Sue Foley – Pinky’s Blues
Pinky's Blues is a guitar driven collection of 12 songs, both original and some of Sue's favorite covers, that demonstrate not only that Sue is one of the world's greatest Blues guitarists, but that the sheer joy of playing can be felt through the recording in an emotional thrill for the listener. A vinyl version of the album on hot pink provides a dream item for fans, audiophiles and collectors.
Sue Foley has been riding a wave of success since The Ice Queen (2018). She won ''Best Traditional Female (Koko Taylor Award)'' at the 2020 Blues Music Awards in Memphis, was nominated for a Juno Award (Canadian Grammy), and she took home the award for ''Best Guitar Player'' at the Toronto Maple Blues Awards. Sue's last album The Ice Queen reached #4 on the Billboard Current Blues chart, #1 on Roots Music Report's Top 50 Canada album chart and was in the Living Blues radio chart for four consecutive months, peaking at #2.
Guests include Jimmie Vaughan who adds his signature guitar to the track ''Hurricane Girl''.
Bonus tracks: ''Someday'' and ''When The Cat's Gone the Mice Play'' are only available on CD and with LP purchase download card.
1. Pinky's Blues - 4:15 2. Two Bit Texas Town - 3:46 3. Dallas Man - 3:30 4. Southern Men - 3:08 5. Say It's No So - 4:43 6. Hurricane Girl - 3:43 7. Stop These Teardrops - 3:26 8. Boogie Real Low - 2:54 9. Think It Over - 3:41 10. Okie Dokie Stomp - 2:43 11. Someday - 4:08 12. When The Cat's Gone The Mice Play - 2:29
Sue Foley (guitar, vocals) , Jimmie Vaughan (rhythm guitar on 6) , Jon Penner (bass) , Mike Flanigin (Hammond on 4,9) , Chris 'Whipper' Layton (drums)
1. Blues Rock Review – 2021.11.03 – The review: 8/10
The legendary Canadian blues woman Sue Foley has an out-of-the-ordinary mastery of the guitar and blues vocabulary, as well as being a great songwriter and vocalist. With nearly thirty years of career and dozens of albums released, Foley has proved beyond a reasonable doubt why she deserves her prominent place in the modern blues rock scene. However, far from settling down, she introduces us to her brand new album, Pinky’s Blues, named after her pink paisley Fender Telecaster.
Armed with the iconic instrument and supported by drummer Chris Layton and bassist Jon Penner, Foley dwells in the Texas blues heritage and blazes through a clever assemblage of covers and originals, whose live in-studio sound was made even better by the expertise of producer Mike Flanigin and sound engineer Chris Bell. Let us probe the outcome of this enterprise by examining some of the songs.
The album kickstarts with its title track. “Pinky’s Blues” is a raw, gritty instrumental number filled with penetrating, wolfish lead guitar lines. A first-rate commencement that sets the tone for the following track, Angela Sthreli’s “Two Bit Texas Town”, a mid-tempo, effective blues rocker. The line “I remember Muddy Waters, Hoochie Coochie Man” denounces one of Foley’s biggest influences.
A similar circumstance occurs in the next track, the Foley original “Dallas Man”. As suggested by its title, the song is a tribute to the great blues musicians that came from Dallas. Spirited and catchy, the song is one of the album’s highlights. The slow blues heartbreak comes with another Angela Sthreli original. “Say It’s Not So” features some magnificent guitar work as well as a very expressive vocal performance. The short, yet intense cut “When The Cat’s Gone” ends the album on a high note.
The 12-track Pinky’s Blues is a strong offering that presents a fine selection of blues songs rooted in the Texas tradition, flavored with Sue Foley’s magical touch. Certainly, a nice treat to any blues rock fan.
2. Rock & Blues Muse - By Nick Cristiano - 2021
“I’m a force of nature,” Sue Foley declares on “Hurricane Girl,” one of the three originals on her blazing new album, Pinky’s Blues out October 22 on Stony Plain Records. It’s no idle boast. The Canada native and award-winning blues guitarist/singer has proven herself to be just that since her 1992 debut, Young Girl Blues, which introduced a blues firebrand who married killer guitar chops with a voice that oozed both sex and innocence. It’s no wonder that, still in her early 20s at the time, she showed she could hang with the big boys in the music hotbed of Austin, Texas.
All these years later, she’s still putting her own indelible stamp on the music. Pinky’s Blues – the title refers to her nickname for her trademark pink paisley Telecaster – is a relatively stripped-down affair. Foley, bassist Jon Penner, and drummer Chris “Whipper” Layton handle the bulk of the work, with producer Mike Flanigin adding organ on two tracks and Jimmie Vaughan playing rhythm guitar on “Hurricane Girl.” The 12-song set was cut live in the studio in three days, giving the music a thrilling immediacy while highlighting Foley’s all-around talents.
Those talents include writing. Here, however, Foley shifts her usual balance from originals to non-originals, because the aim of the set is to pay tribute to some of her and her accompanists’ favorite blues and roots sounds. One of her own numbers, the hurtling boogie “Dallas Man,” continues that theme: It was inspired by thoughts of all the elite and groundbreaking guitarists who hailed from the Dallas area, from Blind Lemon Jefferson to T-Bone Walker, Freddie King, and Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan. “Just can’t catch that Dallas man,” she sings.
On numbers such as the propulsive, Elmore James-style “Hurricane Girl,” Frankie Lee Sims’ “Boogie Real Low,” and Willie Dixon’s “When the Cat’s Away, the Mice Play,” Foley brings fire and swagger. But on Angela Strehli’s aching “Say It’s Not So,” she reveals a more tender and vulnerable side. The same goes for the Jimmy and Lillie Mae Donley swamp-pop ballad “Think It Over,” with Foley’s shimmering guitar weaving around Flanigin’s Hammond B3 to enhance the sultry vibe.
The two instrumentals also highlight Foley’s range. The self-penned title track, which leads off the album, is a string-bending exercise in fat-toned muscularity. Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown’s breakneck “Okie Dokie Stomp,” on the other hand, shows off her fleet-fingered dexterity.
“Two Bit Texas Town” is another number by Strehli, a first-rate Lone Star soul-blues singer herself. The song fits the theme of the album perfectly. Mentioning Muddy Waters, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and Jimmy Reed, it’s about being inspired by the power of music to dare to dream of a bigger and better life.
“They were mighty, mighty men … they laid it on so cool,” Foley sings. She lays it on pretty cool herself, and with Pinky’s Blues she again honors the legacy of such giants and the inspiration they provided by using her talents to keep the music fresh and vital – to make you think pink when you think blues.