Blaze lettersLetters like this are why I do what I do.
Hey, everybody! Art and I went out to near Austin, TX last summer to see Joe Nick Patoski, a great person and one of my all-time favorite writers.
One of his latest stories is about the life of a musician who used to be in the house band at Banning Mill. Do you remember Deputy Dawg?
I was in Manhattan by then, and when I’d come home to visit I never remember a band at Banning Mill, just the best Southern food and antiques that Mike McGukin displayed there.
For Joe Nick’s reference, we sure did go to other great dives and music halls in those days, including The Great Southeast Music Hall. The West Georgia area produced a lot of great musicians, some of whom became famous, others melted into obscurity.
If any of you remember Deputy Dawg, you’ll want to check out this story. If you have any specific memories of him that you think Joe Nick would enjoy, feel free to email him. I copied him on this email, as well as Art.
Joe Nick, Banning Mill was a textile mill that the Yankees never found during the Civil War. It was so off the beaten track that Mike McGukin was never able to make a good commercial enterprise out of it.
Mary A. Huff
Hello Joe Nick,
I live in Ireland and have been a huge Blaze Foley fan for many years
I have read your excellent article in No Depression and also see it on your website.
Well done, and so thorough and comprehensive.
One of the best pieces I have read in many years.
and this one:
Hello Joe, I am Wrecks Bell, bass player for Townes and long time
friend of Blaze. Blaze stayed at my house about a month before his
demise. One day I felt a lump in my couch and it was Blazes' wallet.
Made of Duck tape of course. I now own a Music club in Galveston
Tx. called Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe, and Blazes wallet is on a wall
we call the "Townes" wall. I have his drivers license on the wall and you
can see his license on my web page. www.oldquarteracousticcafe.com
Click on: In Memory of......
Townes was my grand opening act on May 3rd 1996 and played again
on Oct. 5th 1996. I also co'owned the original Old Quarter where Townes
recorded his "Live At The Old Quarter" record.
I'm the Rex in Townes' "Rex's Blues" I have Townes' finger picks and use
them every day, they are in my will so they can continue to make music since I am
"Born to grow and grown to die"
Your article was brilliant.
and from Mandy Mercier:
Thanks for your mention, good story. I'm not a paralegal, nor touring Europe -- I do type for lawyers once in a while to earn extra dough but I'm doing music full time as much as I can (and am at the moment). Hope to play Europe soon behind my new CD, "Run Out of Darkness" (the title cut is a Ray Wylie song and he sings it with me), that's "to be released" -- in November.
Blaze and I did have a pretty major relationship, but I've talked about it plenty in other forums and I'm glad for Sybil's role in it all to be told at last -- she's a wonderful lady and great talent in her own right. Most of all I'm happy that Blaze's music, and his story, live on -- he was a great role model, in in his unflinching devotion to his ideas and principles (however confusing they may have seemed at times to others!!), and above all in his utter devotion to his work. I know he'd be very glad to know all that has happened, including your honoring him with your article.
Best personal regards and hope to see you again soon, Mandy