Kaye's Blue World
Former Pele Juju chanteuse sticks to her roots.
Thursday, March 7, 2002
Kaye Bohler''s a tall woman with big blonde hair and a big voice. The Bay Area singer songwriter--who''s been compared to Tina Turner and Janis Joplin--is a 20-year music veteran who may be most recognized for her four years with World Beat band Pele Juju. But her devotion is definitely to the blues.
When Bohler was getting her musical start, almost 20 years ago, she sang the blues with various LA players until putting together her first band, "The Big K Blues Band," which was decidedly into the blues. Later she formed the San Luis Obispo-based Kaye Bohler and the Kingpins. In 1997, she moved to Santa Cruz and got the Pele Juju gig--while at the same time fronting the Kaye Bohler Blues Band.
Bohler says she''s excited to have recently formed the new Kaye Bohler Band, a powerful rhythm and blues group made up of players with lots of years behind them. "I''ve got a real tight band now," she says. "We''ve settled into a really sweet groove." The groove is maintained by seasoned Bay Area musicians Michael Peloquin on harmonica and saxophone, Richard Palmer on keys, June Kore on drums, Keith Milne on bass, and Bruce Ferrell on guitar.
This music''s got real emotion driving it. Bohler''s first CD, "Men and Music," explores the bittersweet agony of her twin passions: There''s one thing I''ve learned, though music has taken its toll. It''s the only thing next to men that can drive my soul. Smoke filled rooms, with all those funk-i-fied tunes; Men and music get me every time
Bohlerwrote another slow blues song, "Waitin'' for My Time to Come," about her 20 years trying to make it in the music business. She says the process was cathartic. "It was such a song out of my pain," Bohler says. "Part of the blues is fighting the good fight for the sake of my art."
Bohler believes that the challenges she faces stem in part from the difficulties making it as a blues singer in a pop-star world. "It''s horrible to say this, but the blues world is kind of drying up right now," Bohler says. She''s also found that being a white woman in the blues business is not necessarily celebrated. "Your talent does come through but it''s sometimes harder to get into the big festivals," she says.
But she''s excited to be a part of the Monterey Blues Festival this June. "We really need to be committed to keeping American roots music alive," she says.
Bohler''s been noted for her vocal range--a rarity in a blues singer.
"Blues is one of the hardest genres to sing right," she says. "It''s so much of the gut of music. You have to get real down and dirty. You can''t go in there with a Britney Spears voice."
Sly McFly''s, Saturday, March 9, 2002, at 9pm.