Blaze Foley (born 1949 in Malvern, Arkansas; died 1 February 1989 in Austin, Texas) was an American singer-songwriter. In the late 1970s Blaze Foley & The Beaver Valley Boys were a big part of the Houston club scene. Foley grew up in Texas. He performed in a gospel band called The Fuller Family with his mother and sisters. After leaving home, he performed in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston and finally Austin, Texas, where even in this city of non-conformists his unusual character was noticed. He slept on friend's couches or under pool-tables in bars.
Foley grew up in Texas. He performed in a gospel band called The Fuller Family with his mother and sisters. After leaving home, he performed in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston and finally Austin, Texas, where even in this city of non-conformists his unusual character was noticed. He slept on friend's couches or under pool-tables in bars. He made the Austin Outhouse his home. He was close friends with another Texas legend Townes Van Zandt.
His song "If I Could Only Fly" became a hit in the interpretation of Merle Haggard. His song "Election Day" was covered by Lyle Lovett on his 2003 album "My Baby Don't Tolerate" and his song "Clay Pigeons" was covered by John Prine on his Grammy Award winning 2005 album "Fair and Square."
In 1989, Foley was shot to death while helping his friend Concho January defend himself from his violent son Carey January. Carey January was acquitted of murder in the first degree by reason of self-defense. Friends of Foley were outraged at the verdict.
Blaze Foley jokingly claimed to be the illegitimate son of Red Foley and Blaze Starr.
Blaze had a love affair with duct tape. Initially he placed duct tape on the tips of his cowboy boots to mock the "Urban Cowboy" crazed folks with their silver tipped cowboy boots. This love of duct tape grew until he'd made a suit out of duct tape that he used to walk around in. At his funeral, his casket was coated with duct tape by his friends. Townes Van Zandt was quoted as saying that "he'd have to dig Blaze up to get the pawn ticket for his guitar that was in his pocket".
The very emotional songs Foley wrote were marked by honesty. They were about all things in life, from love songs to sharp political commentary. Because of the latter one of his master tapes is rumored to have been confiscated by the FBI (or the DEA).
Foley worked among others with Townes Van Zandt and Calvin Russell.
The song "Drunken Angel" by Lucinda Williams, which appears on her 1998 album Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, is a tribute to Foley.