The sound of Sue Foley takes you there. That high gain Tele through red hot tubes. That sultry, soulful, emotionally calloused way of singing. You put on her records and whatever space you’re currently in becomes blues night at an old Texas roadhouse. Drop the needle on Pinky’s Blues and get transported.
Chris Layton’s sticks striking a snare – an impeccable sonic signature of Texas blues - pervades throughout the 12-track album. The Double Trouble drummer and Foley’s Jungle Show bandmate hits blues-beat nirvana on “Southern Men,” a flip of Tommy Brown’s little known “Southern Woman,” bracing beneath some of the redheaded guitarist’s rawest string work – with rugged phrasing offering a call-and-response to the vocal hook. Lesser-known covers highlight the LP: her take on Angela Strehli’s “Two Bit Texas Town” grooves low-down but prideful, while Sunny & the Sunliners “Think it Over” dissolves into a spotlight moment of pure Sue Foley oneness.
2018 masterclass The Ice Queen stands as a tough act to follow, but the pandemic-tracked, charismatic blues boogies of Pinky’s, cut with Mike Flanigin on the spinning organ, Layton on skins, and forever-bassist Jon Penner, hit with a likable singularity. The record drops Oct. 22, but Austin gets the release show early at Antone’s, where late proprietor Clifford first summoned the young Canadian transplant in 1990.– Kevin Curtin