Washington may have peaked at 65. After years of wandering and years of abusing himself, in 2004 he took the stage at the Fuji Rock Festival in Japan, a mammoth three-day event that included such acts as Lou ReedPJ Harvey and the White Stripes. The show came amid a period of particular productivity for Washington, who found fairly regular work around Houston.
An album, "Houston Guitar Blues," was finally released in 2003. It was largely made up of songs Washington had played for years, but didn't get around to recording. The record reflects the breadth of Washington's talent. He plays some boogie blues on "Hard Way," gospel-tinged Southern soul on "Someone Loves Me" and swinging blues on "I Feel Alright." "Bossa Nova Part 2" is one of the most interesting tracks on the album - its style self-explanatory.
"Houston Guitar Blues" is the most readily available document of Washington's music, though it recently fell out of print.
Tomas Escalante, owner of Sig's Lagoon, said it's been "one of my top sellers" over the years.
"I have trouble keeping it in stock," he said. "If they keep making them, it'll sell forever here."
Still the most exciting way to see Washington perform died with him: performing with the reckless abandon with which he also lived his life.