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Review: 'Blaze Foley's 113th Wet Dream'

Friend's CD tribute to Foley perhaps too respectful

Michael Corcoran

The only person who knows Blaze Foley's songs better than Gurf Morlix was shot to death 22 years ago on West Mary Street. Morlix was Foley's guitar player, roommate and running buddy from 1977 to 1980, during Foley's most active songwriting period. "There were better singers, better songwriters, but no one was more committed to his songs than Blaze," Morlix said in a 2004 American-Statesman article that marked the 15th anniversary of Foley's passing.

Morlix's commitment to the 15 Foley songs he covers on this self-produced CD is unmistakable. There's a deep level of respect at work here. Perhaps too much. The playfulness of Foley's delivery on such tunes as "No Goodwill Stores in Waikiki" and "Oh Darlin'" is shaded in somber tones that might make Foley fans reach for the originals before this record is over. It doesn't seem possible to make an album of Blaze tunes without including "If I Could Only Fly" and "Picture Cards," but Morlix doesn't add much with his dusty interpretations.

Such lesser-known songs as "For Anything Else," "Down Here Where I Am" and the title track work better as meditations on the songwriter, tying the album together as a solid mood piece.

At the end is "Cold Cold World," which Morlix has performed through the years more than Foley ever did. It's here that Morlix sounds least like a sideman/producer and more like a singer-songwriter.

Gurf Morlix performs Blaze Foley songs and a few of his own tonight at the Cactus Cafe. 8:30 p.m. Friday. $15.