Newport Folk Festival 2018, Fort Adams, Rhode Island

July 27-29, 2018   In a recent podcast, producer Jay Sweet reflected on Newport Folk this way “if this festival for you is about the headliners, I don’t think this is your festival”. Not that the headliners were too shabby. Jason Isbell (with a David Crosby sit-in), Unannounced (aka, Mumford & Sons) and the closing Change is Gonna Come set, more than held down the Fort. But Newport Folk (and Jazz) is about discovery, collaboration and experimentation. It’s The War & Treaty, The Weather Station, This is the Kit, Charlie Parr, Phoebe Bridgers, and Glorietta, to name a few that stood out. It can be “a bunch of people from a bunch of bands playing a bunch of songs” as Eric Johnson said from the Quad Stage, during Saturday’s Beneath the Sacred Mountain set. If not for Newport, The Lone Bellow (Sunday) and Hiss Golden Messenger (Saturday) would not have worked their way into my world years ago. Not to mention all the goodness my ears and heart enjoyed in between the new and familiar.   The Fort’s four stages are close, but not tight, and stage times rarely compete like so many other festivals where you can’t tear yourself […]

Photo Recap: Dead & Company, July 7, 2018, Dodger Stadium

This is Dead & Co.’s strongest tour yet, and personally combined the band that impacted my life the most with the temple I have been attending since I was 8 – Dodger Stadium. Opening with a Playing in the Band that pretty much dropped the needle in the middle of the record and with Mayer, Oteil and Chimenti reshaping and pushing fresh moments throughout a joyous, hot night, Jack Straw, Cumberland, Scarlet>Fire, Eyes and a Brokedown, Not Fade away encore made for a night to long remember.   Jim Brock Photography’s photo recap for LiveMusicBlog.com PHOTO RECAP: Dead & Company @ Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA 7.7.18

Arroyo Seco Weekend, Brookside Golf Course, Pasadena

June 23-24, 2018 Arroyo Seco Weekend is not fussy. The beer is thick with local crafts, the something for everyone eats abundant with vegetarian options, and, yes, it felt like a day in the park with a rich soundtrack. The inclusive, relaxed setting and vibe made for one of most satisfying fest experiences I’ve had outside New Orleans. Goldenvoice worked out many of the freshmen kinks to bring us a uniquely L.A. area festival that was musically textured and easy to navigate, with zero attitude, when it so could have gone the other way. No need to pony up for VIP treatment here. Getting around was no issue, food and (pricey) drinks were never too far, Rose Bowl bathrooms were always an option, and while the Oaks stage was packed for headliners, it was manageable and easy to get close throughout most of the day. Oh, did I mention parking was included with entry? Even with only three stages, I still racked up 7-8 miles a day covering 30 of 36 acts over the weekend, but the 8th and 9th holes and driving range of Brookside felt like carpet compared to most fests. Near perfect June weather helped. Saturday highlights […]
Jun 08
by Jim Brock in Reviews 1 comments tags: 610 Stompers, Aaron Wilkinson, accordion, Acura Stage, Aerosmith, Amanda Shaw, Americana, Anders Osborne, Anita Baker, Archie Shepp, Astral Project, Beck, Ben Ellmen, Big Chief Red, bluegrass, blues photography, Blues Tent, Bo Dollis, Bonerama, Brandon Lewis, Buddy Guy, Butler Bernstein, Cage the Elephant, cajun music, Carolyn Wonderland, Charles Lloyd, Charlie Gabriel, Chris Mule, Christian Scott, classic rock, Clint Maedgen, Commodores, concert photography, Congo Square Stage, Corey Henry, Darcy Malone, Dave Malone, David Byrne, David Shaw, Debbie Davis, Delbert McClinton, Dianne reeves, Dirty Notes, Doug Kershaw, Dumpstaphunk, Ellis Marsalis, Epiphone guitar, Erica Falls, Eye on the Music, Fais Do-Do Stage, Fats Domino, Galactic, Gentilly Stage, George Benson, George Wein, Gibson SG, Givers, Glen David Andrews, Gospel Tent, Henry Butler, Hiss Golden Messenger, Honey Island Swamp Band, Hot 8 Brass Band, Hot 9, Hot Rize, Instruments a'Comin', Irma Thomas, Ivan Neville, Jack Johnson, Jack White, Jake Shimabukuro, Jason Isbell, Jazz & Heritage Stage, jazz photography, Jeff Raines, Jesse McBride, Jim Brock Photography, Jimmy Buffett, John Boutte, John Mahoney Big Band, John Mayall, Johnny Sketch, Johnny Vidacovich, Jon Batiste, Kermit Ruffins, Kidd Jordan, Lagniappe Stage, Leah Chase, Les Paul, Leyla McCalla, Lionel Richie, LMB, Lucinda Williams, Lyle Lovett, Mardi Gras indians, Mark Mullins, MC Taylor, Mike Dillon, Mr Sipp, music photography, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Nicholas Payton, Old Crow Medicine Show, Paul Sanchez, Police, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Quint Davis, Radiators, reggae, Rich Vogel, Robert Mercurio, Rolling Road Show, Ron Carter, Ronell Johnson, roots music, Ruthie Foster, Samantha Fish, Shamarr Allen, Shannon Powell, Sheryl Crow, Sonny Landreth, Stanton Moore, Stephen Bernstein, Steve Miller, Steve Riley, Steve Tyler, Sting, Stratocaster, Sturgill Simpson, Talking Heads, Tank & the Bangas, Telecaster, Terence Blanchard, The Revivalists, Thinline, Threadheads, Tipitina's, Tipitina's Foundation, Toots & the Maytals, trombone, Trumpet Mafia, ukelele, Walter Trout, website, Wild Magnolias, WWOZ Jazz Tent

