Celebrating Jimmy LaFave
Our beloved comrade Jimmy has been diagnosed with a very rare fast-growing cancer called spindle cell sarcoma. Not much is known about it, nor is there a
protocol in place that has been successful in sending it into remission. At this point, it is clear that Jimmy is not going to be living the long fruitful life that he hoped for and that we would wish for him. In spite of this dire news his spirit is upbeat and as courageous as would be expected from our soulful friend.
We can all say unequivocally that Jimmy has touched our hearts and souls with his voice and songs in ways that go beyond thought and reason…something deeper hits us inside where we long to be reached. Jimmy has ushered us into that place time and again with great good humor and humility, always playful and sweet, incredibly musical. We are so grateful to have been in the front row seat to bear witness to his many gifts.
We have asked Jimmy what we can do for him, and this crowdfunding campaign is being born out of that desire. Jimmy would like to set up a vehicle through which several of his favorite charities can be the recipients. All contributions to this site will be made in his name and gladly received.
With appreciation for his music and our years of friendship in mind, we are organizing a Songwriter Rendezvous, a celebration of the life and songs of Jimmy LaFave , at the Paramount on May 18. The Songwriter Rendezvous will feature some of the top songwriting talent in the country. The lineup and details will be announced soon at the Paramount website.
We expect this to be a night where our community is reminded of the best part of ourselves and all that is of value in our lives. We hope you will join us in creating a glorious evening for Jimmy.
Friends and family of Jimmy LaFave
Pls. note: To avoid his getting overwhelmed with emails and phone calls, the best way to share your message of love and support for Jimmy will be at the GoFundMe site:
Our goal amount is set at $1 because GoFundMe requires that we pick a goal amount. But money is not the object here. There is no end game, other than supporting Jimmy in his time of need and showing our love for him.
I used to joke that Jimmy sings it sounded like Aaron Neville and Bob Dylan both crawled up his ass and try to get out his mouth at the same time.. All in love and adoration, for if I was half the singer Jimmy is I'd be twice the singer I am. Thanks for spending time with me at Folk Alliance.
MD Anderson in Houston has an excellent advanced sarcoma center - please check It out.! Targeted gene therapies and immunotherapies have made huge strides in fighting cancer tumors recently. There are many reasons to believe you can still beat this. And personally I'd rather donate to your medical expenses instead of a charity if that's ok - is there a fund yet for that?
I flew down to Killeen, TX to see my son Rob off on his first tour in Iraq. I had turned him on to Jimmy and found out that he was playing in Austin two nights before Rob shipped out. I called Val Denn, Jimmy's manager, and she arranged for us to get comped for the concert and have dinner with Jimmy. Rob got a case of food poisoning that made the trip impossible. I called Val to explain and apologize and she was, as always, very gracious. Fifteen minutes later my phone rang and it was Jimmy, asking to speak to Rob. I don't remember how long they spoke but I know it meant a lot to Rob, and me. I was fortunate to work with him at Falcon Ridge and the Boston Folk Festival as well as seeing him for fun whenever his tour made it up here. Jimmy is one of the good guys.
Dear Jimmy- I want to thank you for the kindness you have shown me, and for the opportunity to travel and play music together! I am so in awe of your singing, and also your songwriting and band leading. And your knowledge of music, and your discerning taste in guitar playing in particular. And thank you for inviting me and Gigi to Woody Guthrie Folk Festival and personally giving us a tour of Okemah, OK. That is also where I met Jeannie Burns, and that developed into an almost 10 year friendship and musical partnership. Love and best wishes from Andrew and Gigi!
When I heard your first James Taylor song at the talent show at C.E. Donart HS in Stillwater, you blew everyone away. We knew then that you would live your passion. How could you have not? You have touched the lives of everyone who has heard your voice and your message since that amazing day that you let your music flow. We are with you Jimmy, in our hearts and with love during this difficult time. Thank you for giving us something as unique as your music and heartfelt messages. We have all been blessed.
Jimmy, As you know, I have been a fan of your music for years. Your gift of melody has always stunned me. I feel so fortunate to have discovered your music as I was making my first steps to construct my own songs. Even your guitar playing has clearly influenced my own. You know - that thing that you do on the E string when you're about to hop from a G to a C? I'm sure there's a proper way to describe what's going on there, but I don't know it. I just know what I know from listening. I just know that I heard that in your music and it moved me. I can't remember if I've ever told you this story... When I first moved to Austin I was playing music full time. Which really meant I was stubborn, homeless, unemployed, and surviving off of a balanced diet of discount hot dogs and Pearl beer. I saw a benefit show advertised for Will Sexton, who I did not know. All I knew was that Jimmy LaFave was going to be playing at Antone’s. I knew I had to go to that show. I busked for a couple of days to afford the ticket. I am fearful in my awkwardness I will fall short of accurately relaying how much your kindness means to me. It’s why I try to stick to songs - you know this about me. I’ll never forget the kindness you showed me, a stranger, on the street during a hectic SXSW. I introduced myself to you as a fan and you spent time speaking with Caleb and me outside of Austin Ale House. You even invited us to follow you to a showcase, but we had to decline. Thank you for that. Thank you for taking a chance on me in the studio. Thank you for inviting me along for the ride. It’s been such an honor to learn from your beautiful example. From how you treat your band, respect your fans, encourage others on the path, and remain true to yourself through it all. You’ve shown me that if you do what you love - honestly, with people you love - honestly, blessings will flow. Minds can be opened. Inspiration takes over. Hearts are healed. Sprits lifted. Any musician that has shared the stage with you knows that magic that is unique to working with you. I have never left a room your voice filled without being moved to tears. Thank you for using your beautiful talents to lift songs the world needs to hear. Thank you for your life long activism. Each day, you make the world a better place. Thank you for being so wiling to introduce me to your wonderful community. Some of my closest, most meaningful friendships were birthed from connections initiated by you. Thank you for being my champion. Of course, as a fan I would have been so grateful to have only had that moment with you on the street. Singing with you once would have been such a precious gift. How could I have known that you would be such a friend to me? Someone I could count on to help me through dark times, and join me in times of celebration. You see me for exactly who I am, even if I try to play down my level of nerdy awkwardness. Yeah, I’m still as uncool as I was when we met (sorry about that). But, because of you I have confidence - on stage and off. Oh, Jimmy. I could write forever. (But, that would be annoying AND there’s a really loud cover band playing “Living on a Prayer” outside of my hotel window right now - WTF is a girl like me doing in Las Vegas - Lord have mercy.) I hope to live up to the expectations you set for me. I promise you I will work every day to honor you. You’ll be right here in every song - just like you’ve always been. *** language warning*** I fucking love you. I fucking mean it. Your fan, Jaimee Harris Here’s a little something I’ve had in the works for a while. Can’t seem to finish it quite yet. Chorus thing, ya know. I’ll think of you each July on your birthday Right when the summer starts to sing Songs of your hero Woody Guthrie And I’ll think of you each winter, fall, and spring, too - I love you. I’m gonna miss you. But I know I’ll see you soon.
I discovered Jimmy by default while watching Austin City Limits in the late nineties, a month shy of my 50th. I was frozen by the first words out of his mouth, slack-jawed by "Walk Away Renee," and utterly dumbstruck by "This Land Is Your Land." The next day I picked "Austin Skyline." This 68-year-old has blissfully purchased every note he's been selling ever since - sound unheard. I've been fortunate to see him perform 4 times in Virginia, and the truly transporting performance of "Ribbon of Highway" on Governors Island in 2007, across from Manhattan. His music has truly been one of the grace points of the soundtrack of my life. I hope to hear you again on the other side. Jimmy: I wish you energy, comfort, peace, sweet drift, and all the love that befits your astounding Karma. You tweaked our common good. YOU HELPED!!! Tommy Moore - Richmond, VA
I was deeply saddened to hear this. I'm a survivor of stage 3 colon cancer so far. I can relate on a patient level. Thanks man for all your incredible music, warmth, honesty, kindness, generosity, and spirit. You've touched many lives, and in your own special way added something positive to our world. Keep performing as long as you can. You are in my prayers friend. Peace.
