The National Music Centre is pleased to present blues guitar-shredder Sue Foley and powerhouse blues vocalist Crystal Shawanda.
Sue Foley is a multi-award-winning musician and one of the finest blues and roots artists working today. She is a veritable triple-threat as a guitarist, songwriter and vocalist. As with many blues women of the past, Foley has a long history of defying convention and being a positive role model for aspiring, young female musicians.
Foley, born in Ottawa, Canada started her professional career at 16 and by the age of 21, had moved to Austin, Texas to record for Antone’s, the esteemed blues label and historic nightclub that helped launch the career of Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Fabulous Thunderbirds and many others. In the decades that have followed, Foley has been busy touring and recording steadily, all while toting her signature pink paisley Fender Telecaster. In 2001, she won the prestigious Juno Award (Canadian equivalent of the Grammy). Foley also holds the record for the most Maple Blues Awards, has earned three Trophees de Blues de France and has garnered several nominations at the Blues Music Awards in Memphis.
Crystal Shawanda grew up on the Wikwemikong First Nation on an island in Ontario. As a child, she would listen to blues greats like Muddy Waters, BB King and Etta James, enraptured with the healing powers of the music. As a Native American, Crystal found herself confronting prejudice when she started out in country music but persevered and forged a singing career in the blues genre.
Crystal’s music is a modern take on the genre with both heart-wrenching laments and catchy rump-shakers. It’s where the north meets the south and captures the resilience of the human spirit, much like Crystal’s music. She will make you feel every word with a powerful voice that never fails, pure and gritty all at once. Her enigmatic vocals and powerful command of both country and blues is not to be missed.