"Born a photographer, raised as a musician." When I was growing up, my favorite part of the holidays were the jam sessions. Our musician friends would get together for an evening and would just sit around and play music well into the night; they became part of my family. This is where I developed my love for live music. Combine that with my Mother and Grandmother both being talented photographers, and a music photography career just makes a whole lot of sense. My "music family" has grown enormously over the years and it speaks for why I'm incredibly passionate about our city. You really don't need to look any farther than your own backyard for quality music and people. All in all, I can't imagine doing anything else, anywhere else. Capturing musicians is my "soulshine"- it's just simple bliss.
It started with a simple phone call from my good friend and cameraman extraordinaire, Jack.
“Hey Mad,” he said, “I have a PA (Production Assistant) gig for you.”
“Oh very cool, when and where?”
“In a few weeks . . .but here’s the problem, I can’t pay you.”
“Jeez man, come on. Why in the world would you do this to me?”
“We’re interviewing Sam Bush.”
“. . . .I’m there.”
A lot of you are now thinking, “Who the heck is Sam Bush?” Do yourself a favor and use your favorite search engine and look up this man. His mandolin playing changed bluegrass for generations, his band started a new genre, he has won three Grammy’s, and he has been dubbed “The King of Telluride”. Sam is one of my all time favorite musicians to say the least.
What if I told you there was such a place that you could enjoy quality music . . .food . . .people . . .and the beer is a fair price?
I was first introduced to Steve Pecaro at Jimmy Lee Kennett's Benefit Concert in the summer of 2011, he was a nice guy but he's also fairly quiet. I hear from Steve a few months later asking me to photograph the Stevie Ray Vaughan Tribute show at The Pageant and I say, heck yes. Having never been to one of the SRV tribute shows, having never met any of the musicians that were there, this was by far the most intimidating situation for me. Usually, I know SOMEONE and I can breathe a little easier but not in this case.
I’ve been playing percussion for the Meramec Symphonic Band for four years now. It’s truly an incredible band and we’ve made some amazing music over the years. It is comprised of musicians from the area as well as music students of Meramec. We come together once a week and put on concerts twice a semester. Last year we brought in the Funky Butt Brass Band for a featured performance and had a wild time. It’s not everyday a six piece band gets backed-up by a sixty piece band. This year we had the Soulard Blues Band join us.
My friend Becky gave me her extra ticket to see Roger Daltrey and Company performing “Tommy” in its ENTIRETY at The Peabody Opera house in Novemeber of 2011. Awesome, right?! But I left my camera in the car because any venue you run into these days will not allow you to bring in a professional camera. We get to our seats, which are in the balcony, and we have a great time with the opening act.
As some of you may know, the St. Louis favorite Jimmy Lee Kennett was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and a benefit concert to diffuse hospital costs was held that summer. At the time, I had no idea who Jimmy was but I went because the line-up of bands was beyond impressive.