Smile and Dance: 2014; A Year of Musical Images Pt. 1

“Without music, life would be a mistake.” 
― Friedrich Nietzsche

“If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it; that surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.” 
― William ShakespeareTwelfth Night

 

Carmen; Cin Opera
Carmen; Cincinnati Opera

 

In many ways, I’ve lived a charmed life in the last year. In terms of music, I’ve have seen literally hundreds of shows for free. Most of the shows I had either front row or front of stage viewing. For many of the shows I had unfettered access, meaning I could go pretty much wherever I wanted-including backstage.

 

The Traveling McCoury’s

 

I saw shows in every kind of conceivable venue. From small barrooms, with crowds of a dozen, to open air festivals and large arenas-with crowds of tens of thousands; to intimate ornate music halls.   I was at these shows to shoot-to photograph- music. Some of these shows I did for free- because I wanted to see the shows, and some shows I shot for pay. Some shows I shot to support fledgling organizations or to contribute to charitable events.

 

Los Lonely Boys
Los Lonely Boys

 

I shot classical, opera, country, bluegrass and rock. I shot jazz and folk and music that defied any easy description. I loved it all.

 

Concert Nova
Concert Nova

 

Besides getting to see the shows I also got to work alongside a lot of very fine human beings. Some shows I shot alone, most I shot with a local photographer names Scott Preston- arguably the hardest working guy in Cincinnati- check out his Cincy Groove Site– it’s a true labor of love.

 

2-21-14 Cmusic Wsugar-179

 

Some shows I worked crammed into the a photographers pit with as many as fifty other photographers. And while everyone in the pit is competitive, damn near everyone of them were cooperative and polite as well. Mostly, it’s an honor and privilege to work alongside such talented artists-some world class. Best of all, given the time I spent shooting all these shows, plus the ten weeks on the road this year I spent shooting other subjects not related to music, I can without fear of contradiction that my work improved immeasurably.  I can also say I’ve got a long way to go-but I can look myself in the mirror and be proud of my work.

 

lydia-lovelss
lydia-loveless

 

If this kind of art interests you, go here to see the work of some truly gifted professionals:  Craig Weigland at Mansion Hill Studio ; the work of  Steve Ziegelmeyer ;  Brian Glass .; or Joshua Timmerman.

 

Willie Sugar Caps
Willie Sugar Caps

 

Cincinnati has a long tradition of world class shooters- you won’t often find them in the pit, but their work is still omnipresent- do yourself a favor and acquaint yourself with the work of Melvin Grier ; Michael Wilson. and Gordon Baer.

 

Wussy- Fountain Square
Wussy- Fountain Square

 

Any while there are too many other shooters to name individually name; I can also say that damn near anyone associated with Cincinnati’s two premier concert shooting associations, The Alliance of Music Photographers and Cincymusic Photographers are well worth exploring. I can honestly say that my life has been enriched by association with both groups.

 

St Paul and The Broken Bones
St Paul and The Broken Bones

 

Lastly when checking out the work of Cincymusic photographers,  be sure to pay attention to the compelling work of my good friends work of  good friends  Jacob Drabik and, Matt Steffan .

 

Jason Isbell w/ Amanda Shire
Jason Isbell w/ Amanda Shire

 

Lastly, a very special thanks to Kelly Painter Kampsen-  who handles show passes for all of us at CincyMusic in a timely and prompt and professional manner. Thanks for all your hard work this year Kelly. 

 

Pike 27
Pike 27

 

Carmen- Cincinnati Opera
Carmen- Cincinnati Opera

 

Dave AlvinDave Alvin

 

Concert Nova-Rhinegeist Brewery
Concert Nova-Rhinegeist Brewery

 

 

Willie Nile
Willie Nile

 

2014 B Up post fest dave alvin-2841

 

 

Cincinnati Opera In The Park
Cincinnati Opera In The Park

 

Cincinnati Opera-Carmen
Cincinnati Opera-Carmen

 

Willie Nile
Willie Nile

 

2-21-14 Cmusic Wsugar-251

 

 

Benny Golson
Benny Golson

 

Nick Barrows
Nick Barrows

 

6-6-14 wussy C Nova-Flam-246Concert Nova

 

Chuck Cleaver-Wussy
Chuck Cleaver-Wussy