club in the Village.

Then there's Candye who tells you her story-- white trash, toughest girl in town, Superhero, cancer survivor. "I allow myself a 15 minute pity party," she says, "and then I move on." She's sexy, funny, & sings Brenda Lee-inspired blues with a country feel. She & her guitarist Laura Chavez connect with each other, & with us. As Naomi says, pointing at the audience: I'm singing to you & you & you. And you & you, too.

And Maria Muldauer, 40 albums behind her, & still screaming & bluesing her heart out. She's come a long way since Midnight at the Oasis-- a song I always loved. She sings folk, protest, back to the roots blues. "You're looking at a woman who's got the blues real bad tonight," she said & went on to show us what that sounds like, including "talking about my plump but oh so fine, very luscious, satiny, I mean my fine Italian thighs..."

All these great broads--sexy survivors, funky fighters, sanctified soul singers .... they've been through the blast furnace, but what remains is unbreakable.

Here's how to fight time: sing your song, your heart, your soul. Laugh. Connect with people.

And ladies, you too can be a tough broad!