FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Jerry Lightfoot, RIP

by DAVID VEST

The death this week of journeyman blues guitarist, singer and songwriter
Jerry Lightfoot, in an Austin hospital, went virtually unnoticed in both the
press and the blogosphere, rating only a brief mention in the Houston
Chronicle. Lightfoot , 55, died as he had lived, in obscurity.

A native of Pasadena, Texas, known not-so-fondly as Stinkadena to its
inhabitants, many of whom labor at the oil refineries that dominate the
landscape, Lightfoot was the authentic embodiment of the “workingman’s
blues” others sing about.

He lived for a time on the west coast, mainly around Oakland, before
returning to Houston, where he helped resurrect the careers of blues legends Joe “Guitar” Hughes, Pete Mayes and Big Walter the Thunderbird.

Jerry Lightfoot was my friend, but more importantly, he was always a friend
to the music. It was Jerry who introduced me to Jimmy T99 Nelson, and Katie Webster, and too many others to recall.

His three CDs are virtually unobtainable today. You can read reviews and
descriptions of them at this link. but good luck finding them.

“Burning Desire” was as hardcore as they come and included a brilliant
track by Big Walter on piano, accompanied by Jerry on guitar.

“Better Days,” featuring a few guest vocals by Jerry LaCroix from Edgar
Winter’s White Trash, and a little bit of piano playing by me on two tracks,
revealed a slightly mellower side.

His final recording, “Texistentialism,” featured Lightfoot’s new Band of
Wonder, with guest appearances by Carolyn Wonderland and former Grateful
Dead piano player Vince Welnick.

For a brief while, Lightfoot fronted a Dylan cover band, called Silvio,
concentrating on more obscure songs from the canon. You can hear him doing “Meet Me In The Morning” at this link.

Jerry and I played a lot of gigs together. I’ll repeat what I said about him
in an interview some years back:

“As a guitar player, a songwriter and a performing artist, Jerry Lightfoot
may be the most ambitious musician now working in Texas. I don’t mean
ambitious like River Oaks. Ambitious like Rimbaud. Like Dylan. Like Hazel
Dickens or Bill Monroe. You hear Jerry play live, and you know he’s going
for it every night. Nobody aims higher, reaches deeper or asks more from the people who play with him. He has this conception of the blues as a spiritual path. He believes in the nobility of the calling, and if you play this
music, he expects you to have it, too.”

DAVID VEST can be reached at: davidvest@springmail.com.

His CDs includes Serve Me Right To Shuffle and Way Down Here (Live).

 

 

DAVID VEST writes the Rebel Angel column for CounterPunch. He and his band, The Willing Victims, have just released a scorching new CD, Serve Me Right to Shuffle. His essay on Tammy Wynette is featured in CounterPunch’s new collection on art, music and sex, Serpents in the Garden.

More articles by:
May 25, 2016
Eric Draitser
Obama in Hiroshima: A Case Study in Hypocrisy
Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
Does Venezuela’s Crisis Prove Socialism Doesn’t Work?
Dan Arel
The Socialist Revolution Beyond Sanders and the Democratic Party
Marc Estrin
Cocky-Doody Politics and World Affairs
Sam Husseini
Layers of Islamophobia: Do Liberals Care That Hillary Returned “Muslim Money”?
Susan Babbitt
Invisible in Life, Invisible in Death: How Information Becomes Useless
Mel Gurtov
Hillary’s Cowgirl Diplomacy?
Kathy Kelly
Hammering for Peace
Dick Reavis
The Impeachment of Donald Trump
Wahid Azal
Behind the Politics of a Current Brouhaha in Iran: an Ex-President Ayatollah’s Daughter and the Baha’is
Jesse Jackson
Obama Must Recommit to Eliminating Nuclear Arms
Colin Todhunter
From the Green Revolution to GMOs: Living in the Shadow of Global Agribusiness
Binoy Kampmark
Turkey as Terror: the Role of Ankara in the Brexit Referendum
Dave Lindorff
72-Year-Old Fringe Left Candidate Wins Presidency in Austrian Run-Off Election
May 24, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
The Financial Invasion of Greece
Jonathan Cook
Religious Zealots Ready for Takeover of Israeli Army
Ted Rall
Why I Am #NeverHillary
Mari Jo Buhle – Paul Buhle
Television Meets History
Robert Hunziker
Troika Heat-Seeking Missile Destroys Greece
Judy Gumbo
May Day Road Trip: 1968 – 2016
Colin Todhunter
Cheerleader for US Aggression, Pushing the World to the Nuclear Brink
Jeremy Brecher
This is What Insurgency Looks Like
Jonathan Latham
Unsafe at Any Dose: Chemical Safety Failures from DDT to Glyphosate to BPA
Binoy Kampmark
Suing Russia: Litigating over MH17
Dave Lindorff
Europe, the US and the Politics of Pissing and Being Pissed
Matt Peppe
Cashing In at the Race Track While Facing Charges of “Abusive” Lending Practices
Gilbert Mercier
If Bernie Sanders Is Real, He Will Run as an Independent
Peter Bohmer
A Year Later! The Struggle for Justice Continues!
Dave Welsh
Police Chief Fired in Victory for the Frisco 500
May 23, 2016
Conn Hallinan
European Union: a House Divided
Paul Buhle
Labor’s Sell-Out and the Sanders Campaign
Uri Avnery
Israeli Weimar: It Can Happen Here
John Stauber
Why Bernie was Busted From the Beginning
James Bovard
Obama’s Biggest Corruption Charade
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
Indian Point Nuclear Plant: It Doesn’t Take a Meltdown to Harm Local Residents
Desiree Hellegers
“Energy Without Injury”: From Redwood Summer to Break Free via Occupy Wall Street
Lawrence Davidson
The Unraveling of Zionism?
Patrick Cockburn
Why Visa Waivers are Dangerous for Turks
Robert Koehler
Rethinking Criminal Justice
Lawrence Wittner
The Return of Democratic Socialism
Ha-Joon Chang
What Britain Forgot: Making Things Matters
John V. Walsh
Only Donald Trump Raises Five “Fundamental and Urgent” Foreign Policy Questions: Stephen F. Cohen Bemoans MSM’s Dismissal of Trump’s Queries
Andrew Stewart
The Occupation of the American Mind: a Film That Palestinians Deserve
Nyla Ali Khan
The Vulnerable Repositories of Honor in Kashmir
Weekend Edition
May 20, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Rob Urie
Hillary Clinton and Political Violence
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail