Ice Queen

While Gimli was celebrating the ice with our annual Ice Festival I stayed home to play Ice Queen, Sue Foley’s terrific new release. I’ve been a fan a long time. The last record I liked this much was produced by Colin Linden, Love Comin Down (20o0), winning a Juno in 2001. She is at the top of her form, and of several different blues styles here. Often her song writing is overlooked, but almost all her recorded work is her own material, and it stands up to repeated listening. Her guitar playing is better than ever, usually using her pink paisley Fender Telecaster. She’s quoted as saying “Ain’t playing any rhythm guitar!” touring with her first band before she was 20. She’s been back and forth and is touring in Canada right now. 

As it happens Foley was on Holger Peterson’s  CBC  blues show last night, promoting her new release and talking about her start in Austin. She was invited  by Clifford Antone, who had a club and a record label, in Austin.  She spent her twenty-first year playing with local legends like Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan, Kim Wilson and the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Angela Strehli, Marcia Ball and Lou Ann Barton; not to mention blues greats from all over like Muddy Waters, Lightnin’ Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, Albert King, Albert Collins and Jimmy Reeves. So what now after a decade away from the stage and recording studio?  Back to Austin to rebootrecording The Ice Queen, with her old friends and with B3 giant Mike Flanagan organ. Here’s the link to the track list and liner notes via her pr guy Eric Alper. I’ll link or post the lyrics, when they are available.

For now this is what I heard,  transcribing the title track; a slow, hot,Texas, smouldering, and very Canadian walking blues.  Billy Horton upright bass joins her with George Rains on drums. Her solos just knock it right out of the park. She often plays in the lower register which I really like, (no not Duane Eddy Twang guitar) but her own style learned from the best blues players in Texas, lots of experience determination and her heart.

“I came in this evening, far away from here,  I came in this evening, far away from here,  where the ground stays frozen more than half the year.
They call me the Ice Queen, they say I’m cold and I’m detached. They call me the Ice Queen, they say I’m cold and I’m detached.
All the men agree I’m too  slippery to catch.
They call me the Ice Queen, I’ll freeze you with a glance. They call me the Ice Queen, I’ll freeze you with a glance,might be a long time before I give love another chance.
Old man winter, he put a lock on my heart the last man I let in tore it right apart, that’s why they call they call me the Ice Queen, I’ll freeze you with a glance.
It might be a long time before I give love another chance.
Before I go back to my glacier,  people know I mean no harm, thought it may seem  I have a frigid heart
They call me the Ice Queen, they don’t know me all that well, but before I compromise my love again it will be a cold damn day in hell.”

Diversionary Tactic posted March 10

International Women’s Day (From her press kit bio)

As an offshoot to her professional recording and touring career, Foley started a project called Guitar Woman based around dozens of interviews she conducted with theworld’s leading female guitarists. From 2001-2008, she wrote articles, organized and promoted concerts, and worked on a book—fueling her passion for gender studies in music and her desire to bring the work of great women guitar players to light. The Guitar Woman project entered a period of dormancy from 2009-2015 while Foley pursued several musical collaborations and returned to university to get her graduate’s degree. Plans are in the works to finish Guitar Woman in the coming months after her tour.

“Two trains I can travel
two trains leaving today
one gonna take me home
one going carry me away.”

– Sue Foley, Two Trains Love Comin Down.




This entry was posted in Listening, Music for Men Over Fifty: Poems of Love and Surgery, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

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