Jimmy LaFave Does the Right Thing – and That’s Why Fans Love Him

Early Sunday evening, Jimmy LaFave and accordion player Radoslav Lorkovic sat on the edge of the outdoor stage at Bartlett Arboretum in Belle Plaine, Kansas, and played a song. Not so unusual, until you consider the circumstances.

The performance came after LaFave and his band had played for two-plus hours on the hottest day of the year so far in Kansas. The kind of day that makes you sweaty just sitting still, yet the band held nothing back. One of the performers playing today, LaFave hasn’t achieved super-stardom, but he’s well-known and universally respected among contemporary musicians. The kind of act that inspires some fans to travel hundreds of miles just to see him.

Just in Time to Miss the Show

One of those fans got the time wrong Sunday. He drove all the way from Hays, Kansas – a three-plus-hour trip – only to arrive just as the concert was ending. He bought one of LaFave’s CDs, took it over to have it signed, and explained that he’d missed the show.

So, as crews loaded out sound equipment in the background, LaFave and Lorkovic gave the guy a little private show.

In the big picture, it’s a small thing. But it’s the small things that make a difference.

Gained At Least One New Brand Evangelist

LaFave probably wasn’t thinking about his personal brand. He was just doing what he thought was right. But that’s what defines him in the eyes of his devoted fans – he has much to give, and he loves to share it.

I hadn’t seen him perform before Sunday, and I’d never heard one of his albums. I enjoyed the performance so much that I forgot about the heat while the band was playing two remarkable sets of restrained, diverse virtuosity. I became a devoted fan during his impromptu acoustic performance for one guy – who probably figured that the six hours of driving was worth it after all.