I'm at a loss for words, but need to at least say how much you've meant to me over the years. Your music is amazing. Your kind heart and the influence you've had over so many other musicians will leave a legacy along with your music. You are Austin music! Seeing you was always a highlight for me. Thanks for the years of friendship. Love and peace.
Sweet, sweet Jimmy. The sound of your laugh will forever be in my ears. I love you so much, and I am so grateful to have all the years of memories. You were always there when I needed you. Introducing me to The Chicago House, and all the players that would support me in the years to come. As you climbed, you'd reach back, put your hand out and pull a handful of us up with you. I am grateful for every Cactus show I got to open for you, every time you played Don't Walk Away Renée for me. And singing a duet with me on my first record. I will always have that recording of us singing together. Thanks for all the lunch meetings at Jovitas, giving me advice and support. I felt bigger and stronger knowing you had my back. Even the times I'd be playing to two people, into the room you would walk, making me feel like I sold out the place. I would love to hug your neck one last time, if possible. Thank you for it all. I love you very, very much.
Jimmy- I've kept your music within arms reach over the past few decades and have played it all over this world, watching how your voice can instantly comfort. Once I got to know you as a friend, I experienced the champion Jimmy- the man who spoke for the underdog and who especially shined a light on promising new musicians. You have touch the hearts and lives of so many, which is my touchstone for a life well lived. Thank you for sharing your gifts with all of us. I am so grateful for my time with Music Fog and the sweet times that we shared with you. Love, Love, Love and Light to you, dear Jimmy. ❤️ Denise McLemore
In the mid 90's I was rewarded by a client from Warner Bros Records a shoebox full of CDs which included Jimmy LaFave's 1st two albums. I immediately liked him and listened to them regularly. Years later I couldn't tell you what any of those other albums were. Sometime after that I got to see him live at L.A.'s MINT Club, and the next day he played locally in a friend's living room at a House Concert (something I never knew existed). Over the years I saw him every chance I could, from the Bodie House Concerts in the Thousand Oaks Library, at the Levitt Pavillion, a house concert in Fallbrook, Ca. and the fantastic L.A. Acoustic Music Festival on Santa Monica Pier, where his Woody Guthrie Ribbon of Highway Show was so masterfully preformed. I was lucky enough to meet so many of his wonderful band members and make so many friends in the crowd of mutual admirers. When someone asked me what he was like, I'd simply say, "He does Dylan better than Dylan". Lately I have grown to love and admire his unique talent and vision in photography. I really hope that his photos will be published somehow. Jimmy LaFave is my favorite singer, but Jimmy is, and always was, so much more than a singer. I will always love him, no matter what plane he occupies . . .
Jimmy, you played at my b-day over 10 years ago. I will never forget what a surprise and joy it was to have you there to help celebrate. You & I share 1 day & 1 year difference in b-days, and I never knew until I read your bio. Your voice and spirit are so beautiful and unique. One of my favorite CD's is "Blue Nightfall" and I listen to it often. Much love & Godspeed.
Dear Jimmy., Thank you so much for your incredible contributions to the music world, to my world.... to our world! Even though you are private about this I too must reach express my deepest gratitude for your gifts you have shared with us for so long! Your grace and strength will carry you through this. We are sending you love and light.... to add to your own unique and powerful light... thank you for shining your beautiful talents, my friend, we remain forever grateful. Peace be with you.
Sending love and good vibes your way Jimmy. The news of your illness breaks my heart and I've never even met you but have loved your music for more than 20 years. I know some people who've met you and all say such wonderful things so in addition to being an excellent musician/singer/performer, you're a kind and warm human being. You'll never know how many people you've touched but I know my love will follow you, along with everyone else. Have wings my friend and I'm praying your course is smooth with little pain. I also pray for your sons, who will have to let you go but will see you again someday I'm sure.