BLAZE FOLEY, the itinerant Austin songwriter immortalized by Lucinda Williams (“Drunken Angel”) and Townes Van Zandt (“Blaze’s Blues”), was a caring soul whose spare and simple songs drilled to the core of human emotions. He was also, um, colorful, from his unusual lodging habits (the BFI logo on city dumpsters was known as an acronym for “Blaze Foley Inside”) to a frightening hardscrabble anger that crept into his music. The Austin Outhouse was his haunt, and from there came his only previously available album. OVAL ROOM (Lost Art) delivers more gems and oddities from those same 1988 sessions, recorded just one month before his murder. Carefully augmented, the extra guitar, drum, and vocal flourishes—and there are many—never feel like meddling but slide onstage unnoticed behind Foley and band.
From the December 2004 Issue Subscribe