I have never felt more mysteriously called to a project than this one. It is a film shot straight from the gut. Put simply, it came from love. It was made from various fabrics; my relationship to my wife, music, Ben Dickey, Blaze Foley, Sybil Rosen, Townes Van Zandt, and the various artists that felt called to the same flame. It’s a home-made movie held together with Duct Tape. Simple and unadorned like grassroots music. I just followed my nose and every at turn, like minded people with passion showed up to help.
I’ve always loved movies about music. But I thought if I ever directed a movie about musicians --- I wanted to cast musicians. I’d never seen strong differentiations in the various art forms anyway. There is a great Dennis Hopper quote, which goes something like, “I grew up a farm kid and I never saw any difference between acting, photography, painting music acting directing -- it was all the art.”
Blaze’s life would allow me the opportunity to attempt to tell a more truthful story about music and creativity. One without all the obvious tropes; here’s the scene he gets discovered! Here’s the scene he makes it big! Here’s the scene where his ego gets too big! We wouldn't need any of those scenes because he was never discovered, never made it big, and his own bitterness was his enemy rather than the “trials of fame.”
It's a home-made movie held together with Duct Tape. Simple and unadorned like grassroots music.
As soon as I read Sybil Rosen’s memoir, (Living in the Woods in a Tree: Remembering Blaze Foley) the film found focus. Her book was mystical and more about love than the celebration of the individual. It was about ghosts and the mystery of the present moment and how it intersects with the past and future. Her book- and her love for Blaze -would be our guide on how to at least try to make a serious film about music, romantic love, self sabotage, forgiveness, and how human creativity is nature manifest inside each one of us.
The film seemed to have a little star guiding us. Whatever the end result is, it’s a representation of some kind LOVE. It’s a corny word that people overuse but that’s what built this film. Thank you Blaze Foley for bringing us together.
I first heard of Blaze Foley 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. To separate the film and the film’s music is impossible. The film is about the music. And country music at its simple best has an ability to penetrate.
The Blaze soundtrack is now available by Light In The Attic Records.