Written by Eddie Ferranti
The phrase “time flies when you are having fun (enjoying live music) ,” really applies well when talking about the artist and venue we recently covered. Sue Foley is a Canadian native who now resides there, but at age 21 she relocated to Austin, Texas hooking up with legendary blues club founder Clifford Antone. The club helped put Austin on the map as a music mecca. He opened the club in 1975 along with Antone’s Records (1987) which Foley cut an album with called “Young Girl Blues” in 1992. Back in the mid 90’s I had a fond memory of Mr. Antone when I approached him about the gig I was covering which featured Lou Ann Barton, Toni Price , and of course Sue Foley. Asking him in what order he had set for the night he replied: “What are you nuts? You think I’m telling these fine ladies what order to play in?! I’m just glad they are here man.” Epic reply and the effect Foley had on me stood the test of musical time.
Fast forward to 3/1/18 and here was blues babe SF debuting her highly anticipated new album ,”The Ice Queen”, at the very place it all started! The album was recorded in Austin with help from the likes of Charlie Sexton, Billy Gibbons, Jimmy Vaughn, and producer Mike Flanigin who was on keys this night. The club has lived on in a new location which to us was a cooler club feel type arrangement. Clifford’s sister, Susan Antone, strolled out and gave a gushing intro before Sue graced the stage. There must be something in the water up north judging how good this lady still looks at age 49. Sporting her signature pink paisley Fender Telecaster she seemed choked up and so happy to be back in Austin.
The blues reigned for the next ninety minutes chocked full of surprises! Sue has a effortless delivery that just bombs away with one hay maker riff after another. Plus over time her vocals have added a gravelly quality which enhances the performance big time. Toss in a three headed wailing horns section along with special guest Jimmy Vaughn popping on stage 30 minutes in and it was stunning to say the least. Three newbies from the latest album rocked with the title cut, “Fools Gold” which ignited the packed house, and “Gaslight” with horns ripping it up. Vaughn and Foley seemed attached at the hip with the timing of trade off shredding which was smokin’ hot to see up close and personal like on “The Lucky Ones” and “Anna Lee”.
To say time flew when watching this marvelous show would be putting it mildly. Sue’s fluent axemanship and ability to stretch it out is a marvel to behold. Her genuine happy look permeated thru the crowd all night. She made a point to the audience to remember that there are talented musicians working hard to ply their trade and to always buy music from musicians! One such album is THIS one with a very misleading title. There ain’t no ice around when this hot lady straps on her “geetar” my friends and I encourage you to purchase it. Leaving the building I got kind of misty eyed reflecting on how fast one’s life moves on one gig at a time. Over twenty years had passed and it felt like nothing watching the talent that this special stage held. Getting to shake Jimmy Vaughn’s hand outside only enhanced yet another marvelous evening of live music which drives me daily…….Y’all should give it a try, too!
Eddie “Edge” Ferranti
Houston Music Review