This article first appeared in Texas Lifestyle Magazine on January 22, 2020.
“When I meet another great player, it doesn’t matter whether they’re black, brown, yellow, male, female, or whatever—music is about transcending all that anyhow,” says Sue Foley.
The Canadian grew up mesmerized by her father’s guitar and, although her brothers preferred the ferocious beats of hard rock, Foley’s interests were steered in a much different direction.
She found her calling after discovering that rock music’s foundation was rhythm and blues. Diving deeper into the history of blues music and its great musicians, the up-and-coming artist immersed herself in the deep, raucous dance music. “Once that got inside me, I couldn’t get it out. I really couldn’t follow any other path after I heard the real stuff,” Foley says.
Musically driven by legends like the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck, ZZ Top and Eric Clapton, Foley’s career was catapulted when Clifford Antone invited her to move to Austin and play her music at Antone’s Nightclub, giving her a larger platform and broader audience. Although she planned to stay in the Lone Star State for two short weeks, the blues music scene was thriving. Those two weeks turned into eight years.
In Austin, the singer, songwriter and guitarist sharpened her skills by immersing herself in the Texas-style of traditional blues. The result? High energy, guitar-driven music infused with her own spirit.
She has gone on to share the stage with legendary artists BB King, Buddy Guy, Lucinda Williams, Jimmie Vaughan, Billy Gibbons, Charlie Sexton and Tom Petty. The talented red-head has released more than a dozen albums, contributed her talent to countless musicians, and won numerous music awards.
Foley has also begun writing, “Guitar Woman,” consisting of interviews with acclaimed women of the blues music scene. Excerpts from the interviews run monthly in “Guitar Player Magazine” for her column, “The Foley Files.” Foley is hoping to compile the interviews in a book, a CD and a tour around the concept.
Armed with her signature pink paisley Fender Telecaster guitar, the multi-award winning musician has established herself amongst the world’s greatest musicians as a formidable blues vocalist, inspiring songwriter and intrepid guitarist making her a legendary blues artist in her own right.