Sunday, November 06, 2005

Some kind of savior singing the blues

Musician's Musician - n An artist unknown to the world at large yet venerated by singers who sometimes actually sell a record or two. See Blaze Foley.

The late Blaze Foley is a legend in the Austin, TX music scene and beyond. You can read all about Foley's wardrobe of duct tape and aluminum foil, semi-homeless "couch circuit" lifestyle and more here, but the music really beats the hell out of the myth. Merle Haggard learned his song his song "If I Could Only Fly" from Willie Nelson, played it for Tammy Wynette's funeral and made it the title track of his most personal record. John Prine and Lyle Lovett have both included Foley songs on their recent albums. Townes Van Zandt wrote Blaze's Blues for him and Lucinda Williams composed Drunken Angel as a memorial. Do you really need more convincing?

Two CD's drawn from a live performance at a neighborhood bar in December 1988, two months before he was murdered are available at Lost Art Records and you should buy them. The label is nice enough to provide these three tracks for you to sample:

If I Could Only Fly (live/solo)
Clay Pigeons (live/solo)
Oval Room (live/solo)

Some full-band studio cuts Foley made around the time of the above recordings were thought lost but were recently found on an unmarked burned CD and have been restored and released as Wanted More Dead Than Alive. That label has also graciously provided these tracks, albeit versions of the same songs offered above:

If I Could Only Fly (studio/band)
Clay Pigeons (studio/band)

Another studio album was released in very limited quantities but the masters were supposedly confiscated by the DEA (you would think maybe our good Texan in the White House could clear that up). And apparently the masters from another record (or was it the rediscovered one?) were stolen from the back of a car. So maybe with renewed interest in Foley's music, more stuff may one day be released.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it true that ZZ Top were suspects?-DLS

2:19 AM  

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