"Blaze Foley is the Snuffleupagus of the outlaw country music scene. I first heard of him when I heard John Prine’s cover of the song ‘Clay Pigeons’ and I thought it was one of the best country songs I’d ever heard. As I looked more and more into who wrote it, the story of Blaze’s life became as compelling as his music." – Blaze writer-director Ethan Hawke
A larger-than-life character who met an early and tragic death, Blaze Foley was part of the outlaw country sound of the 70s and early 80s and a fixture in the pages of The Austin Chronicle. Academy Award nominated writer-director-actor Ethan Hawke has now brought to screen the story of the brilliant, outrageous singer-songwriter. Starring Ben Dickey as Blaze, Charlie Sexton as Townes van Zandt, and Alia Shawkat as Foley’s sweetheart Sybil Rosen, critics are calling Blaze “beautifully made,” “spellbinding,” and “an experience, one that ever so gently opens your ears, your eyes, and your heart.”
Ethan Hawke directs Ben Dickey (Photo courtesy of IFC Films)
"Blaze Foley knew only one real speed – pedal to the metal forward. Not interested in the center, he went to the edges; bored by calm he searched for whirlpools. If they couldn't be found, well then he created one. Usually gambling with far more than he had, he bet it all – his life, his talent, his music. Maybe it was a strategy, maybe a vision, or maybe it was the only way he knew. When he finally lost, he lost big, but maybe that was only in the short game." – Blaze executive producer Louis Black
A 1984 Chronicle review of Blaze Foley
The Austin Chronicle is proud to present a special issue dedicated to all things Blaze, guest edited by Austin native son Ethan Hawke, bringing his own personal insights to an issue packed with archival photographs, tributes to the music of Blaze Foley and Townes van Zandt, and stories from the film’s production. Highlights include the first-hand recollections of Sybil Rosen, Blaze co-writer and author of the memoir Living in the Woods in a Tree: Remembering Blaze Foley, plus interviews with Ethan Hawke and actor-musician Ben Dickey; Sybil Rosen and actress Alia Shawkat; and longtime friends Charlie Sexton and Richard Linklater.