GUEST POST: 3 ALBUMS FROM OTIS GIBBS:

Note from AIV: Otis approached me about this post and I thought it was a great idea and I hope to make it a reoccurring piece here on 9B. Hope you enjoy.


As a traveling musician, I’m given countless CDs from people I meet on the road. I have no interest in being a music critic, but I try my best to listen to as many as I can. In the spirit of turning people on to good music, this is a list of three records that stand out from the crowd.

Thanks for giving a damn,
Otis Gibbs

ADAM CARROLL


I met Adam a few years ago at a festival in Colorado. I was booked to do a songwriters round with Adam and Tim Easton. At the time, Tim and I had never heard of Adam, but we were completely blown away. Later that night, Adam and I hung out and he gave me this record. Since then, Adam has become one of my favorite songwriters and has released quite a few wonderful albums. I think this album is a great starting point and it’s one that I keep coming back to time and again. If you search around on Youtube you can find people like Slaid Cleaves and Hayes Carll covering Adam’s songs. Recommended if you like Guy Clark, Robert Earl Keen, Townes Van Zandt.

Adam Carroll – Erroll’s Song

JASON EKLUND


Jason and I met while we were playing a hobo gathering in La Crosse, Wisconsin. After the gig, he handed me a CD-R that he’d written his name and album title on with black marker. My best buddy Todd and I drove home to Indianapolis after the gig and listened to this album 3 times straight through. I found out a few years later that the record was produced by Gurf Morlix and had guest appearances by Rick Richards, Guy Forsyth, Carolyn Wonderland and Slaid Cleaves (just to name a few). I did a quick Google search and wasn’t able to find anywhere to buy this record online. I’m hoping that you’ll be able to hunt it down, because it’s well worth the effort. Recommended if you like John Prine, Woody Guthrie.

Jason Eklund – Farmer Ain’t The Man

CHET O’KEEFE


A mutual friend took Amy and I to a dive bar in Nashville (Brown’s Diner) to see Chet. I was instantly a fan. I loved his voice, his guitar playing and his writing immediately. This record was recorded and produced by my buddy Thomm Jutz, and it showcases Chet at his finest. Chet recently toured Ireland with Nanci Griffith and was awarded “Song Of The Year” in 2010 by the International Bluegrass Music Association (beating out Guy Clark and Bill Monroe). Recommended if you like John Prine, Bob Dylan, Blaze Foley. (AIV Note: We have a full 9B piece on Chet’s album planned for the near future.)

Chet O’Keefe – Game Bird

BLAZE FOLEY: THE MUSIC YOU MIGHTA MADE

“There’s kind of two Blazes. A lot of people saw one or the other. There was the wild one. . . . And then there was the gentle, loving, caring one. I got to know both.” ~ Townes Van Zandt

Over the years of doing ninebullets, I’ve had the occasional emailer ask me if I’d ever heard of Blaze Foley. One was even so kind as to email me a collection of Blaze’s songs. These emails were the first I’d ever heard of the man, but it’s been in the back of my mind to write about him ever since I got those songs.

Blaze Foley was born in Arkansas but grew up in Texas settling on Austin as his home in his adult life. Even for a city known for it’s characters, Blaze seems to have been in a class all his own. Once, in an effort to mock the “Urban Cowboy” fad and their silver-tipped cowboy boots, he started putting duct tape on the tips of his boots. This obsession kept growing until he’d made a complete suit from duct tape that he would wear around. When they buried him, his friends even covered his entire casket with duct tape.

At the age of 39, Foley was murdered while attempting to help his friend Concho January defend himself from his violent son, Carey. Despite having written hundreds of songs and recorded numerous albums at the time of his death, none of Blaze’s music had ever been released. One album’s masters were seized by the DEA when the executive producer was caught in a drug bust. Another album’s masters were stolen when the station wagon Blaze was living in was broken into, and another album, “Wanted More Dead Than Alive”, was believed lost until an old friend found some master tapes while cleaning out his car some years after Blaze’s death.  Despite having a small but rabid fanbase that included such luminaries as Gurf Morlix and Townes Van Zandt, it would take some 10 years after his death before a Blaze album would see the light of day. The late nineties/naughts have given us a small Blaze Foley revival of sorts, with 4 albums being released (with a fifth on the way), an equal amount of tribute albums, and two documentaries about the man who never saw his music leave the bars he played in. A number of his songs have become hits for other artists, including Merle Haggard’s cover of “If I Could Fly”, Lyle Lovette’s cover of “Election Day”, and John Prine’s cover of “Clay Pigeons” off his 2005 Grammy Award winning album, Fair and Square.

There are plenty of other sites out there that can offer you a much more complete and better written account of Blaze’s life. I was only hoping to introduce you to / raise some interest in this lost gem. When I listen to his music, I can’t help but to think how appropriately titled Gurf Morlix’s tribute to Blaze from his 2009 album Last Exit To Happyland was with “Music You Mighta Made.”

Blaze Foley – Cold, Cold World
Blaze Foley – Big Cheeseburgers & Good French Fries
Blaze Foley – Darlin’
Blaze Foley – Officer Norris
Blaze Foley – Gettin’ Over You

Gurf Morlix – Music You Might Have Made

Lyle Lovette – Election Day
Merle Haggard – If I Could Fly
John Prine – Clay Pigeons