Sunday, April 5, 2009

Duane Jarvis: 1957-2009

Guitarist Duane Jarvis died this week after a long battle with cancer. I met him around 2002, when he was touring with my friend Amy Rigby, and they stayed with me and my wife at our Brooklyn loft. I can't say I knew him well, but we did spend one memorable evening together listening to records and talking about music. I made him a copy of a Don Covay record that I was obsessed with at the time, and he gave me a copy of his then current release, Certified Miracle. The songs are good and soulful, and have caused me more than once to do a double-take and check out what was playing when they came up in my itunes shuffle. He was a gifted guitar player and songwriter, who played with many artists, including Lucinda Williams with whom he wrote, "Still I Long For Your Kiss."


"Still I Long For You Kiss" mp3
by Duane Jarvis, 2001.
available on Certified Miracle

"Intoxicate Me" mp3
by Duane Jarvis, 2001.
available on Certified Miracle

"Last Time You Cried" mp3
by Duane Jarvis, 2001.
available on Certified Miracle


"Til The Wheels Fall Off" mp3
by Amy Rigby (with Todd Snider), 2003.
D.J. lead guitar
available on Til the Wheels Fall Off

Amy has written a nice remembrance of D.J. HERE



by Laura Cantrell

Duane Jarvis was someone I knew by reputation before I actually met him in person. He was in Lucinda Williams' band when I saw her a few times in New York, at the Mercury Lounge and maybe Tramps. She would introduce the song they wrote together, "Still I Long For Your Kiss," with a shout out to DJ. He was a low key presence on stage, and very approachable in person. I got to know him a bit back in Nashville, where he played with Amy Rigby and Tim Carroll and a lot of folks who had migrated down from NY. When I was finally starting to play on the UK/Europe alt country circuit, we crossed paths a few times and had a lovely show together in Edinburgh at Queen's Hall in 2003. Backstage at that gig, I got to tell DJ a story about hearing his music in a funny context. At the time I was still working on 57th street and one of my mid-day refuges was Bendel's department store on 56th Street and 5th Avenue. For several months that year, every time I was in the store I would hear DJ's song "A Girl That's Hip." I would sort of look around at the fancy ladies oblivious to the soundtrack of their shopping, and hope that DJ was getting some revenue from the spins. Hearing the song was also a little encouragement while I was trying to balance two totally different worlds, making my living in a big corporation and playing my own music whenever I could. So I got to tell DJ that his song had popped up a few times to lighten my mood, and we shared a nice smile over it backstage in Edinburgh. He was a very sweet guy.


"A Girl That's Hip" mp3
by Duane Jarvis, 1998.
available on Far From Perfect


"Still I Long For Your Kiss" mp3
by Lucinda Williams, 1998.
available on Car Wheels on a Gravel Road

top photo: Jenine de Shazer © 2006


daisy said...

thanks for the songs Ted. I met Duane on my birthday (ap 2) in the 1900's. I was at the beacon to see John Prine and the other band playing - cowboy junkies. I came out into the foyer after the show and all the bands were standing around and because Duane wore a white scarf, I recognized him as the guitar player from the JP band. And I told him it was my birthday and that I had enjoyed the show. We were immediately friendly and he asked me what i was doing and i said i was going to the lone star to see The Band and would he like to come because i was on the list plus one. And he came along. I remember he was so kind. I couldn't find my husband and waited around with me. He also told Rick Danko it was my birthday and Rick Danko kissed me! ha ha ha. Duane came to stay with me too and he brought Tim Carrol. Duane was so kind. He was so encouraging of creativity. And we had such a good laugh. He played at Brownies near Thompkins Sq Pk. Strangely John Prine was at the beacon on the 4th of April LAST WEEK and the cowboy junkies are here soon too after 20 years that seems a little odd. Like a reminder. Like a sign. I don't know. I would like that to be a sign. I'm very sad. I also remember talking to him after the earthquake in santa monica. He lived there. I called him - it was Martin Luther King day and he'd just missed being crushed by a bookcase falling. His building crushed cars underneath it. And he went out and helped people.

toomuchcountry said...

Nice trib. I was a late-comer to DJ's music. Just another great reason to be a Pandora listener because that's where I found him. I quickly sought out FFP and CM CDs as well as Front Porch and Delicious. Never got the chance to meet him - but a few folks I know who have say he was such a fabulous person. A true talent that will be missed. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

I worked DJ's fabulous first solo record, 'DJ's Front Porch'...had no idea he had been sick. Catch you back of beyond, DJ.

Unknown said...

Great tribute, great blog--thanks.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff! It's sad to only discover someone's great music because they've died. W.

Jaycatt said...

I was introduced to Duane Jarvis, surprisingly, through the movie "Drop Dead Gorgeous", which had an excellent remix of "A Girl That's Hip". I fell in love with the song, and seeked out DJ afterwards. An amazing musician, and he will be missed.

Unknown said...

RIP Mr Jarvis and thanks for the fine music.

Anonymous said...

i met duane when i was on my work exp in the hospital!
in england!
he was such a lovley man!
great personality! hhe gave me a signed copy of his Cd which was very relaxing!
i hoped he would survive the battle but he didnt! but he touched so many lives whilst with the colon cancer.
R.I.P Mr J!!