Category - music

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More “Joy Of Making Music” Thomm Jutz & Craig Market

Nothing is more
beautiful than a guitar,
except, possibly, two.

— Frédéric Chopin

Last Wednesday night offered a stark contrast to the night before.

Where Tuesday night’s performance by the New Dylans at the Belcourt Theater was nearly an hour of screeching instrumentation and unintelligible lyrics, the following night at the Station in was a perfect example of how beautifully crafted songs played with exquisite instruments can produce a totally satisfying experience.

Thomm Jutz and Craig Market actually wrote together for the first time while Thomm was producing The 1861 Project. They co-wrote two songs for Volume 2, including “The Old Songs:”

Thomm and Craig kept writing after that, and over the past couple of years assembled a collection of co-writes that they’ve now released in a collection called “Nowhere To Hide.”

I was called in to shoot some promo stills late last year.  The slide show above features a few of those shots and some from the CD Release Party at the Station Inn.

On stage, Thomm played a 1948 Martin D-18, and Craig played a 1937 D-18.  It’s hard to describe how beautiful those two guitars sounded together.  That quote from Chopin will have to suffice.

Or just listen to the CD and hear for yourself:

Need some photos from one of your live shows?  Visit The Joy Of Making

A “Band On The Brink” – An ‘Industry’ On The Edge

Last night, a rogues gallery of characters from Nashville’s business and creative communities assembled at the Belcourt Theater to deliver what could be considered a start-of-the-New-Year self-assessment: 

bannerThere were three parts to the evening that did a surprisingly good job of hitting any number of moving targets.

The first part was a short documentary film describing the origins, history, demise and resurrection of a band called “The New Dylans.”  The film was the final, compiled installment in a year long effort to document the reconstitution of a group that broke up in the mid 1990s – and uses their tale as an object lesson on the State of The Music Industry in Nashville in the Digital Age. Read More

Greetings, New Subscribers….

…and welcome to your first edition of The Weekly Digest.

The Troubadour Logo - it's a long story...

The Troubadour Logo – it’s a long story…

(Oops.  I got so wrapped up writing this this morning that I forgot to tag the relevant posts for this week’s digest – I thought I’d done that already. It should have included the first two posts below (Jeff T and Melrose Abbey)  Doh!)

I’m sure there’s a better name for this recurring missive, but despite my vaunted creative genius that’s the best I’ve been able to come up with so far.

I am pleased to see that there have been a notable number of new subscribers to this list in the past week – which is even more notable because I don’t know who any of you are.

Most of the subscribers to this list are friends and family – people with whom I have had some form of personal contact since I started the list several years ago. But lately, I’m seeing new subs from people I don’t know, whose e-mail addresses I don’t recognize,

I recall reading somewhere that your ‘fan base’ isn’t really growing until it begins to spread beyond the people that you know personally – so it is gratifying to see that my reach has begun to grow organically beyond a certain inner circle.

I am involved in several realms of creative endeavors.  My most recent business card (I make up new ones all the time) identifies me as:

Paul Schatzkin

…and each of those categories represents some measure of both accomplishment and aspiration.

Read More

The Joy Of Making Music: Jeff Thorneycroft

Jeff Thorneycroft at The Family Wash, Nashville – Jan 14, 2014

JeffTOlympus OM-D E-M1 w Olympus 45mm f/1.8, ISO 1600, 1/45sec @ f/1.8


It’s been a while since I’ve had an assignment to photograph a live performance, so it was nice to start the New Year out with a chance to shoot my friend Jeff Thorneycroft as he played bass with Tom Mason and The Blue Buccaneers at the Family Wash in East Nashville last week.

The Family Wash is not my favorite place in town to shoot a live performance.  No, I take that back, it is my least favorite place (along with several others…) to shoot a live performance.  There’s really no stage lighting whatsoever – just a few bare bulbs hanging over the center of the stage, in such a way that the featured performer on the front of the stage is actually back lit.  And those that are back on the stage are lit mostly from above, which can cast some pretty nasty shadows.

But, hey, my calling card says “capturing the joy of making music – regardless of the lighting conditions.  Yep, that’s my job!

So I brought my very fastest lenses with me – my 17mm, 45mm, and 75mm, all f/1.8 (these are Olympus Micro 4/3s lenses, their 35mm equivalent focal lengths are 35mm, 90mm, and 150mm).  And since I don’t like to push my cameras past 1600 ISO, I didn’t even feel like I could afford the the loss of a stop to f/2.8 in order to use my 12-40 (24-80 equiv) or my fancy new and hardly-used-yet 40-150 (80-300 equiv) zoom lenses.

