Searching for Peace Town
Concert and Photography Exhibition Honors the Late Jimmy LaFave
Freedom Church” is one of LaFave’s photographs featured in an exhibit from January 18 through February 23.
Wills Point native Jimmy LaFave (1955-2017) was not only an award-winning singer/songwriter, he was an accomplished photographer who chronicled his “fascination with America’s unique but disappearing landscape, roadside signs, buildings and the American history they express.”
LaFave, who died of cancer in 2017, was part of a close-knit group of Austin musicians who played and recorded together. Included in that group are Christine Albert and Chris Gage.
Jimmy LaFave was also a talented musician. Courtesy Photo
Albert and Gage will honor their friend and colleague in concert at Winnsboro Center for the Arts (WCA) on Saturday, January 19.
LaFave once described Albert as a “wondrous singer with a beautiful focus and unrestrained grace.”
She had a prolific recording career as a solo artist before meeting Gage, including the acclaimed “Texafrance” series, a bilingual tribute to her European family roots.
Albert has also served for 10 years on the national Board of Trustees of the Recording Academy (known for the GRAMMY Awards®), eventually rising to the position of Chairman of the Board and currently serving as Chair Emeritus. She’s also the founder and CEO of Swan Songs, a non-profit that fulfills musical last wishes.
Gage, the Academy of Texas Music’s “Musician of the Year 2011” is no stranger to a tour bus, spending many years on the road with Red Willow Band, Roy Clark and Jimmie Dale Gilmore. He continues to play lead guitar on tour with Jerry Jeff Walker, in addition to his Albert and Gage shows.
The duo owns MoonHouse Studio in south Austin, where the “maestro” maintains a full schedule as an in-demand producer and musician, most recently co-producing Jerry Jeff Walker’s latest release “It’s About Time.”
Since teaming up in 1996 the couple has released six Albert and Gage albums on their own MoonHouse Records label, as well as their solo projects and releases by other artists.
Along with Albert and Gage’s musical tribute, WCA will host an exhibit of LaFave’s photographs, which will be on display at the arts center from January 18 through February 23. “Jimmy LaFave: Searching for Peace Town” debuted at the Stephen L. Clark Gallery in Austin earlier this year, then was at the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, before coming to Winnsboro.
As he toured the country performing his critically-lauded music over the last 25-plus years, LaFave would often eschew the interstate freeways for the “blue highways” on the map that would take him through the true heart of America.
On his travels he would document the classic roadside signs and structures that caught his eye with his cameras, amassing a collection of striking and evocative photographs that paralleled the spirit of the songs he wrote and sang.
According to Ashley Warren of Music Road Records, “It was Jimmy’s wish to at some time share these photographs with his fans as in many ways they represent his personal journey and musical history. Unfortunately, Jimmy was not able to share his story through his photographs so as an honor to him and his fans the Jimmy LaFave Intellectual Property Trust has organized gallery showings across the United States.”
LaFave friends Christine Albert and Chris Gage pay tribute to him in concert January 19 in Winnsboro.
Michael Granberry of The Dallas Morning News said of the exhibit, “What many may not know is that LaFave knew how to move people not only through his voice and guitar but also through the lens of his camera. As a traveling troubadour, he crisscrossed America, and America is what he photographed, colorfully, splendidly, memorably, extolling the virtues of Woody Guthrie’s ‘This Land Is Your Land.’”
Tickets for the concert are $19 and $29 and are on sale at the center’s website, www.winnsborocenterforthearts.com or by calling 903-342-0686.
Folk singer Michael Fracasso, who has done tributes to Woody Guthrie, Mickey Newberry and Townes Van Zandt, will join Albert and Gage on stage for a few tunes.
Doors open at 7 p.m. Music begins at 7:30 p.m.