Tag - onlyinnashville

They Said “No Photos!”

but when has that ever stopped me?

File this one under the hashtag: #OnlyInNashville:

I went to the Ryman Auditorium last night for the “Guy Clark Celebration” – a tribute concert for one of Nashville’s most revered songwriters, who went on to the great writing room in the sky back in May.

The tone for the evening was set early on by host Vince Gill, who promised “three hours of music an no shitty songs.”

And no shitty singers, either.  I’ve been going to stellar shows in Nashville for more than 20 years now, but this was a lineup like you’ll never see again.

How’s this for name dropping:  Jerry Jeff Walker, Vince Gill, Terry Allen, Shawn Camp, Verlon Thompson, Sam Bush, Bobby Bare, Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, Joe Ely, Steve Earle, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Robert Earl Keen, Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White, Chris and Morgane Stapleton, Rodney Crowell, Lyle Lovett, Gary Nicholson, Delbert McClinton, Radney Foster and Bill Lloyd.. (thanks to Jim Moran for posting the cast of characters on Facebook).

You really can’t see ’em, but that’s who all is in the photo at the top of the post.

As I posted myself last night “I don’t need to go to any more concerts this year, I’ve already seen everybody…”

*

The Ryman was insistent throughout the evening that there were to be absolutely no photos of the show.  Every time somebody in the audience pulled out a cell phone, an usher showed up to point an admonishing finger at them.

But when that stellar ensemble gathered on the stage for the last two songs, there was no way I was not gonna record that moment.

I got out of my seat (near the back of the upper deck, aka “The Confederate Gallery”) and went to the very back of the venue, got my iPhone out, discretely got it ready, and then brought it up to eye level and grabbed the ONE shot above.

Then the photo-Nazi usher ran up to me and said “No photos!”

And I said, “OK…” and went back to my seat.

*

If you were not fortunate enough to be present for last night’s tribute concert, consider going over to iTunes and investing in the tribute album that Tamara Saviano put together back in 2011, “This One’s For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark” – which includes performances by a lot of the artists who appeared last night.  Or if you still believe in plastic delivery, you can get the CD at Amazon  (it does not appear that the collection is available thru Spotify).

Then listen to it and give yourself a master class in songwriting.

"This One's For Him" - the Guy Clark Tribute album.

“This One’s For Him” – the Guy Clark Tribute album.

 

 

 

More ‘Joy of Making Music’ Irene Kelley at The Station Inn

irenex3

Sisters Sara Jean and Justyna Kelley, harmonizing with their mother Irene.

Another “Only In Nashville” moment…

I’ve gotten to know Irene Kelley a little bit through my association with The 1861 Project.  She has contributed several co-writes and vocals to Volumes 1 and 2 of that series, and will be appearing on Volume 3 when it is released this spring as well.

I don’t really know Irene’s whole career story.  I gather that she had a major label deal for a while, but was perhaps one of those talents for whom being shoehorned into mainstream commercial country was not exactly an ideal fit.   What I do know is that she remains a highly respected songwriter and is a delightful singer,  gifted with one of those voices that is so clear and refreshing you could listen to it all day.

It has been over a decade since Irene has released an album of new recordings, but it’s been worth the wait.  Last week she released Pennsylvania Coal (iTunes), a loving, bluegrass-flavored reminiscence of growing up in the coal mining country of her parents and grandparents.

The production on Pennsylvania Coal  was guided by Mark Fain (another stalwart from The 1861 Project) who created just the right sound for Irene – to my ears a much more suitable sonic environment than what I’ve heard of her earlier country recordings.

I was hired to photograph Irene’s CD release party at the Station Inn last Friday night.  In preparation for the event, I listened to a preview of the new CD, and one track that I was most looking forward to hearing was You Are Mine (iTunes), which features vocal harmonies by Irene singing with her two equally talented daughters, Sara Jean and Justyna.

As soon as I heard You Are Mine I gave myself a personal assignment – in addition to covering the entire show – of getting a definitive shot of the three Kelley women singing together.

I couldn’t get that shot during the show.  When they sang “You Are Mine” together, each of the girls (yes, yes, I know… women…) had to take their own microphone, and so were spread out across the stage.  The resulting photo is rather flat, with the usual microphone in front of their faces.

kelleys

See what I mean?

After the show, I persuaded them to return to the stage and gather around a single microphone in order to recreate the moment for the sake of the photo at the top of this post.

However, rather than singing You Are Mine, these three angels started harmonizing on a rendition of Crosby Stills and Nash’s Helplessly Hoping.  Hearing this his was an unexpected delight, the close three-part harmonies so brilliant that I could easily imagine, “this is how Irene raised these girls, riding around in the car, singing songs like this together… ”

All I could do was watch them through the viewfinder and fire away… it was not until I got home and looked at the files that I could exhale and think to myself, once again… “only in Nashville…”

I would dearly love to offer a player with some tracks from Irene’s new CD, but it is not available for streaming yet.  The best I can do is offer a track from The  1861 Project.  So please enjoy one of my favorite tracks from Volume 1, Horse Without A Rider:

For more information on having your next performance professionally photographed, please visit

thejoyofmakingmusic.com

More Joy of Making Music: Suzy Bogguss

…This time with a Spotify player for the new CD (scroll down)

Suzy Boggus and Company

Suzy Boggus and Company

Full Photo Set Here

We had another one of those “Only In Nashville” kind of nights last night when Suzy Bogguss hosted an outstanding lineup the 3rd and Lindsley Bar & Grill.

