George Reiff was fond of kitschy phrases like “cheers, big ears,” and “okie dokie, artichokey.” They were integral to Austin’s first-call bassist, who died from cancer this spring (revisit Kevin Curtin's farewell to the musician: “R.I.P. George”
). His easygoing charm also thrived on Yiddish jokes: “Where did Noah keep the bees? In the arkives!”
George would roar with laughter.
Sunday, his family and Bob Dylan’s bandleader, Charlie Sexton, throw a memorial on East Riverside from 5pm-midnight. Musical guests include the Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson, Patty Griffin, my dad Jon Dee Graham, Emily Strayer (Dixie Chicks), Ray Wylie Hubbard, Ian Moore, Band of Heathens, Fastball, Johnny Reno, Billy Harvey, Bruce Robison, and Kelly Willis. The house band stars some of George’s closest friends: Michael Ramos, Bukka Allen, Scrappy Jud Newcomb, J.J. Johnson, Stephen Belans, Conrad Choucroun, and Mark Patterson.
“This event is about the outpouring of love for George,” says Sexton. “George was really important to this community. It’s important for everyone who loved and played with George to come together.”
George’s brother, Michael Reiff, elaborated.
“The lineup consists entirely of artists he played with or produced over the course of his career. The main aspect of the memorial is a celebration of George’s friends and collaborators.”
Sun., Dec. 17, 5pm