'In The Woods’ is a music venue, run on a not for profit basis by music lovers who attract a discernible audience. Almost as soon as the tickets for Jimmy LaFave’s show went on sale they sold out and I was told that this 165 capacity venue (although they definitely squeezed in more for LaFave’s show) could have sold three times over such was the demand!
Whilst keen applause and cheers of appreciation greeted LaFave and his band (Richard Feridun, guitar; Glenn Schuetz, bass; Chip Dolan, keyboards and Bobby Kallus, drums) you could have heard a pin drop during the songs such was the attentiveness of the audience.
This was the fourth show in a run of five over consecutive nights (yes reader I’ve been to them all!) and the setting seemed to set the scene for a relaxed evening of music by a group who really do enjoy playing together. LaFave leads with authority but is never overbearing, he just nods in the direction of whomever he want to take the next solo and off they go!
From the first notes of Only One Angel to the last notes of Your Bright Baby Blues and all points in between, the audience was treated to a classic performance featuring as it did, twenty three songs of which almost half were covers. In his own right LaFave sings ballads about love and heartache but throws into the mix songs with a rockier edge, which pay homage to his ‘Red Dirt’, roots. As an interpretative artist he chooses wisely and always makes the song his own. He’s well known for his Dylan covers and tonight there were five including Pledging My Time and Simple Twist of Fate, ones that don’t often get aired.
Concluding the first set by satisfying a request made by the organiser of tonight’s show, LaFave played one of his own rarities, Café in the Rain. With a nod to Dolan who finished the song with a much-appreciated solo on keyboards, they left us wondering how the second set could top what we had already delighted in.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of the performance (and there were many) was LaFave starting off a song, his soulful voice accompanied just by his acoustic guitar then the band would gradually add more so that the song finished very differently from how it started. The second set opener, Dylan’s Not Dark Yet was a case in point – just gorgeous! How well these guys play together is evident from the fact that they don’t have a set list and just take the lead from LaFave. He turned around at one point and said to the band ‘we played this one last night’ and off they went into When I See You Again - another rarity!
During the evening someone had placed a sheet of paper on the floor of the stage with Loved You Like Rainbows written on it. LaFave spotted it and as they returned for an encore, said to the audience that the band had never played it before, enquired of Schuetz if he knew it to which the reply was ‘we’ll just follow you!’ and so they did! Amazing!
Two more encore songs, Van Morrison’s Tupelo Honey and Jackson Browne’s Your Bright Baby Blues brought the memorable evening to a close and garnered a well-deserved, second, standing ovation. Jela Webb
Only One Angel
Pledging My Time (Dylan)
Snowin’ On Raton (TVZ)River Road
Bad Bad Girl
Love Minus Zero No Limit (Dylan)
Rock and Roll Baby (Bill Neely)
Desperate Men Do Desperate Things
Outskirts of Town (William Weldon/Roy Jacobs)
Café In The RainNot Dark Yet (Dylan)
When I See You Again
Just Like A Woman (Dylan)
Clear Blue Sky
Key to the Highway (Big Bill Broonzy/Charles Segar)
Never Is A Moment
Simple Twist of Fate (Dylan)
Ready, Willing and Able
Loved You Like Rainbows
Tupelo Honey (Van Morrison)
Your Bright Baby Blues (Jackson Browne)