City of Women

Ladies night at Antone's

When Sue Foley moved to Austin from Ottawa, Canada, in the early 1990s, she drew a tremendous amount of support from Clifford Antone. The guitar-slinging redhead went on to release several discs on Antone’s record label and literally grew up here. So it was apropos that she return to Clifford’s joint last weekend to highlight her latest project, Guitar Women, a book she’s writing that covers the stories of everyone from Memphis Minnie to Rory Block and beyond.

Saturday night’s show at Antone's was a barnburner, Foley backed by Cindy Cashdollar on lap steel and Dobro, along with the stellar rhythm section of drummer Lisa Pankratz and bassist Sarah Brown. While heavy on the blues strut she’s known for, Foley also delved into country and flamenco, boldly showing her range. She paid tribute to her mentors as well by covering R&B tunes from Barbara Lynn and Angela Strehli. Cashdollar was particularly impressive, especially for those only familiar with her work as a country and folk musician. She dug deep for some dirty sounds.

The evening turned into revue of sorts with the appearance of Carolyn Wonderland, who, while still too much of a Janis Joplin clone to these ears, sparked the crowd’s enthusiasm. Foley, then, as if paying back some of the good fortune and support Clifford had given her at the beginning of her career, brought up guitarist Eve Monsees and bassist Erin Jaimes.

It's noteworthy that in a genre overflowing with testosterone, none was present on stage Saturday. Yet, in Foley and friends capable hands, the blues was alive and thrilling, the equal to anything the boys could have laid down.

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Sue Foley, Cindy Cashdollar, Carolyn Wonderland, Sarah Brown, Lisa Pankratz

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