Jimmy Lafave Cimarron Manifesto

Jimmy Lafave Cimarron Manifesto
Jimmy LaFave’s profile might be lower than those of other great roots-y Austin-based singer/songwriters but his peers and a small devoted fan following know he is the equal of any of them. After growing up in Oklahoma, he moved to Austin in 1986 and has released a string of superb records. His ninth outing, Cimarron Manifesto continues that run. Nicely varied in tempo and tone, the disc spotlight’s LaFave’s key asset: a soulful, slightly raspy voice. It simply oozes conviction, the way a well in Texas might exude crude. His quiet protest song, "This Land,” is a little Rodney Crowell-like and an album highlight. "I simply want my country back again,” Jimmy laments to the accompaniment of the mournful violin, and the backing vocals of Carrie Rodriguez, Ruthie Foster and Kacy Crowley harmonise on other cuts, while LaFave’s production and the work of his band are clean and concise. As well as his own strong originals, LaFave covers tunes by Dylan, Donovan and Joe South. His take on "Catch The Wind” is just a little dirge-like but his soulful versions of "Walk A Mile In My Shoes” and Dylan's "Not Dark Yet” are winners. This is a manifesto well worth heeding. (Red House)