SXSW Saturday Interview

One of Texas' great songwriters finds his champion in one of Austin's great songwriters/guitarists/producers

SXSW Saturday Interview

Gurf Morlix

7:20pm, Saxon Pub

"Since Blaze died, I've watched his legend grow. And it really is a legend by definition," laughs Gurf Morlix of his former compadre, Austin songwriter Blaze Foley. "There's a lot of stuff that may be not true, but it makes a good story. It's larger than life, and Blaze has become that. He's become a hero to people who weren't even alive when he was alive, so that's remarkable to me."

Morlix's marveling is cut in good faith and with appreciation for the recognition that Foley has achieved since he was shot and killed in Austin in 1989. Foley's posthumous success extends to his songs being covered by Merle Haggard ("If I Could Only Fly"), John Prine ("Clay Pigeons"), and Lyle Lovett ("Election Day"), as well as famously providing inspiration for Lucinda Williams' "Drunken Angel."

And yet, the embattled songwriter may have found his greatest champion in Morlix, whose new album, Blaze Foley's 113th Wet Dream, captures the complex balance of humor and heartbreak that defined Foley's songs and life. The album coincides with the release of the long-awaited Foley documentary Duct Tape Messiah, which Morlix is currently helping tour around the country and will take to Europe in the fall.

"I hope that it just spreads the songs out a little bit further," says Morlix. "I fell in love with his songs, and I fell in love with his sense of humor and the twinkle in his eye, all of that. This was a really long time before he became a bad alcoholic, and he had his demons, and I sort of watched that long slide over the 15 years or so that I knew him.

"But Blaze was one-of-a-kind for all time, and you don't come across that many people that are just complete originals like that." (Also: Sat., 9:30pm, Continental Club)

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Gurf Morlix, Blaze Foley, Merle Haggard, Lucinda Williams, Lyle Lovett

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