Reflections and Musings of a Jazz Fest Photographer – 2018 Edition

April 27 – May 6, 2018 Best Jazz Fest ever? It’s a tie between the last one and the next one. Jazz Fest 49 was no exception. Seven Fest days and 30 minutes of rain. Unheard of. Unexpected discoveries? Check. Food I’m still working off? Check. Love in an Elevator? Never mind. Yes, Aerosmith at Jazz Fest had some folks head scratching when announced, but they went over big at their only gig of the year. And, as any Fest vet knows, it ain’t about the BNAs (“big name acts”). While this year was solid with the likes of Sting, Rod Stewart, Beck, Jack White et al. who knew the place would be abuzz over Socks in a Frying Pan from Ireland? Aah, but I digress… This photographer is fortunate to have a few ease in days ahead of Fest and we got in the mood Thursday night with Tony Hall, Terence Higgins, Roosevelt Collier and Jonathon “Boogie” Long funking up Jimi at NOLA Brewing on Tchoup. Fueled by a bellyful of BBQ pork and house brew, this was a boatload of fun with plenty of room to move in the beer warehouse by day room. The playing was loose, […]

Jubilee: A Celebration of Jerry Garcia, Theatre at Ace Hotel

March 30, 2018 It’s the year 23 AG (after Garcia). Dead & Co. are embarking on a stadium-centric Summer tour. Phil’s Terrapin Crossroads has a full schedule, and at 78(!), Lesh shows no signs of slowing his roll while sticking closer to home and sprinkling in some East Coast tripping (including a few recent Phil and Bobby duet dates, with Trey as a guest). And while Garcia (who would turn 75 this year), is long gone, the music really has never stopped. In steps the Bluegrass Situation for a one-night only Garcia throwdown billed as Jubilee: A Celebration of Jerry Garcia, featuring a bucketful of artists including Hiss Golden Messenger, David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Belmont Tench, Margo Price, Chris Funk of the Decemberists, mandolinist extraordinaire Sam Bush, Amos Lee and the Jubilee House Band that includes Tench and Sean and Sara Watkins among others. Garcia is dearly missed, but the songs endure, and Jubilee was bound to be a warm embrace for anyone touched by the band and Garcia’s songs. Whether going back to Garcia’s jug band roots on banjo, his Old and in the Way album with David Grisman, Peter Rowan and fiddler Vassar […]

