Jimmy LaFave

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Jimmy LaFave at the Texas Book Festival (2012)

Jimmy LaFave (born July 12, 1955 in Wills Point , Texas , † May 21, 2017 in Austin , Texas) was an American country singer and singer-songwriter . He is considered one of the pioneers of red dirt music.


Jimmy LaFave at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival

Jimmy LaFave was born on July 12, 1955 in Wills Point, Texas. He lived in the small town east of Dallas and went to school in Mesquite . In the early 1970s, he and his family moved to Stillwater , Oklahoma. There he graduated from school.

LaFave initially wanted to be a drummer and later a guitarist. As a teenager he mainly played songs by James Taylor and Bob Dylan , but was already writing his first own songs. At a young age he also founded his band Night Tribe .

After finishing school, he worked part-time as a construction worker and earned his living with day-to-day jobs. Later he was manager of a club for several years. Furthermore, he was able to publish his first musical work Down Under in 1979 . In 1982 he followed up with Broken Line . During his time in Stillwater he also played in the same club as Garth Brooks , with whom he shared some band members.

In the early 80s, LaFave was looking for a new musical home. He chose Austin , Texas , where he moved in 1986. He intended to advance his music career there and to get a record deal. At first he mainly appeared as a solo artist in cafés or played with his old band Night Tribe .

In 1988 he released his own production Highway Angels ... Full Moon Rain . As a result, he signed a contract with a small independent label and worked with the well-known music producer Bob Johnston . However, the joint recordings were never published.

LaFave's most successful period began with the album Austin Skyline , released in 1992, when he released numerous albums on the Bohemia Beat Records label and was thus able to secure greater attention. He was able to confirm this success in 1994 with Highway Trance and 1995 with Buffalo Return to the Plains . A total of seven albums were released between 1992 and 1999, most of which received very good reviews. In 2001, Texoma was the last of six albums on the label.

Since 1998, LaFave has performed regularly at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival , an event held annually in his hometown of Okemah in honor of Woody Guthrie . In 2007 he also became part of the team that organized the festival.

In 2005 he signed a contract with Red House Records and released the album Blue Nightfall . In April of the same year he was on stage with Bruce Springsteen , one of his musical idols, at a show in Dallas for a joint duet. In 2010 his label released a best of album with his most popular songs. His last studio album, Depending on the Distance , was released in 2012.

Music genre

Although LaFave had lived in Austin since the 1980s, he is widely regarded as a Red Dirt artist. Even more than others in the Stillwater scene, he has a strong connection to folk music . His musical spectrum ranges from quiet ballads like Only One Angel to rock songs like Rock and Roll Music to the World . He named Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie as his greatest role models, of whom he regularly covered songs. His music is also influenced by JJ Cale , Bruce Springsteen and Jackson Browne .


Studio albums


  • 1994: The Open Road (Highway Trance)
  • 1995: Burden to Bear

Compilation albums

  • 1999: Trail
  • 2010: Favorites 1992-2001
  • 2013: Trail Two
  • 2013: Trail Three

Web links

Commons : Jimmy LaFave  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Austin Music Man Jimmy LaFave Dies at 61 After Cancer Battle. (No longer available online.) In: twcnews.com. Charter Communications, May 22, 2017; archived from the original on May 25, 2017 ; accessed on May 23, 2017 (English). Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.twcnews.com
  2. ^ Richard Cuccaro: Jimmy LaFave - Bringing Red Dirt Music to the World ( Memento from February 10, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) In: acousticlive.com (English).
  3. Jump up ↑ Jim Catalano: Jimmy LaFave Interview. In: steamiron.com. 1997, accessed February 20, 2014
  4. Arthur Wood: Jimmy LaFave - Biography. In: myweb.tiscali.co.uk. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
  5. ^ Joachim Brookes: concert report. In: rocktimes.de. September 22, 2013, accessed February 20, 2014.