Out of Stock Formats:
- Original Release Date: November 08, 2011
Secret Seven Records is proud to present Blaze Foley: Clay Pigeons, a (vinyl-only) career-spanning collection of studio, home and intimate live recordings from 1976 – 1988. Culled from numerous posthumous CD releases, Clay Pigeons marks the first-ever proper LP release by one of country music’s most beautiful, yet oft unheard, voices. Featuring many of Blaze’s best loved songs including: “Oval Room,” “Clay Pigeons,” and “If I Could Only Fly”—a song Merle Haggard described as “the best country song I’ve heard in 15 years.”
As is often the case with artists whose legacies have been shaped by tragic circumstances, in some ways the music of Blaze Foley cannot be divorced from his personal story. Born Michael David Fuller in 1949, he spent his formative years traveling the South with his family as a group of itinerant Gospel singers. By 1974, he had begun to develop his persona as a songwriter, first as “Depty Dawg,” and finally as “Blaze Foley.” Blaze’s brief career was characterized by equal measures of prolificacy, poor luck, and personal misfortune. Despite his friendship with fellow Texas outlaw country stalwart, Townes Van Zandt, success eluded Foley at all turns. Albums were recorded, lost, found, and lost again. Troubled both by substance abuse and homelessness, Foley struggled to commit many of his songs to tape, and those that were recorded rarely received proper releases during his lifetime— save a lone 45rpm. An LP was pressed in 1984, but allegedly, the album was seized by the FBI when the owner of the record label was arrested for drug smuggling. Blaze finally received some of the LPs, which he traded for beer and cab rides. Blaze’s life ended tragically in 1989 when he was fatally gunned down while intervening in a family feud on the behalf of an elderly and defenseless friend.
Despite the obscurity that plagued his career his talent was acknowledged and celebrated by his more successful peers both during his life and after his passing. Notables such as Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, John Prine, and Lyle Lovett have covered Foley’s songs. Additionally, Townes Van Zandt and Lucinda Williams have immortalized Foley with tribute songs written in his honor. There is also a documentary film. Yet despite any accolade that could be used to measure Foley’s importance, nothing comes close to hearing him sing his own songs.