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SoundTRAX: "Blaze"

The "Blaze" soundtrack cover features Ben Dickey and Ali Shawat in character carrying a guitar and luggage.
Light in the Attic Records
/
IFC Films

SoundTRAX is a dive into notable music from iconic films and TV shows every Monday-Thursday at 8:10.

The music world is sadly littered with brilliant artists who, for various reasons, were never truly appreciated until after death.

Think Nick Drake. Karen Dalton. Eva Cassidy. Judee Sill.

In the country music universe, Blaze Foley was a prime example.

But on this day in 2018, he was immortalized on film— warts and all— in Blaze, directed by avowed fan and fellow Texan, Ethan Hawke.

Blaze was adapted from a screenplay written by Foley's longtime girlfriend, Sybil Rosen, called Living in the Woods in a Tree: Remembering Blaze.

Her memoir chronicled their tempestuous relationship, his battles with the bottle, his close friendship with the equally troubled Townes Van Zandt, his struggles as a musician, and his violent death at just 39.

Hawke assembled an outstanding cast, with musician Ben Dickey as Foley and Alia Shawkat as Rosen being particularly strong. The supporting cast features frequent Hawke collaborators like director Richard Linklater and Lexington, KY resident, Steve Zahn. The legendary Kris Kristofferson plays Foley's dad and Hurray for the Riff Raff's Alynda Segarra is terrific as Foley's sister.

But it's Charlie Sexton who steals the show with a spot-on portrayal of Townes Van Zandt.

Ben Dickey and Alia Shawkat did their own singing in the movie and the soundtrack also features Sexton performing Van Zandt's "Marie" while Segarra does a lovely version of Lucinda Williams' "Drunken Angel," which Williams wrote about Foley.

But for today's SoundTRAX selection I'm going with what is probably Foley's best known song, as it was recorded by John Prine in 2005.

From Blaze, it's Ben Dickey with Blaze Foley's "Clay Pigeons."

P.S. Blaze is available on several streaming services so do check it out.

Mel is the WFPK morning host. Email Mel at mfisher@lpm.org.

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