Monday, February 21, 2011

A Whole lotta something..

Well, I've been really busy in the last month, unfortunately I haven't had much time to blog. Time to play a little catch up... The Blues project seems to be in full swing lately, shooting about two portraits a week. At this rate I may be able to complete the project in time for Blues Fest 2011, lets keep this snowball rolling! Here's a look at some of the recent shots.

As far as live music has been going I caught Sexfist and Greensky Bluegrass together at the beginning of the month. The show came one night after the biggest snow storm/blizzard/thunder snow storm I have ever been through. The packed crowd at the Double Door put on their gloves, boots, and hats and trudged through about 4 feet of snow to get to the venue. Once we arrived the two amazing bluegrass bands picked there way through the cold and kept us dancing all night long. Go check them out if you can.

Another big win for Chicago Blues was Big Otis Blues representing Chicago in the International Blues Competition. The boys picked up a third place prize in the band competition and my boy Rob picked up the Albert King Award for best Guitarist. Damn! Way to go Rob! When the boys came back they were in need of some fresh press shots to appease their many new fans, so they stopped by the studio for a quick group shot.

The last bit of news I have is I was booked by wicked cool productions to shoot the Rock n' Roll Resort this April. I must say I love a good music festival, and when I can retire to a warm dry bed and shower in the morning its even better. Not to mention the Royal family will be representing hard along with Deep Banana Blackout, Max Creek and many more. I can't wait to be a part of this incredible young festival.

One final note/rant, to anyone who ever said I wasn't going to make this into my career, I am doing it. Your negative attitudes only make me work harder. To my currant and former places of employment, by keeping me in a position where I am not promoted or valued, thank you, it only makes me work harder, it make me focus on my goals. I document music for a very simple reason. I love it. I have had so many special moments in my life thanks to music. There are times when I hear a note or a word from a song and am instantly transported to a different time and place where that song played a part in my life. Throughout my life I've shared these moments with very special friends and family and its helped shape who I am. I take photos to give back to the music community, even if its only a sliver of what I get out of it. As I say in my mission statement, "I love documenting music. Each live show or portrait should tell a story, spark a memory, or inspire a fellow artist. I hope my photos do that for you" If they don't I'm going to work my ass of until they do. Thanks.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lissie, Lincoln Hall

This past weekend I finally got to see Lissie at one of my favorite venues Lincoln Hall. I found out about Lissie about a year ago. A friend sent me a link to her covering Kid Cudi Pursuit of Happiness. I was blown away by her take of one of my favorite songs, as I was watching the video a coworker came by and said "Hey that's Dave's (another coworker) niece." So there is was, I went over and asked him to score me a little time with her before her show for a quick portrait. Next, I waited about six months for her to play Chicago, with everything arranged, ready to roll, Lissie came down with strep and wasn't able to preform. So I waited again. About 5 months later she came back to Lincoln Hall and we picked up where we left off. I must say it was worth the wait. Lissie has one of the best voices I have ever heard live. She hits notes and holds them perfectly for as long as she wants. Really an amazing show. Check her out if you can. Up top is a shot from backstage, down below a shot from side stage and the video that made me want to shoot her in the first place.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Happy Belated New Year!

Hey blog people! Sorry for all the silence, I have been all over the place in the last month. I don't plan on making my posts this infrequent for the rest of 2011, I promise. Let see, what have I been up to... Prior to the new year I was in Mexico, where I gladly did nothing. Literally. But eat sleep and be merry. The day after I got back, I caught my boys The Macpodz in my home town Detroit. They killed it to a full house as they always do.

Following the holidays, I made my way south again for the music festival all you festival goers should strive to attend. Jamcruise. I was lucky enough to be brought on as staff down there for Jamcruise 9, where I was one of 4 phtographers working for JCTV. There, I had the pleasure of working with Phish's touring photographer and all around good guy Dave Vann. The Baddest music photographer in Nashville Brad Hodge, and the fan favorite party photographer Chris Baldwin.

Also on the boat were two other amazing photographers, Chad Smith and Michael Weintrob. All in all, I was in good company. I won't go into detail about the festival, or our stops in Honduras and Mexico, simply because there's too much to say. For more go to jambase for an incredibly well written review with photos by Dave, Chad and myself.

Following the cruise I made my way back to Chicago to continue my Blues series with Dave Herrero and Fabrizio Rodio. Also, thanks to my good friend and brilliant writer Pietro Truba, I had the pleasure of shooting with the young and talented Alex Winston. A special thanks to Ryan Davis for art direction, Sharvin Pouladdej for styling, and Maris Fujiura for hair and makeup. That should bring you up to always check my flickr for a full look at all the nonsense I have been getting into. Thanks and see you soon. I mean it this time.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Busy day, Busy week, Busy month.

