Friday, October 17, 2008

Blaze Foley Tribute & Fundraiser for the Homeless

Last week my friend and colleague Mickey White asked if I'd back him up on bass at a fundraiser at Ruta Maya. We had a twenty-minute practice on Tuesday after work-- more than enough time to work up "Larimer Street", "The Cuckoo", "Rex's Blues", "Going Down the Road Feelin' Bad", "Sweet Home Chicago", and a demi-medley of "I've Been Everywhere" and "When the Saints Go Marching In." Right?

Actually, I've played with Mickey twice before, and we'd done two of those tunes already, but more importantly, he's such a great musician that it's just easy to play with him. Ditto for his son, who plays drums.

In short, this evening was an absolute blast. We had a second guitarist and a saxophonist. The latter played with Townes Van Zandt back when Mickey played with him, and despite the fact that this gig WAS our rehearsal, it all came off very strong.

It was a little funny to be treated like a minor VIP. When I first got there one of the event coordinators sought me out and gave me a special bracelet that let me get free beer. It was also very cool to play for a large crowd that cheered enthusiastically between songs (for the wizardry of the guitarists and the saxophonist!). When we stepped off stage, one of the event organizers came up and asked me if I would sign some fliers that were going to be auctioned off. I declined, telling her that I was just a friend backing up the guy who had actually known Blaze Foley (we were listed as "Mickey White" after all) but she insisted. They wanted all the musicians to sign them.

Oddness, all of this. But I liked it!


Bookhart said...

One of our college drinking buds lived right across the street from Blaze Foley back in the late 1980s, in the then-scary neighborhood of S. 2nd and Mary. He witnessed (well, heard) Blaze's murder and testified at the trial. I'll always remember Blaze Foley for that reason.

Craig said...

the song "Drunken Angel", from Lucinda Williams' 1998 album "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road" is about him.

Anonymous said...

We are glad that you enjoyed yourself!! We had fun organizing the event! We felt that Blaze's music needed to be heard LOUDER!! Benefiting the Austin Resource Center For The Homeless was great too!
Mickey White is indeed a great guitarist,and a super nice guy! We enjoyed the intense guitar solos during that set! The night was truly magical!
The gal getting autographs was my girlfriend, Kathy. Did you get to meet Marsha, Blaze's sister, at the gig? She's super sweet! If not, she'll be at The Townes Van zandt Wake @ The Old Quarter in Galveston Jan. 01,2009.
Glad you enjoyed the show!
-Bill and Kathy-