But there was one moment when I situated myself in the hallway toward the back of the stage.  Jeff turned around to make eye contact with the drummer and fiddle player… and I got the shot! Several of them, in fact.  And there are some good shots of pirate Tom Mason and the rest of his scurvy crew, I’ll post some of those starting next week.

– – – – – – – – – –

Are you a performer?  Need some quality shots of your live show?  Visit

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More ‘Joy Of Making Music’ – Sid Griffin Album Cover

sidgriffinCDWay back in February of this year, I got a call from my friend (and partner in The 1861 Project) Thomm Jutz inviting me out to his studio in Mt. Juliet to photograph a recording session with somebody named Sid Griffin.

I was not familiar with Sid at the time, but have since learned that he’s quite a fixture in the world of Americana and bluegrass music.   He’s the front man for the critically acclaimed group “The Coal Porters” and, according to Billy Bragg, “Sid Griffin was playing ‘Americana’ music before that term was invented…”

I didn’t hear much from Sid after the session and shoot.  So imagine my surprise when I discovered yesterday that not only has Sid’s new CD “The Trick Is To Breathe” (Spotify / iTunes) been released, but he’s used one of my photos for the album cover!

Needless to say (though of course I’m saying it anyway) I’m thrilled to see my work being put to good use.  I’m particularly pleased with the shot that Sid selected. It’s one of only three that I shot with him standing in the doorway entrance to Thomm’s studio control room.  Window light.. God’s own lighting (maybe next time a reflector? or… maybe not…)

I can hardly wait to get a copy of the CD for myself to see what else he might have used inside.  In the meantime, here’s a slide show of the photos form the session, featuring Thomm at the controls along Justin Moses on banjo and fiddle and Sierra Hull on mandolin.

Watch the slides and listen* to Sid’s take on The Youngblood’s “Get Together,” and anthem from the days when we was all young and idealistic…

* that’s assuming that by the time this slide show goes public, Zenfolio will have fixed an issue on their servers that’s keeping the music from playing as I create this post.  If not, well, enjoy the silence…

New Venue for Music City Roots

If Nashville is the world’s center for “Country” music, then nearby Franklin is in the midst of a bid to be the center of “Americana

That effort started a year or so ago when a tobacco billionaire from Kentucky named Brad Kelly  acquired The Factory a sprawling retail and entertainment complex not far from the center of Franklin.
Not long after the acquisition, he did whatever it took to get Americana/roots music mainstay Sugar Hill records to move its offices from Nashville to Franklin.  Not long after that the Americana Music Association moved its offices from Nashville to The Factory, too.
Now Music City Roots has relocated from the Loveless Barn on the outskirts of Franklin to Liberty Hall, a large performance space also in the Factory.
The new venue was kicked off Wednesday July 9 with a show that included Verlon Thompson, the folk/roots band Humming House, and the national treasurers Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell.  seen in the photo above (shot with iPhone’ I wasn’t working that night).
@NashvilleTN @InstaNashville @nashvillemusiclifeFULL HOUSE @MusicCityRoots debut at The Factory in Franklin TN with Rodney Crowell and #Emmylou

#nashville #music ©2014 aka @driver49

More “Joy of Making Music” – Ron “KrashOBang” Krasinski

Too bad he’s not Irish, then he could be “Krash O’Bang”


Back in April, I had the good fortune to spend an afternoon at Azalea Studios in Brentwood photographing singer/songwriter Joy Zimmerman and a terrific group of session players as they laid down the tracks for Joy’s new CD.

Among the players was drummer Ron Krasinski. I got a good chuckle when Ron and I exchanged emails and I discovered that his email address starts with “KrashOBang@….”

I”m pretty sure “Krasinski” is not an Irish name..

More at


Deep Thoughts on #SaveStudioA / #SaveMusicRow

In which I ponder the endangered Nashville species called ‘Music Row’

(originally posted on July 1; reposted July 8)

“The past went that-a-way. When faced with a totally new situation, we tend always to attach ourselves to the objects, to the flavor of the most recent past. We look at the present through a rear view mirror. We march backwards into the future.”
                                                   –Marshall McLuhan – The Medium Is The Massage

Here’s a little-known fact about me:

nashville-trolleyThe first summer I spent in Nashville (1994), I had a ‘job’ as a tour-guide and entertainer on the Nashville Trolley.

