The No Bullshit Factor
An interview with Sue Foley
Words: Vincent Abbate
Sue Foley is in a good place.
Even though I’ve had a few and she hasn’t – “I’d really love a beer, but don’t want to start drinking yet” – she’s the one who’s in high spirits during our pre-show interview, laughing about life and being back on the road in Europe after a long hiatus. Hot on the heels of The Ice Queen, her first solo album since 2006’s New Used Car, the Ottawa native is a renewed presence on the international blues scene. She refuses to think of it as a comeback.
“That sounds so depressing. It’s not like I went anywhere!”
Let’s consider that for a moment.
Doug MacLeod – “East Texas Sugar”
Doug MacLeod, one of today’s foremost specialists for bottleneck blues and fingerstyle guitar, has displayed his mastery of the craft on literally dozens of worthy compositions during the past 30 some-odd years. On rare occasions, the New York-born, St. Louis-bred, Southern California-based singer and storyteller plays with a full band behind him. More often, he chooses the minimal backing of drums and bass or sometimes just bass. And then there are the times he’ll play all by his lonesome … and you can’t believe it’s only him you’re hearing.
Mike Zito (with Anders Osborne) – “I Was Drunk”
Mike Zito excels through honesty. Instead of trotting out worn clichés, with each new song he opens a window to his soul and allows us a glimpse of what’s going on inside. In his 46 years, Zito has been there and done that, and he wants to let us know what the experience was like, whether it was good, bad or ugly.
He’s been uniquely candid about the addiction issues that sabotaged his early efforts to make it professionally. In the past ten years, hopeful songs such as “Keep Coming Back” and “One Step At A Time” have appeared like signposts to mark his way along the recovery journey.
“I Was Drunk,” written together with Anders Osborne – a man who has dealt with similar problems – takes a darker tack in exploring the misery and self-destructiveness of alcoholism.