Robert Plant & the Sensational Space Shifters, Orpheum Theatre

    March 2, 2018 The last date of the Carry Fire Winter tour landed Robert Plant at the beautiful Orpheum Theatre in DTLA. The tour has stuck to smaller venues (the Orpheum holds about 2,000) while drawing on a consistent set list of multiple tunes from both “Carry Fire” and “Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar”, as well as a few quieter Zeppelin touchstones and other blues and traditional material.  The chance to see Plant in such intimate confines throughout the tour was special, considering the next time he’ll be in SoCal will be as headliner at the second day of Arroyo Seco Weekend. But it was also special, because the room so fit the music coming from the stage. Adventurous, personal, rooted in history, but not confined by it.  Ten years ago when the Raising Sand collaboration brought Plant together with Alison Krauss, the incredibly talented singer, songwriter and fiddle player, she of the bluegrass origins and more Grammys on her shelf than any other singer or female artist ever, it struck me as a WTF leap that could have been a disaster. Instead the critically acclaimed (and Grammy winning) project knocked me out that he could even pull […]

Tedeschi Trucks Band, Orpheum Theatre

November 11, 2017 Spoiler alert – pretty sure this won’t be an objective take on what transpired at the second of two nights with the Tedeschi Trucks Band at the historic Orpheum Theater in DTLA. I flat out think the TTB is one of the best touring bands on the road anywhere. It’s not just the nimbleness of a 12-piece unit that can fly like a jazz trio, or the cauldron that launches Derek Trucks’ journeys, or the purr to a growl joy of Susan Tedeschi matching those Strat/Tele/Les Paul driven sparks. TTB jams with intention and purpose built on a foundation of soul and blues, in their own voices and fused by those recently and long departed. To cut through it, the world hurts right now. In a big way. Music, the good stuff, whatever that it is for you, matters more than anytime since I’ve been around. The TTB is my good stuff, and damn, if I don’t want that to wash over me any chance I get. That chance was Saturday night. The 15-tune, two-plus hour set went deep, but really took off for me with “Midnight in Harlem”, a deceivingly languid stroll beautifully sung by Susan […]

Newport Folk Festival, Ft. Adams, Rhode Island

July 29-30, 2017 “These songs are a living language”, Billy Bragg told the crowd early in his Harbor Stage set with Joe Henry at the Newport Folk Festival on Saturday. Six words that pretty much sum up the heart and soul of this legacy event that sits atop so much musical history. So, true to form, one of the more anticipated Sunday performances was Speak Out! A set that started with the rollicking Preservation Hall Band horns slowing “When the Saints Come Marching In” down to a somber crawl, bleeding into the National Anthem before singer Kyle Craft launched into Bowie’s “Heroes”. A band that grew to include Austin’s Shakey Graves and My Morning Jacket’s Carl Broemel and others, with Graves leading the first person Trumpian rant “I’m Better Than You”. Newport Folk is about the words and the music. Songs that stir and shake, songs you shake your ass to, songs that provoke, songs that matter. But it’s also about discovery of new voices and sounds, and the fingerprints of founder George Wein still carting around Ft. Adams, and the guiding hand of producer Jay Sweet. Newport is about surprises, highlighted this year by the “unannounced” return of Nathaniel […]

