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Jimmy LaFave

Blue Nightfall – 2005 (Red House)

Reviewed by John Lupton

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CDs by Jimmy LaFave

Following an absence of four years, Texas-Oklahoma singer and songwriter Jimmy LaFave returns to the studio for 11 new "red dirt" originals (plus a cover of Gretchen Peters' "Revival") that can only solidify and maintain his stature as one of our most poetically direct artists.

In fact, the depth and breadth of the material suggests that, if anything, he has evolved and matured dramatically during a career stage when more mainstream-minded artists are content to ride out past glories, rest on their laurels and wait for the royalty checks to roll in. "Blue Nightfall" is startlingly diverse and compelling collection.

LaFave delves into a wide array of themes and motifs, from the incipient despair of the title track and the recriminations of "It's Gone," to the rebirth and regeneration of the haunting "Revival" and the flat-out good-timin' "Music From The Motor Court". Through it all, LaFave's thoroughly honest and unpretentious vocals and self-production make the disc an attention-grabbing stream-of-consciousness journey from start to finish, all the more appropriate, since "Bohemian Cowboy Blues" pays tribute to Jack Kerouac.