Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Gurf Morlix

  • Blaze Foley's 113th Wet Dream [Rootball, 2011] A-
  • Finds the Present Tense [Rootball, 2013] **
  • Eatin' at Me [Rootball, 2015] ***
  • The Soul and the Heal [Rootball, 2017] **
  • Impossible Blue [Rootball, 2019] *
  • Kiss of the Diamondback [Rootball, 2020] *

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Blaze Foley's 113th Wet Dream [Rootball, 2011]
Eccentric even for a city that brags about its eccentrics, Austinite Blaze Foley inspired Lucinda Williams's "Drunken Angel" and had the best luck of his star-crossed career when Merle Haggard made "If I Could Only Fly" the title song of an excellent 2000 comeback album that didn't sell much. By then he'd been dead a decade, killed by the gun-toting son of a friend he was standing up for. His legend hasn't been helped by master tapes that kept getting lost, stolen, or seized by federal agents, but on these 15 songs his guitarist friend Gurf gets to cherry-pick and hook up with a drummer. Irresistible as John Prine for an opening section capped by the homelessness ditty "No Goodwill Stores in Waikiki," they sink into a slough of despond that starts feeling right comfy before the record rises up with "Small Town Hero," in which the duct tape abuser gets the last word on the high school sports star. Foley never mistook his dysfunction for a cause or felt sorry for himself about anything but women, and even there not much. He made his bed wherever. A-

Finds the Present Tense [Rootball, 2013]
Lucinda's ex-guitarist "wallow[s] in 'em all night long" and wrote the one about "guns in schools" long before it had a news hook ("My Life's Been Taken," "Bang Bang Bang") **

Eatin' at Me [Rootball, 2015]
One of those guitarists whose songs aren't quite sharp enough to make you love his grizzled handshake of a voice--but believe it, they're getting closer ("Dirty Old Buffalo," "50 Years") ***

The Soul and the Heal [Rootball, 2017]
Bruised and bleedin' for strictly personal reasons, he heals by putting his all into humanist hymns ("Love Remains Unbroken," "Move Someone") **

Impossible Blue [Rootball, 2019]
Guitar sharp as ever, voice rougher than ever, he tops 4:30 on seven tracks out of nine because his dolor overfloweth, as why the hell shouldn't it? ("Spinnin' Planet Blues," "I Saw You") *

Kiss of the Diamondback [Rootball, 2020]
The love life not sex life of a gnarled not gnarly 69-year-old who knows the difference ("If You Were Perfect," "I'd Stop the Rain," "We Just Talked") *