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, […]

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 […]

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 […]
May 23
by Jim Brock in Reviews 0 comments tags: Aaron Wilkinson, Acura Stage, alt-country, Americana, Anders Osborne, BB King tribute, Ben ellman, Big Sam Williams, Billy Gibbons, Blodie's Jazz Jam, blues, Blues Tent, Bonnie Raitt, Boz Scaggs, Brandi Carlile, Brian Blade, Buddy Guy, Carl Dufrene, Chris Mule, classic rock, Clevenger, concert photography, Congo Square Stage, Cyril Neville, Dap Kings, Dave Malone, David Shaw, Derek Trucks, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Donald Fagen, Economy Hall, Efrem Towns, Elvis Costello, Eye on the Music, Fais Do-Do Stage, Gal Holiday, Galactic, Gary Clark Jr., Gentilly Stage, Gibson SG, Gov't Mule, Gregory Porter, Herbie Hancock, Herlin Riley, hip hop, Honey Island Swamp Band, Hot 8 Brass Band, J Cole, Jack DeJohnette, jam bands, jam bands Susan Tedeschi, Janelle Monae, Jarekus Singleton, Jazz and Heritage Stage, jazz photography, Jazz Tent, Jim Brock Photography, Jim James, Jimmy Vaughn, John Hammond, Kirk Joseph, Kristin Diable, Lauryn Hill, Little Freddie King, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Mardi Gras Indian, Matt Garrison, Michael McDonald, Midnite Disturbers, Monk Boudreaux, My Morning Jacket, Nathaneil Rateliff, Neil Young, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Nicholas Payton, Nightsweats, Paul Simon, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Promise of the Real, Radiators, Raw Oyster Cult, Revivalists, Rhiannon Giddens, roots music, Shannon Powell, Sharon Jones, Skerik, Snarky Puppy, Sonor, Soul Rebels, sousaphone, Steely Dan, Stratocaster, Subdudes, Tab Benoit, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Terence Blanchard, trombone, Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars, Walter Trout, Warren Haynes, WWOZ Jazz Tent, ZZ Top

Reflections and Musings of a Jazz Fest Photographer – 2016 Edition

  Yeah, it’s been a year of musical losses. But, Prince, the day before Jazz Fest 47 got underway? WTF? From the glyph etched in the blue above the Fair Grounds the first weekend, to the Treme second line the Monday following, to My Morning Jacket’s howling “Purple Rain” finish second Friday, Jazz Fest did its part, as it always does. “I am because he was”, Janelle Monae confessed to the Congo Square stage crowd. And whether Prince or Bowie or Toussaint or B.B. or Merle, and on and on, Fest is where the music is honored and celebrated like no other gathering on the planet, even when heaven and earth throw everything at you. And this was a Fest like no other, where Stevie Wonder’s only Fair Grounds performance was an acapella Purple Rain through a bullhorn in a deluge, and where it was impossible to tell the booming thunder above, from Neil Young and POR below. The music stuck like the deep muck of the infield and never let go. And whether on stage, dancing with a stranger, singing along, holding back tears, sharing a bite, sleeping it off, that’s just a Jazz Fest fact. This photographer took […]

Rock ‘n Roll Will Never Die Exhibit

Jim Brock Photography is pleased to have images of the Beach Boys featured at the Canadian National Exposition’s “Rock ‘n Roll Will Never Die” exhibit in Toronto. CanEx kicks off August 17th and draws an estimated 1.3 million visitors during it’s 16-day run. The exhibit is a 50-year retrospective of The Beatles, Stones and Beach Boys featuring rare memorabilia, photos, videos and music.  
Jun 06
by Jim Brock in Reviews 1 comments tags: Acura Stage, Al Green, Allen Toussaint, Anders Osborne, Beach Boys, Ben Jaffe, blues guitar, Blues Tent, Bonnie Raitt, bottleneck slide, Bruce Hornsby, cajun music, Charles Neville, classic rock, concert photography, Congo Square Stage, Corey Henry, Dap Kings, Derrick Shezbie, Esperanza Spalding, Eye on the Music, Florence + the Machine, Florence Welch, Gabriela Quintero, Galactic, Gary Clark, Generations Hall, Gentilly Stage, George Porter, Gibson ES-335, Glen David Andrews, Glen Hansaard, Gospel Tent, Grace Potter, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Herbie Hancock, Intsruments A Comin', Irma Thomas, James Cotton, jazz, jazz photography, Jazz Tent, Jim Brock Photography, John Boutte, Johnny Vidacovich, Joseph Lastie, Lakland bass, Leo Nocentelli, live music, Mike Love, music photography, My Morning Jacket, New Orleans jazz, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, New Orleans music, New Orleans Musicians for Obama, Noisemakers, Patrick Hallahan, Paul Sanchez, pedal steel, piano, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Radio Music Society, rebirth Brass Band, Rodrigo Sanchez, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Savoy Music Center, Sharon Jones, Soul Rebels Brass Band, soul singers, sousaphone, Stanton Moore, Stratocaster, surf music, Swell Season, Takamine, Terence Higgins, The Meters, The Revivialists, Threadhead Records, Tipitina's, Tipitina's Foundation, Treme, trombone, Trombone Shorty, trumpet, tuba, Voice of the Wetlands, Warren Haynes, Warren Haynes Band, zydeco music

Jazzfest 2012 Reflections

From the Revivalists passionate opening Gentilly set to the final moments of Springsteen’s plaintive reading of Saints, the first weekend of Jazzfest 2012 was an abundance of special moments.  Yes, the draws were the Acura headliners. Petty and Bruce delivered deep satisfying sets (from what I was able to catch), and Springsteen’s presence was a rallying cry of celebration and reflection. A reminder of how New Orleans has healed since his epic 2006 post-Katrina Seeger Sessions appearance, and how far there is still to go. Even the Beach Boys brought their game, judging by the smiles and sing alongs from a nice size Acura crowd. But, hey, did you check out Seun Kuti and Egypt 80 at Congo Square?  The four generations of players from 9 to 90+ that filled the Fais Do Do on Saturday for the Savoy Music Center Cajun Jam? How about Bon Iver’s stirring (and unexpected) connection with the Jazzfest crowd? Gary Clark, Jr. absolutely tearing down the Blues Tent opposite the Boss with Texas blues that left teeth marks? Not to mention the Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars and Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen showing Tom Petty how it’s done in New Orleans. […]

Stephen Stills, City National Grove of Anaheim

November 22, 2011 Some songs, some artists, never go away. That’s not always a good thing. Times change, everyone ages, life gets tougher or better, and we go on. Since I was probably all of 8 the first time I heard “For What It’s Worth”, I was too young to really understand it, but still old enough to feel something. I knew the world was pissed off and somehow I grasped that music was more than a soundtrack to the events around me. At a recent stop on Stephen Stills’ Fall tour, the 60-something Hall of Famer (twice, on the same night) introduced “For What It’s Worth” as for the “99s”. It’s 2011, the world is still angry and artists from Tom Morello to Crosby and Nash have taken up musical arms with OWS. Some songs age well, even if the audience and performers don’t. Some find new life in new times. I wore the grooves down on every CSN/Y platter in all their permutations. The harmonies were the hook, but Stills’ fret mastery reeled me in and I’ve been an admirer of his playing and songwriting ever since. His wah-wah laced exchanges with Clapton on “Go Back Home” and […]