New Blues: Sue Foley — ‘The Ice Queen’

Sue Foley — The Ice Queen

Label: Stony Plain Records

Sue Foley’s new album, The Ice Queen, is a reassurance. It is a treat, a delight, and a big “Phew!” moment — reminding us that some of the best things in life do, in fact, stick around. Things like soothing, gutsy, guitar-playing and vocals from this acclaimed Canadian artist that I was lucky enough to hear play live often in Austin, Texas, during my undergrad days and nights (1991-95).

The album offers a variety of styles, from traditional blues to rock to a touch of flamenco… each of which establish mood and motive instantly and completely. Each of the 12 tracks takes center stage as the heart and soul of the collection, and none of them negating the others, only truly complementing them. The emotional landscape that Foley’s writing travels through is just as varied; her songs bring to mind just how effectively the blues convey longing to love to struggle to forgiveness to redemption.

Joining 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 (Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble) and George Rains (drums), Derek O’Brien (guitar), Chris Maresh and Billy Horton (bass) and The Texas Horns.

Produced by Mike Flanigin, who also plays organ, The Ice Queen showcases Foley at her relaxed, shining best. Why do I feel a sudden urge to move back to Austin, Texas? Listen yourself and see if you don’t agree.

To purchase this album on iTunes, click here.

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