New Blues: Sue Foley — ‘Pinky’s Blues’

Sue Foley — Pinky’s Blues

Label: Stony Plain Records

Consistency is a trait that doesn’t always get the respect it deserves. There’s something to be said about an artist who earns the ovations on a regular basis. Consistency is even more admirable when it comes to an artist who sets the bar incredibly high. That artist is Sue Foley, the blues singer, songwriter and guitar boss, whose latest album, Pinky’s Blues is now available. But don’t think for one second that by describing Sue Foley as “consistent” she is in any way predictable. Her gritty new release bursts with a raw energy that is perfect for the twists and turns she maneuvers with the other musicians. It’s a playful set of performances, and always as alive as a first (and final) take. Give “Okie Dokie Stomp” a listen next time you wish you were at a club listening to live music. Go ahead, turn it up. I dare you not to work up a sweat. It’s an invitation to the happiest brand of blues ever.

My personal favorite track on the album, however, is “Say It’s Not So,” an icy hot, pared-down-to-just-the-essentials delivery of a song that is pretty much exactly what I have in mind when I choose to put on some blues. Composed by Angela Strehli, the song suggests musical parameters that are stretched and narrowed and then stretched again as Ms. Foley’s voice turns the simple request into a co-dependent infinite duet with the guitar. Sublime. And as usual with Sue Foley, it is to be expected.

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