This site is dedicated in tribute to our dear two fallen comrades … Jamie Kibben and Spencer Bohren
JAIME KIBBEN 1947 — 2003
Jaime Kibben was the illustrious piano player in Rufus Krisp and Gone Johnson. At just 55 Jaime was tragically killed in an Israeli taxi accident while making a documentary to further the middle east peace process. Illustrious is not just used as a throw-away for Jaime Kibben, it truly describes this talent’s energetic, creative, inimitable style. His lust for life and music made him a complete entertainer.
Sitting cocked on his seat Jaime would boogie hard on his semi-portable Baldwin E-88 piano, replete with a plexi front he installed so fans could see it’s most special quality in action — hammers hitting REAL STRINGS!!! Was ANY other band crazy enough to take a stringed piano on tour, tracking down random piano tuners in random towns? Ah no.
James Huber Kibben grew up in South Dakota, toured with Sonny and Cher and Spanky and Our Gang before joining Rufus Krisp in Boulder. Later moving to the west coast as a film soundman Jaime got an Emmy nomination, shot in Cuba and six years as sound engineer with the PBS McNeil-Lehrer Newshour working in 10 countries. His film team was booted from Haiti and they did very early reporting from enshrouded Cambodia. Many know his sound work from the fascinating documentary Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill.
We loved everything about Jaime — he juggled, rode a unicycle up a mountain and it took nothing for him to just make people happy and laugh. A huge contribution to the band, to our lives and deeply sorry he cannot enjoy his work and friends and fans through this website. It is here we get to publicly nod to our dear Jaime.
SPENCER BOHREN 1950 — 2019
On stage he was Slim Chance, but it was no slim chance the wind in Wyoming blew Spencer Bohren south to the Rufus Krisp stage, a mere stepping stone to an abundant life career as an American roots historian, songwriter, singer, teacher and visual artist. Cancer finally stopped his endless touring, but the adoration they have for him stateside and overseas with 20 solo albums on 10 record labels live strong.
Spencer played everything stringed, his deep soul rested in the blues and gospel, even has a son named Django. After his Rufus Krisp / Gone Johnson days Spencer continued trekking south to the New Orleans delta mud to dig in deep to music he’d spend decades as a storyteller educating the world to know. Appeared in an HBO drama, collaborated with Dr. John, the Blind Boys of Alabama and performed on “A Praire Home Companion.”
Years later Spencer reunited with the band’s Canadian harp/guitar player Ray Bonneville and recorded a classic album.
Spencer Ward Bohren’s band years were a bit cowboy, volleying between country and country rock and blues/grass. The Bohren killer smile and absorbing authentic person helped connect every fan to the band — that croony mellifluous vocal was an anchor for many songs. His fingerprint that fat Gibson, the platform for the band’s sound.