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 […]
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 […]

KAABOO 2016

September  16-18, 2016 KAABOO is an art and food festival with a serious music problem – a weekend away with a killer soundtrack. With a year to percolate since last year’s inaugural, KAABOO again flashed musical diversity, tasty cuisine, artisanal liquids, five-story art, good humor and an abundance of creature comforts around the historic Del Mar Fairgrounds. It’s an event and region meant for each other.The brainchild of entrepreneur Bryan Gordon, KAABOO is also a refreshing break from the AEG, Goldenvoice and Live Nation events that dominate much of the festival landscape. Sophomore KAABOO was not without its hiccups, but its place in the California festival landscape is certainly secure. Aerosmith saw to that. The unlikely pairing of Macy Gray and Chris Isaak kicked off the event Thursday night for those with “Amplify” passes. Her set was frothy, funky, full of sexuality and maybe a little lost on the not so danceable crowd, while his was schmaltzy, entertaining and well rehearsed with his band of 30 years (and the guy can still hit all the high notes of “Wicked Game” without flinching and probably ages slower than the rest of us). Not to mention there was so much good food being […]

Newport Folk Festival 2014, Day 3

July 27, 2014 Few festivals conjure up historic page turners like Newport Folk. Dylan’s 1965 plugged in performance is the stuff of legend that only happens to be true. But by the time the 70’s rolled around, the event fell on harder times and went dark until resurrected in 1985. These days, there still is nothing like Newport. The picture perfect setting, Pete Seeger’s presence everywhere and attendance capped at 10K. This is a Fest just as independent as days of yore, whose acts are not about a paycheck and are on the bill regardless of sales. When asked his definition of “folk” recently, Fest producer Jay Sweet told JamBase that founder George Wein considered folk as “anything that wasn’t jazz”. This Fest has held true to that renegade spirit. In that same interview, Sweet went on to say that acts are booked because “I want them to play…the audience demands that you play…and the artist wants to play”. As Rolling Stone noted recently, talent will often play for less, just to be a part of the Newport experience. So, it was my good fortune that at the end of an East Coast vacation, I was able to wrap the […]