Saturday, July 17, 2010

Jimmy Lafave, Favorites 1992-2001...

... goes on sale July 20 with cover art (and back/inside art) by yours truly. For more of Jimmy's music, check out Music Road Records. Jimmy is a longtime fixture in the Austin music scene, and it's a testament to my belief in the basic stupidity and bad taste of most people that he's not more popular with a mainstream audience than he is.

I believe I've used the image before on the blog, but since I'm too lazy to link to it, it's a shot looking down an abandoned road on the north side of what I believe to be the only "ghost reservoir" in the United States, Optima Lake in Texas County in the Oklahoma panhandle. Optima was a failed Army Corps of Engineers project back in the seventies. The idea was to build a large flood-control and recreational reservoir, but the lake never reached full pool (never really even came close) and the area was - quite literally - abandoned not long after construction was completed.

Now it sits empty and largely forgotten, its playgrounds, showers, campsites, bathrooms and roads slowly succumbing to time and the elements. It's a fascinating - if a bit spooky - place  and I never fail to stop there and knock around when I'm out that way. Look for a road trip pictorial on it soon, and I'm also planning a couple duck and quail hunts there this fall, as the lake still holds some marshy water down below the dam that attracts quite a few ducks and there are a few scaled quail (but not many, so really, it's not worth your time...) running around.

As for the picture itself, it was - along with a few more black and white images of mine - part of an Oklahoma Today photography exhibit at the state capital a few years. Jimmy saw it, recognized some quality in the image that meshed with his music, and asked to use it. I was honored to say yes, because the first time I heard the plaintive, ascetic quality of his music I instantly knew we were on the same page. I've been a huge fan ever since. His songs are like, well, a stark plains landscape set to music.


  1. Chad

    Great picture - I'm delighted to see your work getting some small measure of the recognition it deserves.


  2. Jimmy LaFave! Love the guy... and pretty cool that you're work is an album cover. I think I'll put on some "Austin Skyline" to mark the occasion!