Austin songwriter Jimmy Lafave has passed away just days after joining many stars of Austin’s folk music community at The Paramount for Jimmy LaFave’s Songwriter Rendezvous to celebrate the life, legend, and oversized influence of the longtime Austin singer-songwriter, who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer last year. Despite his diagnosis, the delay in making the news public, and his declining condition, LaFave continued to play. Back in April he played a 90-minute set at a San Antonio Food Bank fundraiser with a set list blending originals and covers, namely his signature takes on Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie tunes. He performed again last month at Threadgill’s.
Though born in Wills Point, Texas, LaFave was raised near Stillwater, Oklahoma where he developed his signature Red Dirt music style and was the first to bring that style to Austin and stake its place. Last month, Oklahoma presented LaFave with the inaugural Restless Spirit Award given by the state’s Red Dirt Relief Fund, a charity that raises money for Oklahoma musicians in critical need. LaFave will also be inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame this June.
Since moving to Austin in the 80s, LaFave became a mainstay in the folk and Americana scene, and served as a bridge between the different generations of players as well, many of whom joined the singer-songwriter on stage this Thursday for Jimmy LaFave’s Songwriter Rendezvous including Christine Albert, Marcia Ball, Ruthie Foster, Butch Hancock, Eliza Gilkyson, Sam Baker, and more. KUTX’s Jody Denberg hosted the event.
“Buckets of rain, buckets of tears”
Jimmy LaFave 1955-2017
— Jody Denberg (@JodyDenberg) May 22, 2017
— The Bugle Boy (@BugleBoyTX) May 22, 2017
— Gretchen Peters (@gretchenpeters) May 22, 2017
— oklamerica (@oklamerica) May 22, 2017
NON-COMMvention LIVE STREAMING SCHEDULE
(All times are ET)
7:00 – 7:25 The National Reserve
7:30 – 7:55 Brent Cobb
8:00 – 8:25 The Districts
8:30 – 8:55 Ani Difranco
9:00 – 9:25 Bash & Pop
9:30 – 10:15 Blondie
10:20 – 10:50 Greg Graffin
10:55 – 11:20 Chicano Batman
7:00 – 7:25 Kyle Craft
7:30 – 7:55 Baskery
8:00 – 8:25 Mondo Cozmo
8:30 – 8:55 Laura Marling
9:00 – 9:30 The Mavericks
9:35 – 10:00 Real Estate
10:05 – 10:45 Gov’t Mule
10:50 – 11:15 Ron Gallo
7:00 – 7:25 Holly Macve
7:30 – 7:55 The Growlers
8:00 – 8:25 Lo Moon
8:30 – 8:55 Benjamin Booker
9:00 – 9:25 The Dream Syndicate
9:30 – 9:55 Hurray For The Riff Raff
10:00 -10:40 Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm
Longtime music host Jay Trachtenberg has been with the station for 32 years (for KUT 90.5 before music moved to KUTX 98.9 in 2013), spinning everything from jazz, to reggae, to rock and everything in between.
When he’s not on the air, he’s managing KUTX air staff, producing the weekly on-air schedule and helping manage the many ticket giveaways each week. Jay also writes about music for the “Austin Chronicle” from time to time.
Five Questions with KUTX Music Host Jay Trachtenberg
What musical experience most set you on the path to a career in radio?
I’ve always had a fascination with radio. As a young kid, I would stay up late falling asleep with one those little Japanese transistor radios plugged into my ear. Later I would try to tune into any number of top-of-the-dial, high-powered stations after midnight from my home in Los Angeles. When the weather conditions were just right I could pick up stations in Shreveport, Nashville or Oklahoma City. I would often listen to Wolfman Jack late at night on XERF and XERB blasting out of Rosarita, Mexico, just south of the border.
During the 1960s I was enthralled by Top 40 jocks like The Real Don Steele and then “underground” DJs like Humble Harve Miller, B. Mitchell Reed and Jimmy Rabbit (from the David Allan Coe classic, “Long Haired Redneck”). As soon as I got the opportunity, I signed up at my college station, KCSB, at the University of California at Santa Barbara – and the rest is history, as they say.
What’s your favorite Austin music experience so far?
After being in Austin for almost 40 years, it’s hard to pick a single event. But one that makes for a good story was the time I interviewed Jesse Colin Young back in 2004 in our old Studio 1A.
Way back in the day he had been in the Youngbloods, a band that had a big hit with “Get Together” – “Come on all you people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another right now.” It was a real anthem of the 1960s.
So Mr. Young ends his live Studio 1A session with this song and while he’s singing it, I flash back to a huge anti-Vietnam War demonstration in San Francisco in 1969 where I’m one of a half million people in Golden Gate Park and the Youngbloods are singing this popular song of peace and love. Here I am – 35 years later – in Studio 1A with Jesse Colin Young sitting 10 feet away and he’s singing this same song to me. Chills ran down my spine. Who’d of ever thunk??
Why public rather than commercial radio?
In a nutshell, public radio treats its listeners as thoughtful, intelligent citizens while commercial radio tends to treat its listeners as mindless, voracious consumers.
How do you spend your time when you’re not spinning records on the air?
Reading, swimming and running, working in my garden, strolling in the park with my girlfriend and her dog, and going out to hear live music.
Finish the sentence: “Austin Music Is ….”
… a direct reflection of what makes this such an exceptionally creative and special place to live.
Jay hosts music from noon to 2 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. He hosts a jazz show Sunday mornings from 7 to 10.
Say hi to Jay on Twitter @jjtrachtenberg
Photo by David Redfern
To celebrate Willie Nelson’s 84th birthday, KUTX is playing nothing but Willie on Saturday, April 29 through Sunday, April 30. Listen to our hour-long documentary on Willie on Saturday at 6 p.m., Sunday at 7 a.m., or at the bottom of the page.
In the early 1970’s, a red-headed stranger with a grandfatherly smile emerged on the world stage from seemingly nowhere. He was a man of out time in braids and a bandanna– both a hippie and a cowboy—and a symbol for the changing face of America. This is the story of an ambitious man who got lost chasing the American dream, only to find himself back home. It’s the story of a Texas iconoclast, and an American icon. This is the story of Willie Nelson.
Amazing Grace: The Story Of Willie Nelson–originally produced and broadcasted in 2008 around Willie’s 75th birthday–traces Willie’s extraordinary life, from his humble beginnings in Abbott, Texas to outlaw country and beyond. The documentary features interviews with Willie and sister Bobbie Nelson, as well as many of the celebrities who have performed with him, including Kris Kristofferson, John Mellencamp, and Norah Jones.
Hosted and produced by David Brown, with assistance from Michael May and KUT News. Special edition produced by Art Levy with assistance from Jake Perlman.
Produced by Art Levy. Photo by Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUTX
This weekend, Moontower Comedy Fest takes place at venues all across Austin, and one of the comedians taking part is Brian Posehn. He’s a stand-up and actor known for roles on Just Shoot Me, Mr. Show, and The Sarah Silverman Program. He’s also a big metal fan, but in this feature, we wanted to hear about his musical guilty pleasures. Take a listen below and catch Posehn at Moontower.