Jimmy La Fave joins other Texas singer/songwriters such as Guy Clark, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Townes Van Zandt in his ability to evoke the feelings and images of America hidden behind superhighways and shopping malls.
Cimarron Manifesto displays a musician in full command of his creative powers. La Fave’s deceptively simple vocal delivery and rich voice present songs with an honesty and power few can match.
And his physical abilities are matched by his songwriting skills. His song “Car Outside” evokes visions of restlessness and remorse bundled in bittersweet melody. Covers of Donovan Leitch’s “Catch the Wind,” Bob Dylan’s “Not Dark Yet,” and Joe South’s “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” join nine originals, and a simple measure of La Fave’s songwriting is that his own work measures up against the likes of Bob Dylan. La Fave’s song, “Home Once Again” strikes just as deep an emotional chord as Dylan’s composition.
Joined by John Inmon (electric guitar and lap steel), Andrew Hardin (electric guitar), Radoslav Lorkovic (Hammond and piano), Jeff May (bass), and others, La Fave plays acoustic and electric guitar, mando-guitar, baritone guitar and National resophonic guitar. He also wears the producer’s hat.
In a world chock full of artifice and illusion, it’s refreshing to discover new music that gets back to the basics. If you’re ready for music that embraces traditional values such as emotional honesty and lyrical style, give Jimmy La Fave a listen.
This article originally appeared in VG’s Aug. ’07 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.