Remembering Jimmy Lafave

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.

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