Arroyo Seco Weekend, Brookside Golf Course, Pasadena

June 24-25, 2017 Festival behemoth AEG and Goldenvoice are at it again, launching the inaugural Arroyo Seco Weekend after years of negotiations with the City and citizens of Pasadena, securing a 10-year deal at Brookside Golf Course, adjacent to the Rose Bowl. It’s a family forward music festival with free entry for kids under 10, a relaxed park setting, good grub and libations and a first year lineup that was more than just respectable, it had personality. Mixing big name headliners (Tom Petty and Mumford & Sons), Fest friendly mid-tiers (Dawes, Alabama Shakes), some 90s love (The Shins, Live), a hefty does of New Orleans (The Meters, Galactic, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Revivalists), quite respectable jazz, soul and and blues (John Mayall, Charles Bradley, Bennie Maupin, Roy Ayers), and a number of indie comers, there was also a refreshing lack of EDM or rap/hip hop to the lineup. The price point was fair, and keeping the inaugural event to three stages and two days (three days are planned in the future), was probably a pretty smart move, even more so with record breaking heat on Sunday that felt more Coachella than DTLA proximate. Freshman fests inevitably have a few […]
May 28
by Jim Brock in Reviews 0 comments tags: 20 Feet From Stardom, Aaron Neville, Aaron Wilkinson, Acura Stage, Adonis y Osain Del Monte, Alabama Shakes, Alex McMurray, Americana, Anders Osborne, Batiste family, Beausoleil, Blodie's Jazz Jam, blog, blues guitar, blues photography, Blues Tent, Blues Traveller, Bonerama, Brady Blade, brass bands, Brittany Howard, Buddy Guy, cajun music, Carl Dufrene, Charles Neville, Chris Mule, concert photography, Congo Square Stage, Cowboy Mouth, Craig Klein, Cuba Pavilion, Cuban music, Dairus Rucker, Dave Matthews, Dave Torkanowsky, David Shaw, Dawes, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Dumpstaphunk, Economy Hall Tent, Eric Lindell, Eric McFadden, ES-335, Eye on the Music, Fais Do-Do Stage, Galactic, Gentilly Stage, George Porter, Gibson Firebird, Gospel Tent, Greg Hicks, Gregory Davis, Harry Connick, Heartbreakers, Helen Gillet, Honey Island Swamp Band, Instruments a Comin', Ivan Neville, jam bands, Jazz and Heritage Stage, Jazz Epistles, jazz photography, JBP website, Jeff Raines, Jeff Tweedy, Jesse McBride, Jim Brock Photography, Jimmy Herring, Joey Alexander, John Bell, John Boutte, John Popper, Johnny Sansone, Jon Batiste, Jonathon Boogie Long, Jonny Lang, Judith Owen, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Kris Royal, Kristin Diable, Lagniappe Stage, Lake Street Dive, Lakland bass, Leo Nocentelli, Leon Bridges, Lisa Fischer, live music photography, Lone Bellow, Lorde, Lucien Barbarin, Margo Price, Mark Mullins, Michael Doucet, Mike Campbell, Mr Sipp, music photography, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, New Orleans music, Pedrito martinez, Rachael Price, Revivalists, Rhiannon Giddens, Rickenbacker, rock photography, roots music, Roots of Music, Runnin' Pardners, Skerik, Stanton Moore, Stay Human, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Goldsmith, Telecaster, Terence Blanchard, The Meters, Threadhead, Tipitina's Foundation, Tips Interns, Tom Petty, Tony Hall, Tower of Power, traditional jazz, Trey Anastasio. Languedoc, Trombone Shorty, trumpet, Tuxedo Brass, Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars, Waylon Thibodeaux, Wayne Toups, Widespread Panic, Wilco, WWOZ Jazz Tent, zydecajun

REFLECTIONS AND MUSINGS OF A JAZZ FEST PHOTOGRAPHER – 2017 EDITION

Heading home from Jazz Fest 48 it seemed I’d passed through a lifetime’s worth of sounds, tastes and bonding since arriving in New Orleans a few weeks back. Friendships deepened, the palette was bathed in constant indulgence, the liver took a bit of a hit and a soundtrack that will echo well into the dog days of Summer still resonates sweetly. For the uninitiated, Jazz Fest (short for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival) is the most diverse musical party on the planet replete with 13 stages, tents and pavilions spread across the Fair Grounds Race Course, a few miles from the French Quarter. Quite simply, there is nothing like it. And, as with the city that bears its name, Jazz Fest is not something you wrap your head around, it’s something you feel in your exhausted and happy bones. And, man, were they exhausted and happy.  My perspective is of a working photographer first and a fan second. I am on task covering 15 – 20 acts and 7-8 miles of ground a day. My musical encounters are often brief, and occasionally cosmically timed. My colleagues in the pit are extremely talented and a pretty respectful and decent bunch to […]