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Sue Foley covers Elizabeth Cotten for the first single from her new album

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Sue Foley’s new acoustic solo album, One Guitar Woman is a moving tribute to the female pioneers of guitar whose music and lives delivered the inspiration and paved the way for those that followed.

Sue honours artists spanning a whole spectrum of styles. “They were massively talented, and they all possessed courage and vision which transformed both their cultures and the story of the guitar,” she wrote in her liner notes.

True to the album title, Sue performs all these songs with one guitar. While many of Sue’s fans are used to seeing her playing “Pinky,” her pink paisley Fender Telecaster through her Fender Bassman amp, for this album she chose a nylon-string acoustic guitar: a flamenco Blanca made by master luthier Salvadore Castillo.

Now available, the first single, “Oh Babe It Ain’t No Lie,” is a delicately nuanced track from Elizabeth Cotten. Sue captures the playful yet plaintive tone of the original while singing in her own strong and vibrant voice, instead of imitating Cotten who didn’t record until she was in a later stage in life.

“‘Oh Babe It Ain’t No Lie’ is one of my favourite songs to play on guitar,” said Sue. “I just love that Piedmont fingerpicking that was made famous by the incomparable, Elizabeth Cotten.”

“Cotten had an original guitar style, as she played left-handed and upside down, so her songs are not easy to tackle. She also had such charm and character in her voice, and wit in her lyrics. Her songs can be challenging to learn but they’re always so fun and satisfying when you figure them out. This one just makes me smile every time I play it,” she added.

One Guitar Woman also covers the hard-driving Memphis Minnie and icons like Maybelle Carter and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, as well as heroes like French classical guitarist Ida Presti, Tejano sensation Lydia Mendoza, and the often-underrated Charo.

Less well-known but equally compelling are Southern blues women Geeshie Wiley and Elvie Thomas. All in all, the twelve tracks of this album pay deference to eight female guitarists.

Sue’s new album features her songwriting as well as her guitar playing and singing. “Maybelle’s Guitar,” is Sue’s original composition that incorporates Maybelle Carter’s signature “Carter Scratch” guitar style while telling the story of the vast influence and power of the Carter Family’s music. Lydia Mendoza’s Tejano classic “Mal Hombre” is performed in Spanish and Sue contributes her own English-language verse, which is far superior to the translation.

The album includes two instrumentals: A heart-rending version of “Romance in A Minor,” created by virtuoso violinist Niccolò Paganini, which is derived from guitarist Ida Presti’s interpretation. The explosive flamenco “La Malagueña,” popularized by Charo, is also featured in the album.

The full album will be released worldwide on Mar. 29, 2024 by Stony Plain Records.

Sue Foley full tilt - Photo : Sean Sisk
Sue Foley full tilt. Photo by Sean Sisk

Sue will soon be debuting her solo One Guitar Woman show which will celebrate the lives, stories and music of the female pioneers of guitar. It will incorporate multimedia elements and present some great music as well as uplifting, provocative stories of brave, trailblazing women.

This show will be presented in theaters on select dates through 2024.

Sue Foley has released 13 albums and won many awards, including the Blues Music Award for Traditional Female Artist of the Year, which she has won three consecutive times; she is once again nominated in this category for 2024.

SUE FOLEY TOUR DATES:
Wed, MAR 6 Victoria Hall – One Guitar Woman “SOLO”, Cobourg, Canada
Thu, MAR 7 Meaford Hall – One Guitar Woman “SOLO”, Meaford, Canada
Wed, APR 17 SPACE, Evanston, IL
Fri, APR 26 Old Quarter Acoustic Café, Galveston, TX
Sat, APR 27 Austin Blues Festival 2024, Austin, TX
Sun, MAY 26 Main Street Crossing, Tomball, TX
Sat, JUN 15 Utah Blues Festival 2024, Salt Lake City, UT

 

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