Jimmy LaFave. Depending on the Distance.

Texan LaFave is yet another one of those old dependables whom you can rely on to come up with the goods regularly with fine examples of Texan tales and telling. Depending on the Distance however has been a few years in the making with LaFave concentrating on setting up his own label, Music Road Records in the meantime. The good news for his fans is that it’s been worth the wait as he delivers another fine slice of originals along with a few covers including a superb reading of Dylan’s Red River Shore. A great song, Dylan recorded it for Time Out Of Mind but for his own inexplicable reasons shelved it only to unveil it several years later on the Tell Tale Signs collection. In any case LaFave lathers love and attention on it to the extent that at times it’s breathtaking, nine and a half minutes of Nirvana. There are two other Dylan covers, the well kent Tomorrow Is A Long Time which is approached a little too respectfully although there is a fine guitar solo within it and I’ll Remember You (from Empire Burlesque). While Red River Shore is excellent one wonders why LaFave adds the other two as the eight original songs he delivers stand up well in their own right. Clear Blue Sky, the opening cut sets out his stall perfectly; a fine-tuned love song with a touch of tenderness and regret LaFave has just the right amount of heartfelt tug in his voice while the backing is exemplary. Living In Your Light repeats this with the band approaching an affecting southern soul sound with some fine curling guitar while Red Dirt Night gets all swampy and dirty in a bayou style. Despite the quality of his own songs LaFave has another two covers to add to this collection. Springsteen’s Land of Hope and Dreams is captured perfectly and fits in well with the overall sound of the album however his version of John Waite’s eighties anthem Missing You sticks out like a sore thumb.

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