Monday, September 27, 2010

Guy King and His Little Big Band

Last Friday I made it over to Andys Jazz for Guy King and His Little Big Band. For being a younger musician, Guy King controls his band like a seasoned veteran. Throughout the night King played a mix of covers and originals to the packed crowd over at Andy's. Seeing that the would be birthday of Ray Charles had just passed King filled the night with Charles classics which had everybody singing and clapping along with him. This was my first time seeing Guy King in Chicago and I will make sure to make it back.

Keeping the Blues project alive I hope to get Guy and the rest of his incredibly amazing band into the studio for some proper portraits. In the mean time here's a few shots from the night. A few side notes, big ups to my boy Rob Blaine for his live acoustic XRT performance tonight, also stay tuned for photos and a review from one of my favorite new folk singers Bonnie "Prince" Billy live from Lincoln Hall on 9/29.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Jimmy Burns

This past Wednesday I stopped by Kingston Mines to see The legendary Delta Bluesman Jimmy Burns play his weekly gig in Chicago. Jimmy was born and raised in Dublin Mississippi in 1943 and moved to Chicago as a teenager. On top of an amazing performance, backed by an extremely tight band I got to talk with Jimmy about his early years in Chicago his family and his music. I really hope he will join me in the studio soon so I can take his portrait.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Last Thursday I had the chance to catch up with some good ol' Michigan boys The Macpodz at Martyrs in Chicago. They were stopping through on a two night run opening for India band Ali Babas Tahini which features Jake Cinninger of Umphreys Mcgee. I first met the Macpodz guys about a year ago shooting their promo photos. They are one of the few bands I actively sought out to shoot. Before we ever met I felt their music style was something uniquely different from everything else out their and I wanted to be a part of it in some way. Since I am pretty terrible at every instrument I have ever tried playing I did it with photos. It was great seeing the guys put on a killer show setting up the night.

Ali Babas Tahini followed with a solid set showing that even though they haven't played together live in 7 years!! they still hadn't lost their groove as a live band. As all good nights should end we rolled over to Kingston Mines for a night cap, some hot wings and a bit of the Blues. Tonight I will be heading back to the Mines to check out the legendary Jimmy Burns and set up a proper portrait session with him. God I love Chicago.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Projects Gets Down to Business

Last night I was invited into the practice space of Chicago Band, The Projects. For as much as I love music, and have seen it live, I have never been to an "Official Practice." It was really interesting to see the creative process that goes into each song. Whether its tightening up an original or twisting around tempos and verses making classic soul or jazz tune their own The Projects did it all with a sense of pride and professionalism. The creative juice was flowing "Beer", and the guys were all psyched about their debut EP which is in its final stages of production. The five song disk is due out next month and is sure to be a hit with four different singers bringing different elements to each of the records songs. Stay tuned and I will provide links to the disk as soon as they are made available. In the meantime enjoy a few photos from the evening, and look forward to photos from the Macpodz and Ali Babas Tahini which I will be taking tomorrow night.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Da Weekend 9/10,11&12

This past weekend was productive. An amazing shoot with Pete Carey of dmTNT with a little help from Peggy Pliscott and Samantha of Ford Models, Xavier Rudd at the Vic Theater (which was amazing, unfortunately no photos to show) the Bears game (a wins a win), and a roof top party with non other than the great Erwin Helfer, and Kathrine Davis.

The weekend started proptley with the Pete Carey/Samantha shoot. My good friend and talented hair and makeup artist Peggy Pliscott did her magic making this an amazing shoot. Here are a few images, the rest can be found on facebook.

The next night i got to see one of my consistently favorite acts Xavier Rudd, at the Vic Theater. Rudd is Australian native and is currently touring with an aboriginal rhythm section who also have some of the best backup vocals I have seen live. Sunday morning was spent with Bloody Marys and the Bears Lions game. The two worst teams in football. This time the Lions made more mistakes....kind of.......and the Bears won. Following the game we went over to a rooftop party, hosted by our friend Henry honering the great blues pianist Erwin Helfer.

There was great food, great friends, and great music, preformed by Erwin Helfer, and Katrine Davis. Here are a few shots from the night. I forgot my flash so I jacked up the iso and made the best of it. Stay tuned for my next post about The Project, their upcoming CD and a peek into their practice space.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

North Coast Music Festival

This weekend I got a full dose of amazing live music with the North Coast Music Festival in Union Park. It was a three day fest showcasing music of multiple genres, from Electronic, Hip Hop, and Rock, to New Orleans Jazz. There was no shortage of variety over the long holiday weekend.

Day one featured Paul VanDyke, Pretty Lights, and Chemical Brothers. It was my first time seeing the Chemical Brothers and I have to say they fucking ruled. It was both audibly and visually one of the most stimulating shows I have ever seen. I took a short video, which I should post in a day or so.

Day two was long. We started early with Chicago Band Strange Arrangement. These guys can really play, and do, all over Chicago, so catch them if you can. One of the weekend highlights was Grace Potter and The Nocturnals. Every time I see these guys it blows me away how much energy they have, and how much fun it looks like their having on stage.

It then went onto back to back Electro-Rock with The New Deal and Future Rock. Two three piece groups that know how to make a LOT of sound and work the crowd. Way too much fun.

The night wrapped up with performances by Jay Elecronica, and Umphreys McGee. Both of which were amazing. Umphreys brought the heat as they usually do, to a packed Union Park audience.

Following the Festival I headed over to Kingston Mines for just a little more music, by a little I was there until about 4 watching some of Chicagos best, including Joanna Connor tear up the Blues.

Sunday was rough. This was my first "real" Festival in my home city and I always thought how nice it would be to sleep in my own bed and shower. It just makes it harder though. After a crazy night when your camping you really have no choice but to say fuck it, lets do it again. It's a lot harder to get up out of a comfortable bed take public transportation and do it. So kudos to all of you who made it all three days!

My Sunday was spent hanging back in lawn chairs and re-hydrating when I wasn't shooting more photos for We started our Sunday shows with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band from New Orleans. They turned out one of my favorite shows of the weekend. I then caught Benny Benassi who had the entire crowd at his fingertips. I had never seen him or really heard him, but was really impressed by the energy he brought to the show.

Next was Mayer Hawthorne...I'm not gonna lie I was a little skeptical going into his show. A white kid from Ann Arbor singing old soul music, but he did it. And he did it really good too! Vocal harmonies were right on, band was tight. I was impressed and will be sure to catch him next time he comes through.

The night closed with two amazing Hip Hop acts, Lupe Fiasco, and Nas and Damien Marley. Lupe's set was insane! He had a killer band backing him and probably lost 10 pounds running back and forth on the stage.

Nas and Damien Marley closed out the weekend with an awesome set and lots of people. The had an official Jamaican flag waver. How do I get that job? All in all great weekend. Check my flickr for all the photos. I will be uploading in the next day or so.