The Ice Queen
Stony Plain Records
This album marks Sue Foley’s return to her solo career. It is her eleventh studio album and first for Canada’s Stony Plain Records. A native Canadian Foley has nicknamed herself “The Ice Queen”. Foley first appeared on a 1992 compilation called “Antone’s Women”, featuring women that played the famous Austin night club; recorded while she was still a student at The University of Texas. That same year Foley released her full length debut “Young Girl Blues” also on the Antones label.
Foley has also recorded for the Warner Music, Koch, New West, Shanachie, Ruf and Blind Pig labels. In 2001 Foley won a Juno award, Canada’s equivalent of our Grammies. She has also earned seventeen Maple Blues Awards. An accomplished guitarist Foley’s last studio recording as a solo artist was 2007’s “Time Bomb” a collaboration with Deborah Coleman and Roxanne Potvin. While in a duo with Peter Karp, Foley received a 2011 Blues Music Award nomination for “Traditional Blues Female Artist of The Year” a.k.a. The Koko Taylor Award.
Foley returns to her Texas stomping grounds to record at The Firestation Studios in San Marcos, part of the greater Austin metropolitan area. The album is produced by organist Mike Flanigin who is also a member of The Jimmie Vaughan Trio, and of Billy Gibbons and The BFG’s. Included are Foley guitar and vocals; fellow guitarists Vaughan, Gibbons, Derek O’Brien, and Charlie Sexton; bassists Chris Maresh, Billy Horton and Johnny Bradley; drummers Chris Layton, George Rains and JJ Johnson; and The Texas Horns including Mark “Kaz” Kazanoff, Al Gomez, John Mills, Jimmy Shortell and Randy Zimmerman. These are Austin’s best.
Foley has written or co-written ten of the twelve tracks. The opener features Sexton playing slide on the swampy “Come To Me” with its Bo Diddley beat. “The Lucky Ones” is a vocal and guitar duet with Vaughan. “Fool’s Gold” is another duet featuring Gibbons’ vocal and harmonica. The title track has a John Lee Hooker vibe.
Flanigin plays organ on half the tracks including the Bobby “Blue” Bland styled “If I Have Forsaken You” featuring the Texas Horns; and on “Gaslight” featuring a different horn section including two more of Austin’s finest; Ephram Owens, trumpet, and Elias Haslander, tenor sax. “The Dance” is a flamenco flavored tune.
Foley also includes two fabulous covers that are sure to garner a lot of airplay; Bessie Smith’s “Send Me to The ‘Lectric Chair” and A.P. Carter’s “Cannonball Blues”.
Foley is a triple threat as she is songwriter, guitarist and vocalist. “The Ice Queen” is the finest Canadian blues act working today.
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