Monday, May 22, 2017
– Veteran singer/songwriter Jimmy LaFave died at 61 on Sunday just three days after a tribute concert in his honor.
LaFave, who was influenced by Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, was a staple of the folk and Americana scene, although never received widespread acclaim. Born in Willis Point, Texas on July 12, 1955, he later moved to Stillwater, Okla. Along with others, he helped develop the Red Dirt music sound of Oklahoma. LaFave released his first album, "Down Under," in 1979. LaFave released 19 albums with his last one being "Trial 4" in 2015.
Perhaps his best-known disc was "Cimarron Manifesto" in 2007 on Red House Records.
LaFave was diagnosed with cancer, but kept it quiet. He announced he was battling spindle cell sarcoma. LaFave continued performing despite being told the cancer was incurable.
A concert honoring LaFave was held at the Paramount Theatre in Austin on May 18. Eliza Gilkyson, Slaid Cleaves and Ruthie Foster, plus Gretchen Peters, Ellis Paul and Guthrie's granddaughter Sarah Lee Guthrie performed. LaFave performed three songs himself, while in a wheelchair and on oxygen, according to published reports.