Austin roots rocker Jimmy LaFave is one busy dude.
He releases a new album May 12 called The Night Tribe, whose title looms as a tribute to "the people of the night." LaFave defines them in the liner notes as "the all-night waitress, the 24-hour truck stop attendant, the after-midnight radio host, modern-day beatniks and poets, creative, restless insomniacs up all hours of the night, searching for truth.""I tend to listen to music mainly at night," LaFave says from his home in Austin. "I'm just more of a nocturnal person. I write nearly 90 percent of my songs at night."
Many of those he composes while driving, with a tape recorder beside him. He'll climb behind the wheel again this week and head to Oak Cliff, where he's the headliner for the annual charity benefit at the Kessler hosted by Texas Rangers broadcaster Eric Nadel. Opening is 26-year-old Emily Elbert, the pride of Coppell.
LaFave, 59, and Nadel have known each other for years. They met at Poor David's Pub during its Greenville Avenue heyday. In 2000, LaFave played a benefit that helped Nadel raise money for a leash-free dog park near White Rock Lake. He also arranged for LaFave to sing the national anthem at a Rangers game.
These days, LaFave shares the Austin-based Music Road Records with Dallas energy executive Kelcy Warren. LaFave and his label mates will play a free concert from 5 to 10 Friday night at Klyde Warren Park, which is named for Warren's young son. Each spring, Warren hosts the Cherokee Creek Music Festival, which benefits children's charities. This year's fest is May 14-16. LaFave will perform the last day, and Eagles great Don Henley will close the show.
Last year, LaFave performed with Henley, Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, Lyle Lovett and more than 20 other artists on a Jackson Browne tribute album that he and Warren co-produced.