Sue Foley The Ice Queen
Here I am when I was just starting out. This was the first publicity photo I'd ever taken and you can see how eager I was to get going. At nineteen, I already considered myself a serious musician, and I was completely dedicated to learning and living the blues.
I could have called this CD Full Circle like the video says, but that sounds kinda cliché.
My original title was North to represent finding my way back home after a long journey. North as in "true north" like your true direction, your rightful place. It also lends itself to me going home to Canada, which is exactly what I did in October 2015 when I started writing these songs.
I had been working in different collaborations for the last eight years and hadn't made a solo album in some time, but that didn't matter. What mattered was that I had something to say. The songs were good. I could feel it. And the time was right.
One song in particular, called "The Ice Queen" was really getting folks excited. It was a straight ahead slow blues about a woman who had an icy shell but who was really warm inside. I knew after I wrote it that I needed to go back in Austin and record it and the rest of the album with my old friends. My mentor, Clifford Antone's instructions to "play the blues and keep it going" never rang so strong.
The Ice Queen is many things to me. It's a blues song, of course. It speaks of my home "where the ground stays frozen more than half the year." And for those who know about the Fender Telecaster, it's also a tip of the hat to the "Master of the Telecaster," the "Ice Man" himself, Albert Collins.
The plan is to get into the studio by mid-December 2016 and knock this album out, old school. I've enlisted my old friend, Austin B3 virtuoso, Mike Flanigin to sit in and produce the sessions. Like a lot of folks in the blues community I fell in love with Mike's album, The Drifter. Besides having great songs, The Drifter just sounds amazing, mostly due to Mike's intuitive feel, perfectionism and musicianship.
We're also bringing in Chris Bell to engineer. His resume includes Don Henley, the Eagles, Jim Lauderdale, Doyle Bramhall II and many more.
On drums, no one better than legendary Texas shuffle drummer, George 'Big Beat' Rains and on bass, borrowed form the Gary Clark Jr. band, we got Johnny Bradley. (Extra Special Musical Guests TBA!)
For the album artwork, I'm hiring legendary music photographer and designer, Alan Messer, out of Nashville. Alan has photographed everyone in music from the Beatles, the Stones, Johnny Cash to Lucinda Williams and so many more. Alan is simply a genius. This will be my third time working with him, and each time it just gets better.
We chose the Fire Station Studios in San Marcos, TX as our base for the recording sessions, mostly because it has a huge room where we can cut everything live. Coincidentally, part of my first album Young Girl Blues was made there.
You see, things have come full circle. I'm back hanging in Austin, playing with my friends and my heroes and I'm stoked to announce that I'm about to make a killer blues album called The Ice Queen.
I've been in this business for decades and this is the first time I've branched out on my own without the help of a record label. It's both exciting and intimidating as hell. I've always considered myself independent and I've never been comfortable asking for help, but in the new landscape of the music industry it's clearer to me that we are all in it together, the friends and family, the fans, the musicians, the producers etc.. We rely on each other to make the music happen.
Making an album, producing it and marketing it is a costly and labor intensive endeavor. I've gone over our proposed budget several times and I honestly feel that we're coming in on the conservative side as far as what we would like to raise through Kickstarter. That being said, if we achieve our funding goal we'll have the album sounding real and right and have enough left over to promote it through 2017 while I'm on tour. The biggest cost is the cost of quality. This album has to sound (and look) great. For that, I'm hiring only the best.
It means everything to me that my people would support this album and I can't wait to get out on the road and thank you all personally.
Risks and challenges
I don't see any risks involved with bringing this campaign to life. I feel very secure about the raw materials we have to work with; great songs, world class musicianship, decades of experience, soul and feel, and an overriding sense of obligation in carrying on the great tradition of blues music. I've been blessed to be able to learn from and play with the best and I'm lucky that I get to keep doing this for a living.
The challenge will be in marketing and selling this album around the world during my 2017/18 touring season. All musicians are rolling with the ever changing and shifting business that we're in, and we're doing our best to adapt. I'm fortunate to have a fan base that's been supporting my music and coming to my shows for decades and I really can't wait to get these songs where they rightfully belong; into the hearts of the good folks that come out to support live music.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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