Performing a benefit concert for the Bells Bend Corridor at Sulphur Dell Farms in Scottsdale, aka the Last Vestige of Old Nashville (off the Ashland City Hwy, Rt 12, btw Briley Parkway and Ashland City).
The View from the Zafu
So, since the… umm… Great Reckoning… one of the things I’ve done is clear out the space at the back of the house that we used to call “The Consuhvatorah” (think Burl Ives in “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof”) and am now using as a “studio.” ‘Ex’ got all the furniture, I got an empty space with a view. I pulled the carpet and replaced it with hardwood, and the only “furniture” is a circular area rug and a zafu/zabuton combination. I sit on those cushions and play my old Gibson guitar (1966 J-50 – a vintage guitar that I bought brand new), and noticed my reflection in the late-afternoon sun yesterday so grabbed this “selfie.”
I am also going to use the space as a photo studio so that I can start practicing portraiture. The big picture window is perfect for natural light, and yesterday I had curtains installed so I can control the lighting even more. Anybody need a headshot or portrait?
This is one of my favorite shots from the second (annual?) Guitar Mash at City Winery Nasvhille on May 11, 2019. Also dubbed “The Urban Campfire,” this event encourages the audience to bring their instruments and play along with the artists on stage. The house band is led by Mark Stewart (musical director for Paul Simon) and Nashville’s own Jerry Douglas, International Dobro Maester Extraordinaire. The lineup also included, in addition to Gretchen, Amythyst Kia, Nicole Atkins, some guy named Jason (Isbell) and some other guy named Buddy (Miller). I’ll post some more pix this week.
Behold the lovely and multi-talented (singer, songwriter, producer, actress) Justyna Kelley, who provided harmony vocals for her mother Irene’s CD release show at The Station Inn Friday, May 10. 2019.
One more from the “Turquoise Takeover” this past Monday night, with several buildings downtown lit up in honor of the American Lung Association. This is the 4th Avenue side of the Bridgestone Arena. I don’t think the scooter is using Bridgestone tires, but you never know…
…at City Winery, Nashville – May 16, 2019
David Crosby has always been one of my favorites from the Classic Rock Era (aka “my youth”). Maybe cause our voices are in a similar high-tenor range, and I have learned to play several of his songs over the years. Or maybe because the Jefferson Airplane version of “Wooden Ships” – which Crosby co-wrote with Stephen Stills and the Airplane’s Paul Kantner – lives prominently on my “All Time Top 5” songs playlist.
Apart from the fact that it’s amazing he’s still alive (he has too much in common with Keith Richard), he continues to be a stellar writer and performer. At age 77 (!) David Crosby’s voice is every bit as clear, bright, and crystalline now as it was 50 years ago.
He has been touring of late in support of his 2017 album “Sky Trails.” Last night was the second time I’ve seen him on this tour. The first time was in December 2017 at the CMA Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame (my new favorite venue in Nashville).
Last night he returned to City Winery to play to a very enthusiastic (admittedly, mostly Boomer) crowd. He does an outstanding job of mixing his back catalog with the more recent material, making “nostalgia” seem “current” in the mix. I was particularly pleased to hear him perform “The Lee Shore,” which has only ever been released on the CSN&Y concert double LP, “Four Way Street.” That song was a favorite back in my own sailing days, when I lived in Hawaii in the 1980s.
After the encore (“…everybody sing: ‘Four dead in O-hi-o…’”) I thought about the extraordinary legacy that David Crosby has created since The Byrds released “Mr. Tambourine Man” in 1965. Besides The Byrds, he played with Buffalo Springfield in their waning days; Crosby Stills and Nash (with or without Young) was a staple of the era; and I’ve always considered his first solo release, “If I Could Only Remember My Name” one of the most sonically layered and textured vocal works of that or any era. I’ll put a link to that release on my website.
As we were leaving, I turned to my date and said “ya know, I never did get to see Paul McCartney, but this is pretty close….” In his own way, David Crosby has been every bit as lasting and influential as any Beatle.
AT&T Building, Downtown Nashville May 13
Another one of the buildings that was lit up in turquoise (why turquoise? fuck if I know…) Monday night was Nashville’s most notable skyline landmark, the AT&T building, aka “The Batman Building.” This is a double exposure – the first in focus, the second out of focus, blended in-camera (Olympus OMD-EM1 Mk2) into a single frame.
….all decked out in turquoise…
I went downtown this past Monday night with long time friend and photo buddy Ken Gray to see and shoot the “Turquoise TakeOver” where several buildings are decked out in turquoise lights to honor work of the American Lung Association. The Courthouse was one of the more colorful locations.
Nerves of Steel At Work
After the GuitarMash at City Winery, we were treated to an after party at Gruhn Guitars, one or the premier vintage guitar dealers in the whole world. Most of the festivities were held in the main showroom of Gruhn’s three-story location on 8th Avenue, on the outskirts of downtown Nashville, but the real treat was getting a chance to go up to the second and third floors.
On the second floor – that’s where the really expensive stuff is on display. From the $5-10,000 guitars on the ground floor, now we’re looking at $25,000 and higher instruments. I’ll post a photo later of me playing a $55,000 1940s D28.
The real treat was getting a tour of the workshop on the third floor, led by Greg Voros,. the Repair Department Manager. Here, Greg is explaining how the neck of a vintage Martin – in this case a 1940 D-45 worth something in the neighborhood of half a million dollars – is “re-set.” After nearly 80 years, the neck has to be removed through a very delicate process. One false move, Greg explains, and the value of the instrument can plunge by as much as $150,000.
Clearly not a job for the faint of heart.