I don't know about you all, but I have been crazy busy this month. Not only is it the Holidays, which I enjoy, but my "work work" at the studio had me involved in some more time consuming creative projects, and in between them, I squeezed in some final portraits for the year. I leave for sunny Mexico tomorrow then off to Detroit next week. There's going to be a bit of radio silence around here. When I come back rest assure there will be some music to talk about. After all, New Years in Chicago is a hell of a place to be for music. I will leave you with a couple shots from the weekend with Amazing Blues-man Pete Galinis aka "The Grim Reaper", and the young and talented singer, Ario Kimball, styled by my good friend, the best Asian stylist I know Aimee Joson :) Enjoy. Have a Great Holiday. Be good to each other. See you soon.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Back to Basics

Both Rob Blaine and I got back to basics this week with the Acoustic video of "Must be Nice" off his Album Rob Blaine Big Ottis Blues. Rob Stripped the electric rig and changed it in for a beautiful Steel National. An amazing guitar, maybe not the best for playing outdoors on a cold December night, but it sure sounds good. When I started college it was for video. Something I loved, but a very restricting art form that required lots of money, and an east or west coast move. During my college years I fell in love with photo. It was very similar, only more controlled and I could stay in the great city of Chicago doing it. I could take my time and light a shot perfectly without worrying about the subject moving freely through the space. In the last couple years Digital SLR's have made incredible advancements in the HD video department. With the high quality lenses I use for photo I can also now shoot video. I have been working on getting back to my roots of video, while I still love photo, I'm looking forward to blending the two more often in intimate performances like this. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The best $7 show I've ever seen: Black Milk

This past Tuesday I jumped on Jambase to check out if anything was coming to Chicago. To my surprise, I saw that Detroit rapper Black Milk was going to be at Reggies Rock Club premoting his new CD, Album of the Year. Being a former Detroiter, I have a soft spot for Motor City musicians. Especially when it's one of the hottest young Hip-Hop acts on the scene. Black Milk, one of J Dillas proteges, is a producer rapper who happens to turn out some of the smoothest beats around. Milks beats bring in that Motown sound that made Detroit famous, while driving them forward with fast paced hard hitting drums. In Chicago on this cold Tuesday night, Milk brought along some friends to back him in a live band consisting of Drums, Bass, and some incredibly soulful keys. I love Hip-Hop, but even more, I love Hip-Hop with a live band. During the show Milk gave a toast to his friend and mentor J Dilla. The crowd raised their glasses and cheered, and Milk went back to owning the mic. The show wasn't very long, but it was full of energy , it was full of talented musicians, and it was $7. Don't miss this guy while he's in small clubs. Check out the rest of the pics here, and enjoy this video.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hulaween with Cheese in Hampton VA

Last weekend I drove 15 hours out East from Chicago to catch one of my favorite bands The String Cheese Incident preform a two night run at the historic "Mothership" the Hampton Coliseum. Cheese is notorious for their Halloween shows and VA being their closest show I had this year I figured might as well pack up the car fill up the tank and head east. The drive wasn't bad, aside from about $50 each way in tolls and two of the most boring states ever, sorry Indiana and Ohio. I picked up a friend in Indiana and as we traveled a bit south the trees began regaining life, and color and fall was back. We pulled into Hampton around 1:00, took a quick nap and made our way over to the lot to grab a bite to eat, a few beers and enjoy all the madness that comes along with Cheese.

Its amazing to see the amount of different license plates that fill the hotels and lot. It's a true testament to the community and music this band is a part of. People who don't understand it have never been in it. Its an experience that makes you travel across the country, sometimes across the world, just to spend time surrounded by wonderful people and music that simply put makes you happy. The first night was amazing. Solid set, solid playing. The guys all seem to be back on the same wavelength and as I heard it put the next day, they were "DEAD ON." The set list went a little something like this...

Set 1:
Best Feeling > Texas > Daryl, Walls of Time, Yo Se, Got What He Wanted > Black Clouds, Miss Brown's Teahouse > L'il Liza Jane > Miss Brow
n's Teahouse
Set 2:
Song In My Head, Just One Story, Joyful S
ound > EOTO > Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms, Way That It Goes, Sirens, It Is What It Is > On The Road
Jellyfish > Jump

Another good friend of mine flew in from Vegas for the shows and the next morning we bit the dog that bit us with a couple cold ones at The Pub. Shortly afterword we suited up. Me as Joaquin Phoenix and him as a hillbilly trucker and headed over to the venue for an amazing night of music.

Cheese always practices a handful of covers for Halloween and we were all anxiously awaiting what kind of different songs and surprises the band had in store for us. What should have been obvious became apparent in the second set. "The Mothership" landed, and the band brought it down with a set full of funk, confetti and surprises guests Keller Williams and Liza Oxnard. The show went as follows.

Set 1: Come As You Are, Restless Wind, Rain, Pack it Up, Turn This Around > Breathe > Turn This Around, Rivertrance, Las Vegas
Set 2:
It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)1 > Fly Like An Eagle, Born On The Wrong Planet, Motheship Connection2, Space Cowboy1, Groove Is In The Heart2, 21st Century Schizoid Man, Major Tom (Coming Home)1, Planet Claire1 > Major Tom (Coming Home) > It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

Set 3:
Piece Of Mine, Bumpin' Reel, Shine, Drifting > MLT > Drums > Desert Dawn

Search, Howard

With Liza Oxnard
2With Liza and Keller

All in all great weekend. I hear they are throwing a festival on the old Rothbury grounds in MI. "A Rothbury Incident" Its a lot closer to me and even if it wasn't I will be there. Check out the rest of the photos from the weekend HERE.