Aug 19, 2015

JBTRR with Jimmy LaFave

RDBC is going to start featuring some articles and interviews from our friend and partner in crime, Dan Murphy-AKA the Tee Shirt Evangelist, who is now down in Austin. Dan has been in and around the Texas/Oklahoma music scene as a merch guy/road warrior and booking agent for a while now and recently he came to us with an idea for a featured column to be hosted here. He plans on sitting down and get in a quick chat with anybody that will give him 10 minutes. He swung for the fences out of the gate and had a quick Q&A with one of our favorites and an icon to many, Mr. Jimmy LaFave at a show in Austin.

From Dan:

If you’ve ever read any of the history on “The Farm,” a legendary farmhouse located outside of Stillwater, Oklahoma. It was a mix between party house and part okie musician commune. The name Jimmy LaFave is often mentioned, considered to be one of the inspirations for what is now known as “Red Dirt music.” I saw that he was coming back into town, and made arrangements to sit down and talk before his show at Strange Brew in Austin.

LaFave was born in Willis Point, Texas but was raised in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He moved to Austin in 1986 but still keeps a huge Oklahoma connection with his work on the board with the Woody Guthrie festival.

Who inspired you to start writing and singing?

“When I was younger I played the drums and my mother later bought me a guitar that I played. I decided to sing and from life experiences I just started writing songs. Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie were some big inspirations to me.”

What music have you been listening to lately?

“People give me music all the time. Mainly a guy by the name of Lance Canales out of California that I helped with his album. Also a lady by the name of Dayna Kurtz, she doesn’t sing red dirt or anything like that, I just like her music style.”

Which state do you find more musically stimulating, Texas or Oklahoma?

“Both states have their strong points, but I would say Oklahoma. There has always been a good vibe there. There are so many Okie musicians that have come out of Oklahoma and done well over the years. Then there’s the time I spent in Stillwater."

What is your definition of “Red Dirt?”

"Steve Ripley had a band in Stillwater called Moses and on the inside cover of the album, it described the music as having 'a hue of funk, shade of sound, a basic spirit drawing on the color of the earth.' It was a blend of blues, bluegrass, folk and rock and roll. As me and Bob toured in Europe, and I got asked to describe my music, I told them to just call it “Red Dirt.”

 What are some of your best memories of “the Farm?” 

“I would have to say the time I spent with Bob Childers. We had a lot of good times song writing and singing. At the time, I was working construction with Mark Childers, Bob’s brother. He told me one day “My brother is moving back to Oklahoma, you should meet him, he plays the guitar like you,” so we met and soon became great friends. We had a lot of good times up there. One that stands out is the Annual Croquet tournament. The winner received this gawdy jacket, kinda of a Master’s jacket type. It was a lot of laughs and a lot of good music."

You leave a chat like that feeling pretty darn lucky having a chance to talk with a guy that many people consider one of the founding father of an entire music genre.


Anonymous said...

Been a fan of Jimmy LaFave a long time. He's a legit talent.

Rasmus Korra said...

This place is absolutely gorgeous, beautiful and stunning. Even though a few halls are equally appealing and fascinating in their decor, food and aesthetics, I'm tempted to still give these venues some slight edge.

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