# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Sue Foley - Queen Bee

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 7 / 10 / 2009

Sue Foley - Queen Bee
Label: Retroworld
Format: CD


Fine compilation consisting of tracks from the four albums that the Canadian blues-woman and singer-songwriter Sue Foley had recorded at different parts of her career for the Antones label

Sub-titled ‘The Antones Collection’, this compilation of twenty songs obviously omits any of the Canadian blues-woman Sue Foley's work when she jumped ship to the Shanachie or Ruf Records labels. It does, however, provide fans with a nicely presented package in chronological order of her first four albums for Antones before adding a selection from her return to the label with ‘Back To The Blues’. For anyone unfamiliar with the work of possibly the best female blues guitarist / singer we have ever heard there can be no better introduction than ‘Queen Bee…The Antones Collection’. As you might expect from a musician who has been performing and making records for over twenty years now, Foley has an impressive back-catalogue to pick from. While many will moan about the fact that their own personal favourite has been left off this compilation it can’t be denied that, given the restraints of a single disc collection, Retro World who have issued this CD have done a fine job. There are four songs apiece from Foley’s first four albums and another four from the aforementioned ‘Back To The Blues’. It’s kind of neat that for once the record company have presented these songs chronologically as because Foley is a blues artist on her early albums at least there obviously isn’t a great deal of difference between them. It seems when listening to these songs that Foley was an accomplished blues guitarist from her very first album, ‘Young Girl Blues’. So the first dozen songs are firmly rooted in the blues tradition, although as stated above it appears that Foley came to recording already having learned how to play the blues, but vocally you can tell that she progressed over the course of those first three albums and by the time of the fourth album, ‘Walk In The Sun’, Foley had combined elements of other genres into her songs while never once losing any of her blues roots. It’s also obvious by the way that the compilers have chosen their selections that Foley can match the original blues numbers from Ike Turner ('Cuban Getaway') and Chester Burnett / Willle Dixon ('Howlin’ for My Darlin’) with her own compositions. Half of the songs picked are Foley originals which stand well against the covers chosen. There are a couple of Dylan songs, ‘Positively 4th Street’ works particularly well and, coming from the newest album featured on this compilation, showcases just how well Foley’s vocals have progressed over the years. The other Dylan song, ‘If You Gotta Go’, is also a worthy of a mention simply due to the fact that the song features what must be one of Foley’s best vocal performances. It’s interesting that of the four selections from her debut album that kick off this collection, and which leave the listener in absolutely no doubt that here we have a major talent on the blues scene one, of the strongest is Foley’s original ‘Gone Blind’. It’s up against stunning versions of ‘Queen Bee’ and Earl Hooker’s ‘Off The Hook’ yet still manages to impress. Playing the blues is something you feel, you can hear when it’s not sincere, when it’s just someone going through the motions and it sounds like Foley means every word she sings here and sweats over every note she plays. One listen to ‘Big City Blues’ the title track from her second album, will dispel any doubters as to whether Foley is the real deal or not. As introduction to Foley’s work this twenty track collection can not be faulted and long standing fans will want to purchase it too as it’s a neat way of capturing many of the best songs featured on her earlier albums. An absolutely outstanding guitarist and a powerful singer who certainly knows her way around the blues, this album comes highly recommended.

Track Listing:-
1 Queen Bee
2 Cuban Getaway
3 Gone Blind
4 Off The Hook
5 Ruby Duby Du
6 Give Me Time
7 Truckin' Little Woman
8 Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
9 Big City Blues
10 Howlin' For My Darlin'
11 As Long As I Have You
12 If You Gotta Go
13 Give It To Me
14 Walk In The Sun
15 The Wind
16 Love Sick Child
17 Lightning Boogie
18 Positively 4th Street
19 I Feel So Good
20 Guitar Rumba

Label Links:-

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors