Sue Foley, Deborah Coleman, Roxanne Potvin
Nothing But the Blues Festival
Bloomington IL  7-20-07
By Ben Cox

Sexy (I hope my wife’s not reading!), Soulful, and Sensational is all have to say about these three ladies. Their performance as the headliners for the first night of the Nothing But the Blues Festival was a great exclamation point on an otherwise beautiful evening for all the blues anyone could handle.


On tour supporting their newest release, Time Bomb on Ruf Records, the ladies exploded into the crowd’s ears with the title track instrumental to start the show. The old adage of “Do they play as good as they look?” was answered with a definite standing ovation in favor at the end of the first tune. The youngest and on her first tour of the United States, Roxanne Potvin took the mic first with all three ladies still on stage for the sassy “Hitting On Nothing” for the next track, which was met with equal enthusiasm for the evening crowd.


Coleman and Foley took a break and left the stage to the youngest of the trio, Potvin,  to showcase 3 tunes from her own release The Way It Feels, also on Ruf Records. Playing the swinging self-penned “Your Love Keeps Working On Me” and the duet which she sung on her record with roots legend John Hiatt “A Love That’s Simple,” Potvin was easy on the eyes with her short black dress and sweet to the ears, giving Central Illinois’ its first live taste of this talented, young French Canadian. “The crowds have been enormously responsive to us on tour,” Potvin said later off stage while fellow guitarist Deborah Coleman took to the stage.


Coleman was next in line serving up blues, soul, and funk; moving about the stage like a person who was at home singing in front of a mirror. Laughing and giggling the whole time, Coleman wowed the crowd with a slow blues tune that really brought the feeling of blues power to the audience.


Lastly, it was the veteran Foley, who gave the crowd a mix of blues-rock, roots, and even a samba-influenced jazz instrumental reminiscent of SRV’s “Riviera Paradise” that capped the end of her solo set.


Finally, the girls returned to the stage and brought out the funk on the Coleman sung “Talking Loud” off the new LP. The ladies capped the evening on “In the Basement,” which had most of the front row and backstage folks dancing even after the end of the song. These ladies are truly wonderful musicians and enormously talented. As one concert-goer said, “These ladies are sexy as hell and damn can they play.” I think I couldn’t put it any better.

By Ben Cox

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