Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Music was in the air....

Several recent musical nights sort of blended together.

None had made it into the blog. Time to correct that.

Even though I have been warned to use caution before I set my camera on "Fish Eye Effect," a smooth trombone slide just calls for it.

Sorry, couldn't resist. Excuse the distortion.

Steve Rogness kept playing and I kept shooting.

This was at the Pour House with Davina & the Vagabonds, a band from the Twin Cities of Minnesota, pounding out Old Time Blues and jazz.

Davina was in charge at the keys and jiving swing dancers were sweeping all around the dance floor.

I decided black and white images would capture the upbeat moment.

(I sent this image to Davina and she posted it on her Facebook page.)

Yes, I credited the PoHo and added my wish that they return again soon.

This was the second show for me that night.

Had raced out to the club on Maybank Highway after an enjoyable musical evening with Robert Cray and his band, Hi Rhythm.

This was the fourth or fifth time I have seen Mr. Cray and this might have been the best.

The sound of course in the Charleston Music Hall is superb and he and the band were on fire.

I had learned to turn off the green light that shoots from the camera to enhance focus.

Not only does it distract the players, ushers are quick to come tap me on the shoulder and say NO.

 And the focus was spot on.

I caught some facial expressions that were intense and showed the musician deep, deep into his playing.

Changing shutter speeds, depending on the stage lighting, has become second-nature, so the action was captured very sharp.

Head thrown back in emotion, grimacing at a sad passage, it was an exciting time.

All around me, cell phones were capturing images but I had a camera with a variable zoom lens. I controlled the lighting and camera speeds.

His hands were in constant motion on the strings.

I really didn't know I had caught his "pickin' hand" at a peak moment, until later as I went through the shots I had taken that night.

You can watch a performer and sometimes can gauge what might come next.

That moment when the face is NOT hidden by the microphone.

There is a pacing and rhythm that develops and I try to tune in to catch a brief, fleeting instant.

Robert came through for me this evening.

 The best recent "two-fer" was the combo of Taj Mahal and Keb Mo onstage at the Gaillard.

Have enjoyed both musicians separately and this was an interesting pairing.

Taj always has been a commanding presence as contrasted with the laidback smoothness of Keb Mo.

The chemistry was cooking that night and the jam-packed crowd lapped it up.

(I still wonder why there are no JumboTrons flanking the stage to accommodate the fans in the balcony seats at the back of the hall. I see them in lots of venues.)

I usually am able to shop early for tickets and get seats nice and up front so I can see all the action up close.

In fact, for this show, I could swear I was listening to the two guitars right in front of me while the amplified sound soared above me, over my head. To the balconies.

Makes for an intimate concert setting.

The two bounced back and forth with their individual hits and also presented tracks from the new album where they blend voices, sounds, and style.

A rare treat by two of my favorites.

At home a few days later, I asked my Google Alexa to "play me some Keb Mo."

It started with the opening song by RajMo.

Thanks, Alexa.

Keb Mo was his usual relaxed performer.

These seasoned pros knew what the audience wanted and they delivered.

A lady seated to my left had glanced over when I was checking some shots and nudged me and asked if I could send a few to her.

I had seen her stretching to get a good angle on her cell phone but her seat placed the microphone in front of the face for most of her tries.

No empty seats or space to maneuver so I agreed I would send some if she emailed me how to contact her.

 I handed her my card and Catherine thanked me and said she would send a request.

Never heard from her so she probably lost my card. Too bad. I had some good ones.

I wanted to drop in a shot of the opener for the TajMo Show.

The banjo player announced he had played for 12 years with the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

His banjo playing was great - as was the bassist who also played the violin - and it set a nice tone for the show that followed.

He said they were excited to be traveling as the openers for this great duo and band.

He had shown us his chops in root music so I hoped he would add some jug music but that wasn't on their set list. He did play the bones.

This was an overdue time to recap some of the fine music I had seen and heard.

I am a supporter of live music and had a terrific tripleheader.

Oh, and a good opener act.

(Click on the links and photos for more details.)

Thank for hanging out with me at several different venues.

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