Sue Foley is a Canadian blues singer and guitarist. Her long awaited visit to Salt Lake City will happen at the 5th Anniversary of the Utah Blues Festival in June of 2019
Foley was born in Ottawa, Ontario, and spent her early childhood in Canada. She learned to play guitar at age 13, became interested in blues music from listening to the Rolling Stones, and played her first gig at age 16. After high school graduation, she relocated to Vancouver where she formed The Sue Foley Band and toured Canada.
By age twenty-one, Foley was living in Austin, Texas and recording for Antone’s, the blues label and historic nightclub. Her first release was Young Girl Blues.
Foley has toured steadily with her band, toting her signature pink paisley Fender Telecaster. In 2001, Sue won the Juno Award for her CD, Love Coming Down. Foley has also earned seventeen Maple Blues Awards and three Trophees de Blues de France. She has also garnered several nominations at the International Blues Music Awards in Memphis, Tennessee.
2018 will mark Foley’s return as a solo artist with her long anticipated CD, “The Ice Queen”, which features guest appearances by Billy Gibbons of ZZTop and Texas blues legend, Jimmie Vaughan.
New CD The Ice Queen Mar 2 2018.
The Ice Queen was recorded at Firestation Studios in San Marcos, Texas. Joining Sue Foley as special guests is a trio of legendary Texas guitarslingers – Jimmie Vaughan, Z.Z.Top’s Billy F Gibbons and Charlie Sexton – as well as a host of other Lone Star State all-stars, including Chris “Whipper” Layton (formerly of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble) and George Rains (drums), Derek O’Brien (guitar), Chris Maresh and Billy Horton (bass) and The Texas Horns: John Mills, Al Gomez, Jimmy Shortell, Randy Zimmerman and Mark “Kaz” Kazanoff.
Recorded throughout 2017, The Ice Queen represents Foley’s full circle journey – her return to the roots of her career in Austin with producer Mike Flanigin. The album was recorded with her long-time friends and collaborators Vaughan, Gibbons, Layton, Sexton and others, as well as members of the Tedeschi Trucks and Gary Clark Jr. bands.
“When I was a teenager I idolized Jimmie Vaughan and Billy F Gibbons,” Foley says. “They’re both legends now so this feels like an historical event (at least it does for me). And I grew up sitting at the feet of players like George ‘Big Beat’ Rains, Derek O’Brien and The Texas Horns. I spent many nights watching Charlie Sexton and the Arc Angels with Chris Layton. I learned and grew more musically in my years in Austin than at any point in my life. The fact that all these mega talented musicians have graced my album is beyond anything I hoped for. I am still pinching myself.”
A flood of inspiration and themes can be found on each of the tracks – ranging from lost love, anguish, and struggle to release, forgiveness and rebirth. Mostly recorded live in the studio, Foley’s emotional vocal delivery, conviction, accessible yet inspired lyrics and intrepid guitar playing are all laid out, bare and raw for the songs to reveal.
Opening with the radio friendly, funky, swamp-meets Bo Diddley beat of “Come to Me,” The Ice Queen also features the upbeat and rollicking tracks “Run,” “The Lucky Ones” (a duet with Jimmie Vaughan) and “Gaslight.” There are several bluesy and soulful tracks, including “81,” “The Ice Queen,” (with its menacing John Lee Hooker vibe in tone and substance), “Fool’s Gold” (featuring Billy F Gibbons on vocals and harmonica), “If I Have Forsaken You” (with the horns sounding echoes of the great Bobby “Blue” Bland), and a cheeky, guitar-heavy cover of Bessie Smith’s “Send Me To The ‘Lectric Chair.” Foley also provides some more mellow and unexpected songs on The Ice Queen with the jazzy “Death of a Dream,” the flamenco-blues hybrid “The Dance” (which showcases her acoustic guitar work) and a beautiful cover of the Carter Family’s “Cannonball Blues.”
