Sue Foley — Pinky’s Blues (Stony Plain Records)
If you’re into the blues and Central Texas BBQ like me, Sue Foley’s latest offering Pinky’s Blues is a hot set of Texas ribs comin’ right out of the burner and on to your plate smokin’, ready to devour. Produced by Mike Flanigan smack dab in the middle of the Covid lockdown in 2020, Pinky’s Blues checks all pretense at the door and just get down to blues business with the help of the musicianship of Jon Penner on bass and the tried and true road worn Chris ‘Whipper’ Layton on drums (SRV) – hello!
What I love most about this record is that everything I’m hearing is comin’ at me live and off the floor, right at the moment, in that exact moment when the music was played. Just one guitar, bass, and drums. If you don’t have the exceptional chops to pull it off, there’s nothing to hide behind when things go south. Thankfully, every song on ‘Pinky’s’ sounds not only full but full of LIFE and breath. “Say It’s Not So” was recorded in one take, and learned WHILE they were recording it. Words cannot describe how cool that is.
This is my 3rd listen-through. I wanted to make sure I had time to fully digest this piece of work. All the greats are represented: Muddy, Freddie, T-Bone, Wolf. Like all Blues masters, Sue can for sure drip the honey singing, but her feel, and her pain really truly cut through to the soul on her lead playing for me.
Songs like “Say It’s Not So” stopped me in tracks. “Boogie Real Low” is the ghost of Freddie King stepping right out of the vinyl and dancing at 2 am onto your vinyl kitchen floor, reminiscent of “San-Ho-Zay.”
I think “Dallas Man” and the title track “Pinky’s Blues” are my favorites, though. The playing, feel, and tempos are just so damn in the pocket. It’s not hard to imagine those songs playing while Sue calmly drags a cigarette, right hand on the wheel as the murder scene shrinks in the rearview.
‘Pinky’s’ goes great with any Poker Game, Smokey Bar Room, or Pool Hall. Especially, the track “Southern Men.” In a of world ultra-processed, perfect overnight TV show pop stars, I sleep better at night knowing Sue is out there laying it down out there, somewhere at this very moment. A 30-year vet of the road, Sue is not slowing down any time soon. You can get her record on Oct. 22nd on all formats on Stony Plain Records. But if you want the bonus tracks, get the CD!
PRODUCED BY MIKE FLANIGIN
RECORDED / MIXED /MASTERED BY CHRIS BELL
RECORDED AT FIRESTATION STUDIOS, SAN MARCOS TEXAS
SUE FOLEY – GUITAR / VOCALS
JON PENNER – BASS
CHRIS “WHIPPER” LAYTON – DRUMS
MIKE FLANIGIN – HAMMOND B3 ORGAN