Suzy is one of the few artists (and in this case, I use that overused term consciously and deliberately) who achieved some stardom during the “Country Music Integrity Scare” of the 1990s.  A lot of the performers who achieved some profile during that period have since disappeared down the backside of the arc of stardom, but Suzy Bogguss keeps turning out great new recordings and remains an absolutely engaging and entertianing performer.  I’ve been a fan all along and I’m pleased to see she’s still turning out great music.

Last night at 3rd & Lindsley she opened her own show, joined on stage by Matraca Berg and Gretchen Peters for the ensemble they call “Wine, Women and Song” – offering some of the sweetest three part harmonies since “The Trio” with Emmy, Linda, and Dolly.

That was followed by the real reason for the night, the official release of Lucky, Suzi’s new collection of Merle Haggard songs.  For this set she was joined by some of the finest players on the planet: Charlie Chadwick on bass, Chris Scruggs on all sorts of things, Guthrie Trapp on electric guitar, Pat Bergeson on guitars and harmonica, and a drummer, whose name I will insert into this space when somebody reminds me who that was …

Update (Feb 12 ’04): Good News!

Lucky was released yesterday and is already available on Spotify. So have yourself a listen:

P.S. If you see an entry where I have mispelled Suzy’s last name… I know now that there are two “S”s at the end of “Bogguss.”  I won’t be making that mistake again…

The Long Players: “After The Gold Rush”

File this one under “Only In Nashville” :

Bill Lloyd with his 1970 copy of Neil Young's "After The Goldrush"

Bill Lloyd with his 1970 copy of Neil Young’s “After The Goldrush”

Tonight Ann and I and about 500 other boomers who came of age about the time Neil Young released “After The Goldrush” (Spotify) converged on 3rd and Lindsley Bar & Grill in downtown Nashville to listen to “Nashville’s Supergroup” – aka “The Long Players‘ – perform that seminal album in its entirety.

This is something that happens in Nashville several times a year.  Musicologist and A-player Bill Lloyd (once of the 1980s Music Row duo “Foster and Lloyd“) gathers some of the finest players in this town – which is to say, some of the finest players in the world – to perform a seminal record from beginning to end.  While the basic band remains the same, different vocalists take the stage to sing each song.

I think this was my third “Long Players” show.  The first one was a recreation of Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited.  As if that wasn’t enough, that night a keyboard player named Al Kooper sat in on the Hammond B1 organ.  Yes, the very same Al Kooper who played on the original recording in 1965.  Like I said: “Only in Nashville.”

The other “Long Players” show Ann and I went to was a performance of The Beatles “Rubber Soul.”  Needless to say, that one was a “boomerfest singalong” much like tonight’s show was.

I photographed the whole “After The Goldrush” show tonight and uploaded all the photos to this album on Facebook.  I hope you’ll stop by and have a look.  And while you’re there, please “Like” the Cohesion Arts page.  You’ll be glad you did.  Well, I certainly will be.

Thanks,

–PS

(BTW, you may notice that the copyright watermark on these photos says something about “thejoyofmakingmusic.com”  More on that next week….)

 

Here’s A Surprise: Amazing Young Talent Descends on #Nashville!

at The Basement in Nashville February 5, 2013First, imagine it’s 1940-whatever and you’re hearing Chet Atkins when he first showed up in Nashville.

Then imagine it’s 1980-something and you’re hearing Harry Connick, Jr. for the first time.

Now imagine that you’re hearing BOTH of these amazing talents early in their careers in the same venue, on the same night, and even playing a couple of tunes together.

That’s what it was like this evening as stellar young “Chet-style” guitarist Jonathan Brown and torch singer/keyboardist Andrew Walesch opened the “New Artists” night at The Basement in Nashville.

Here are some photos from tonight’s show. Sorry, no recorded music to go with it yet (yeah, I know, sorta defeats the purpose…)

A few notes on these photos: I borrowed a couple of high-end lenses to use on my Olympus OM-D for this shoot – the Panasonic 12-35 f/2.8 and the Panasonic 37-100 f/2.8. The latter is the equivalent of the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 that I have been using in situations like this (with a Nikon D300s) for the past two years. The difference is the OM-D/Panasonic f2.8 combination weighs in at a fraction of the Nikon assembly — which rig is convenient combination camera and anvil.

But I have to say, on first glance, that I’m not altogether thrilled with the results I got from this rig.

Going in, I was a bit concerned about the likely responsiveness of the OM-D in this situation, compared to the Nikon.  It took a little getting used to the different form factor, but once I did I was pleased to see that the shutter lag and auto-focus were not a problem.

Still, once I got the files loaded into Lightroom, I have to say they just don’t compare to the results I get from the Nikon rig.  Compared to what I get from the Nikon, these files were soft and noisy.  In club/concert settings I usually have to push the ISO to 3200; These days, between the advanced sensors and a little bit of noise reduction in Lightroom, that’s not an issue.  And while these images are entirely useable in the format you see them in here, I don’t think they would hold up if I tried to make decent sized prints of them.

I’m going to shoot another show Wednesday night; this time I’m going to bring the Nikon, too – so that I’ll be able to see exactly how the two setups compare.

Stay tuned…