Vinyl Bin: Blaze Foley & the Beaver Valley Boys
Cold, Cold World (Lost Art / Secret Seven)
Reviewed by Kevin Curtin, Fri., Jan. 31, 2014
A quarter century after his murder, folksinger Blaze Foley won't die. A societal outcast with a mythic reputation for boozy troublemaking and bone chilling songs, he hits deep in your soul. Repeatedly. Selling records was a success never realized in Foley's lifetime (1949-89), yet here's Cold, Cold World, released on CD in 2006 and now pressed to vinyl for the first time. One of many post-pulse collections from the "Duct Tape Messiah" – thankfully – it's essential documentation of a legend in the making. Cut with his Beaver Valley Boys in 1979-80, when his baritone rang especially true, the irrefutable quality of Cold, Cold World demonstrates that even Foley's earliest studio work was ready for press. The trimmed, 13-track playlist boasts Foley's writing range. "Rainbows and Ridges" wells up with sentiment, while bum anthem "No Goodwill Stores in Waikiki" cracks wise. "Small Town Hero" shows proficiency as a portraitist, and "Christian Lady Talkin' on a Bus" testifies eternal empathy for the have-nots.