Sue Foley is a multi-award-winning musician and one of the finest blues and roots artists working today. She is a veritable triple-threat of musical talent as a guitarist, songwriter and vocalist. As with many blues women of the past, Foley has a long history of defying convention, and being a positive role model for aspiring, young female musicians.
She has been working professionally since the age of 16, and by the age of 21, Foley had relocated to Austin, Texas, and began recording for Antone’s, the esteemed blues label and historic nightclub that helped launch the career of Stevie Ray Vaughan and many others. In the two decades that have followed, Sue Foley has been busy touring and recording steadily, all while toting her signature pink paisley Fender Telecaster. In 2001, she won the prestigious Juno Award (Canadian equivalent of the Grammy) and also holds the record for the most Maple Blues Awards in Canada and has earned three Trophees de Blues de France. She has also garnered several nominations at the Blues Music Awards from The Blues Foundation.
The Ice Queen represents Sue Foley’s indefatigable commitment to her craft, and her transparency with the journey that birthed her, further proving that you can’t keep a good blueswoman down, particularly when she is The Ice Queen.
1992: Young Girl Blues (Antone’s)
1993: Without a Warning (Antone’s)
1995: Big City Blues (Antone’s)
1996: Walk in the Sun (Antone’s)
1998: Ten Days in November (Shanachie)
2000: Love Comin’ Down (Shanachie)
2000: Back to the Blues [also released as Secret Weapon] (Antone’s)
2002: Where the Action Is… (Shanachie)
2004: Change (Ruf)
2006: New Used Car (Ruf)
2007: Time Bomb (with Deborah Coleman, Roxanne Potvin) (Ruf)
2009: Queen Bee: The Antone’s Collection (Floating World) compilation
2010: He Said She Said (with Peter Karp) (Blind Pig)
2012: Beyond the Crossroads (with Peter Karp) (Blind Pig)
2018: The Ice Queen (Dixiefrog 8803)
As primary artist on other albums
1991: Various Artists – KLBJ FM’s Local Licks Live 1990 (KLBJ) – track 15, “Walking Home”
1994: Various Artists – Brace Yourself! A Tribute To Otis Blackwell (Shanachie) – track 11, “Great Balls Of Fire” with Joe Ely
1995: Various Artists – Bluesiana Hurricane (Shanachie) featuring R&B Legends: Rufus Thomas, Bill Doggett, Jazz Legends: Lester Bowie, Bobby Watson, Rock Legends: Chuck Rainey, Will Calhoun
2000: Various Artists: Public Domain (Purchase) – track 3, “Going Away Blues”
2000: Various Artists – Dealin’ With the Devil: Songs of Robert Johnson (Cannonball) – track 7, “From Four Until Late”
2002: The Blues: From Yesterday’s Masters To Today’s Cutting Edge (American Roots Songbook Series), (Shanachie, as licensed to St. Clair Entertainment)
2002: Various Artists – Preachin’ the Blues: The Music of Mississippi Fred McDowell (Telarc) – track 8, “Frisco Line”
2003: Various Artists – Blues On Blonde On Blonde (Telarc) – track 2, “Most Likely You’ll Go Your Way And I’ll Go Mine”
2006: Saturday Night Blues: 20 Years, (CBC/Universal Music Group)
As guest musician on other albums
1994: Mark Hummel – Feel Like Rockin’ (Flying Fish / Rounder)
1995: Wayne Hancock – Thunderstorms and Neon Signs (Dejadisc)
1998: Lazy Lester – All Over You (Antone’s)
2001: Lazy Lester – Blues Stop Knockin’ (Antone’s)
2003: Big Dave McLean – Blues from the Middle (Stony Plain)
2004: Blackie and the Rodeo Kings – Bark (True North)
2007: Candye Kane – Guitar’d And Feathered (Ruf Records)
2007: Michael Jerome Browne – Double (Borealis)
2007: Southside Steve Marriner – Going Up (Dog My Cat)