Shady Grove stage dedicated to Jimmy LaFave

It's been nearly 4 months since Austin musician Jimmy LaFave passed away from cancer.

It's a sound you won't soon forget -- the music of Jimmy LaFave, which inspired thousands of fans over a nearly 40-year career, has been heard far and wide through Austin. 

Back in April, LaFave performed in front of a packed crowd at Threadgill's, shortly after his battle with spindle cell sarcoma, a rare-fast growing cancer, was made public. 

Marsha Milam, a friend and booking agent at Shady Grove, was in the audience. 

"It was hallowed ground there. It was the most uplifting, joyful, loving -- it was like going to church and having a great church service," said Milam. 

The focus of that night was on Jimmy's soul rather than his sickness. A month later, LaFave passed away

Thursday night -- the Shady Grove Concert series made sure his spirit lived on. 

The Jimmy LaFave Stage was officially unveiled at Shady Grove, in front of LaFave's friends, family, and fellow musicians. It was Lafave who first opened the Shady Grove KGSR live music showcase 24 years ago. 

The stage included a picture of LaFave, a guitar, and a lone microphone stand -- which a small group of people used to address the large crowd. 

His son Jackson was one of the speakers. He jokingly recalled coming to Shady Grove with his dad to eat cheese fries. 

"He really loved this place, and he would be so thrilled to know that the stage was being named in his honor," Jackson said. 

John Inmon, who played with LaFave, recalled his loyalty to certain venues wherever he traveled. But don't confuse the familiarity with repetition. 

"He never played the same song the same way twice," said Inmon. 

That style rubbed off on fellow musicians -- who followed his lead. 

"He led the band like it was a team of horses. And he was brilliant, and I don't think I'll ever see the like of him again," Inmon said

"Jimmy on-stage was magic. Jimmy really was a person who could read the phone book and you would listen, who could sing the phone book.  Because Jimmy would get on stage, close his eyes, and magic would came out," said Milam. 

"He was the strongest guy I ever knew, the bravest guy I ever knew," said Inmon. 

In Jimmy's song "Shining on Through" - which he sang far more elegantly than I can ever read - 

"In the twilight, the day is leaving

Darkness falls, things can be deceiving

But you keep shining on through"

Thursday, and forever more, it will be Jimmy shining on through. 

 

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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