For several hours on weekend afternoons, I’d sit with my guitar in an alcove-like space next to the engine housing in the front of one of those tottering, wheeled behemoths as it lumbered along a serpentine course from Riverfront Park, up Broadway to Music Row and back.

My job was to recount the history of the landmarks along the route, and between the landmarks and history lessons I’d play my guitar, sing songs from the Nashville canon – and try to be heard over the roar of the diesel engine beside me.

I don’t remember much about my repertoire now but I’m pretty sure that somewhere along Music Row I’d sing Alan Jackson’s Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow (Spotify):

I made it up to music row
Lordy, don’t the wheels turn slow..

It must have been quite a sight: a by-then middle-aged Jewish kid from New York singing country songs from a perch alongside a whining diesel.

I’d had to pass an audition and some vetting to earn this lofty position, but the job only payed whatever tips I could wheedle out of the tourists as they got off the trolley.  So on the floor in front of me I placed a large jar with a label that read, “Garth Brooks and them play for millions – the rest of us play for tips.”

Little did I know at the time what a prediction that was for the future of the music business.

Needless to say the jar was never very full after a shift… and I didn’t last very long at that particular ‘job.’  I guess my ambitions lay elsewhere… Read More

From The Annals of “The Joy Of Making Music” – John Anderson

It’s been a while since I posted one of these…

…but I was just sending somebody a link to some of this work when I saw this one for the first time in a long time and thought… not bad…. I should show it to somebody…

John Anderson recording "The Turning Of A Field" - the  first track of Volume 1 of The 1861 Project.

John Anderson recording “The Turning Of A Field” – the first track of  The 1861 Project.

This was from one of the very first recording sessions Thomm Jutz produced for The 1861 Project.  Renowned country music recording artist John Anderson (Seminole Wind, Straight Tequila Night) came in and laid down the vocals for “The Turning Of A Field,” and I was there, peering through the glass window in the door of Thomm’s studio with my Nikon to capture the scene.

Need a concert or studio session photographed?  Visit for details.

Listen to “The Turning of A Field” on Spotify:

What A Fucking Racket – You’re Screwed Edition

Were you dutifully waiting for tickets for Paul McCartney to go on sale this morning at 10AM? 

Overlay-McCartney-2013Tough noogies, sucker.

Yes, I already have tickets to see Paul McCartney at the Bridgestone Arena on June 25.

But, like a lot of people, I went to this morning when the box office “opened” at 10AM to see if any seats were still available.

I entered the only options the website permitted: QTY (2), Ticket Type (Full Price, whatever that means), Price & Section (Best Available), and clicked “Search.”

And the site tells me “High demand! No matches…”  Here, see for yourself:

That's right, the box office JUST OPENED and there are NO TICKETS.

As I fully suspected would be the case, the box office just opened… and there are NO TICKETS at any price other than the Premium packages which are $700 – $2,000 EACH.

I feel badly that I actually have tickets – but only because I first went off on this rant when I saw that somebody had scored tickets in a presale offer earlier in the week. That same somebody – bless her heart – took pity on my whining soul and shared the secret password with me yesterday so that I could get in and get seats while they were still available.  It was $100/ea for  seats near the rafters, but it’s inside the arena, which was all I really cared about.  I figure the sound is gonna be awful wherever I sit (the sound at the Bridgestone Arena is always gawdawful), and I’ve got some really powerful binoculars.

So I will have my “once in a lifetime” experience.

I’m 63 years old.  I’ve never seen/heard a Beatle sing Beatles songs with my own eyes (my wife has seen/heard the Beatles, in Dallas in 1965.  Well, she saw them.  She says she couldn’t actually hear a thing through all the screaming.  And she forgot her contacts, so she didn’t really see them either…).

Now I guess I will have that opportunity, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.

But only because providence – and a kind friend – shined upon me and I found a way to ‘game the system.’  I know a lot of others were not nearly so fortunate.

– – – – – – –

Update at 11:00 AM.  As of a few minutes ago there ARE in fact some seats available on the website.  However, it appears that the ONLY seats that are available now are the $297.82 seats on the floor or in the lower level of seating.  Less expensive seats in the mezzanine or “nosebleed” levels are indeed sold out.

McCartney2So, yeah, I suppose you can argue that the show is not entirely sold out before the box office opened.  But if you thought you might be able to get inside the arena with a mate for something less than a month’s rent, well then, sorry.  The show was sold out before the tickets went on sale.