In a parallel universe somewhere out there Jeff Finlin is renowned, coveted by the music cognoscenti, in our world his music rarely gets the coverage and plaudits it deserves.
A master of the craft of songwriting some of his tracks are truely outstanding, Jeff has released a total of seven albums, although with Angels in Disguise there is a bit of label repackaging going on and it includes 8 tracks that were found on the earlier album Epinonmymous.
My pick’s would be Jeff’s second & third albums Original Fin and Somewhere South on Wonder, the later of which includes the song Sugar Blue that featured in the sound track for Elizabethtown, along with some excellent tracks from Tom Petty, Ryan Adams and Patty Griffin.
Sugar Blue Too
Ulysses pulls his sword
For Cleopatra’s muse
He thinks he won the war
But that gal’s going to break his ass in two
He plays the wonder boy <
Muscles pilin’ high
But she slays him with a kiss
And a piece of mama’s apple pie
... is a quote from Townes van Zandt about his friend Blaze Foley (real name Michael David Fuller), Blaze is a guy whose music I came across through his links to Townes, one of those legendary larger than life characters, he died tragically in 1989 after being shot when coming to the aid of a friend who was under violent attack from his son, at the subsequent trial the son was found not guilty of murder in the first degree on the grounds of self-defence.
All but one of the album releases – a rare self titled vinyl issue– by Blaze were released posthumously and are available from the usual outlets as downloads and CD’s
Blaze Foley and the Beaver Valley Boys
Live At the Austin Outhouse
There may have been more releases if lady luck had been kinder to Blaze, one set of studio master tapes were lost when the car they were in was stolen and another set were supposed to have being confiscated by the DEA during a drug bust involving the albums producer.
A number of tribute albums followed Blaze’s death and were released by Deep South Production Blaze Tributes, there is also a documentary that has been sometime in the making and a book, you can get more info on the MySpace page here and listen to a few tracks and play some youtubes whilst you’re over there Blaze MySpace
There’s a great article here by Joe Nick Patoski and some further reading here written by Austin DJ Larry Monroe over on wiki there a lot more info too and some goods links to further stuff about Blaze.
Fellow artists Townes van Zandt and Lucinda Williams both wrote songs in tribute to Blaze, Townes wrote “Blaze’s Blues” which appeared on his 1994 album No Deeper Blue and Lucinda “Drunken Angel” which appeared on her break through album Car Wheels on a Gravel Road in 1998, Blaze was a fan of John Prine who later recorded his song “Clay Pigeons” which was released on his album Fair & Square, all three of which you can listen too here………
You can download here a tribute concert to recorded in 1984 featuring Blaze and Townes includes the artwork.