Rockin’ The Blues at an early age!
If you’re a fan of the blues, just know that Sue Foley is one bad-ass Blues singer and guitarist. Furthermore, she can hold her own when it comes to playing any style of blues or rock. Also, she’s become one of the most celebrated blues artists of her time. Falling in love with music at an early age, she just knew it was her path in life.
She starts playing guitar at age fifteen after seeing blues singer James Cotton live in concert. Afterwards, at age sixteen, she starts playing professionally with local blues bands in Ottawa. Around the mid-80s, she forms her first group after moving to Vancouver. I became familiar with Sue Foley’s music when she was with Ruf Records and the label was promoting the album “Change”.
Getting Signed – Antone’s Records
It’s 1990, and Foley is ready for a change, so she sends a demo tape to Antone’s Records and tries her luck. Whatever she did, it works to her advantage and the label arranges an audition. Needless to say, the label likes her music and guitar playing and she gets an album contract.
She’s heading to Austin Texas! In 1992, she releases “Young Girl Blues” and receives a lot of critical acclaim for it especially with the music publications. In 1994, she releases her second album, “Without Warning” followed up by “Big City Blues” in 1995. Shortly after between 1996 thru 2000, she releases four more albums. To date, she has 13 albums under her belt and another releasing in October 2021. We think Austin Texas is working out for her!
Project Guitar Woman
As an offshoot to her professional recording and touring career, Foley starts a project called “Guitar Woman” based around dozens of interviews she’s conducted with the world’s leading female guitarists. From 2001-2008, she wrote articles, organized and promoted concerts, and worked on a book—fueling her passion for gender studies in music and her desire to bring the work of great women guitar players to light. At the moment this is a work in progress while Foley pursued other musical collaborations. Sounds like a cool project to check out!
Pinky’s Blues – Release
Foley has a release coming out on October 22nd 2021. It’s the follow up to Foley’s album the “Ice Queen”. Featuring several Sue Foley originals, as well as songs from some of her favorite blues and roots artists. Furthermore it was recorded at Fire Station Studios in San Marcos Texas. It’s a raw, electric guitar driven romp through the backroads of Texas blues, with Foley’s signature pink paisley Fender Telecaster, “Pinky,” at the wheel.
Some of the album’s many highlights include her takes on classics such as Lavelle White’s “Stop These Teardrops,” Frankie Lee Sims’ “Boogie Real Low” and Lillie Mae Donley’s “Think It Over,” alongside newer songs like Angela Strehli’s “Two Bit Texas Town” and Foley’s own “Dallas Man.”
The disc’s first single, “Dallas Man,” also bears special significance to Foley. “I realized when I wrote ‘Dallas Man’ it was just about all these great guitar players from Dallas and right around there,” Foley says. “I’ve always been infatuated with Blind Lemon Jefferson and had been reading about him and working up some of his songs. Between Blind Lemon Jefferson and Frankie Lee Sims, and then working on some Freddie King and always watching Jimmie Vaughan came the idea of ‘Dallas Man.’
Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmie Vaughan, Freddie King, T-Bone Walker, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Frankie Lee Sims, Anson Funderburgh, Zuzu Bollin, Doyle Bramhall II, Denny Freeman and Derek O’Brien all came from that area. That’s almost a whole album right there!”
In a way it’s a big responsibility to carry the message of these giants. But even more important, it’s about finding your own voice within this framework. In blues, that takes time. The beauty of blues, and something I’ve always loved about it, is that you get better as you get older. I’ve always been a fan of older musicians.
There’s something about the message, the life experience, the whole package. If you can keep a good perspective on life, a sense of humor, and a love for what you’re doing, you have much more to give. This is when it all really happens.”
Furthermore, be sure, to check out the other blog posts: https://jbonamassa.com/category/blog