The Ice Queen cometh.
Armed with her patented pink, shamrock-encrusted Telecaster guitar, after more than three decades Ottawa-born and multiple-award winner Sue Foley has become a force to be reckoned with in the blues business.
And it’s only getting better.
Riding the crest of the powerful compilation of her roots and blues album the Juno-nominated, Ice Queen, Foley, 51, is bringing her show to the Dream Café Aug. 23 for one night only.
This will be her second stop at the Dream, the first was about 15 years ago.
|Described as a musical triple threat for her guitar playing, songwriting and vocals, Sue Foley is coming to the Dream Café. (Submitted photo)
“It’s an intimate venue that people really listen in and it’s got a cache and a history of hiring really good talent, it’s a legitimate music room,” said Foley during her drive to Penticton from Salmon Arm where she performed at the the Roots and Blues Festival. “The show is acoustic/electric and I think at the Dream we’ll lean on the acoustic a little bit more because of the intimacy of that venue.
“It’s a high energy show, a lot of diverse kinds of styles, it’s got a whole bunch of things going on.”
The Ice Queen was recorded in San Marcos, Texas, near Austin, where she moved to at the age of 21 and features the likes of Jimmie Vaughn, Z.Z. Top’s Billy F. Gibbons, Charlie Sexton.
Now touring with the Toronto-based rhythm section of Tom Bona on drums and bassist Leo Valvassori, Foley is described as a “veritable triple threat of musical talent” for her guitar skills, songwriting and vocals.
One thing she is quick to do is dispel some fallacies about the blues that many people have.
“You don’t have to be an old person to play the blues you just have to have that spirit, that feel,” said Foley pointing to the work of the legendary Stevie Ray Vaughn who died at age 35. “Just look at what he did.
“There’s another misconception that blues is sad but it’s not, it’s just expression, it’s just about life, a celebration of human experience. There’s fun blues, there’s happy blues, there’s playful, there’s flirtatious, sad, it kind of just runs the gamut of what it is to be human.”
She played her first gig at age 16 and she encourages young people to do what she did.
“For me (at 16) it wasn’t the normal thing to do and I had to research it,” recalled Foley. “I find when young people hear it they just love it because it’s real music. I think young people are just like everybody else. The music is real, it’s got energy and it’s got a message.
“The wonderful thing about this music is you grow into it, you get better as you get older cause you have more to tell, you have more life that you’ve lived. It just takes a lot of heart and soul and feel and that you can have at a young age.”
She also is dedicated to encouraging young women to pick up the guitar and is working on a book to that end.
About being on the road for so long on the current tour, over a year Foley, with a laugh, described it this way: “We’re all grown ups and when we’re at home we all have responsibilities so this is just a way getting free, I don’t know, I always say to the guys it’s kind of like going to camp. It’s hard work but it’s a gift to be able to do this.”