Cyrille Aimee and her band put on an outstanding show tonight at the Cabaret at the Columbia Club in downtown Indianapolis. Another in a long line of sold out performance at the Cabaret, a beautiful place to see and hear a show.
I recently had the opportunity to see the legendary Booker T Jones. Having been a fan of his music since I was a kid, I was really looking forward to this. Throughout the night, Jones worked his way through both old and newer material, including Booker T and the MGs 1962 classic, “Green Onions”, which was written while Jones was still in High School.
Another highlight for me the very funky “Hip Hug-Her”, a 1967 hit off the LP of the same name. This LP also included a beautiful rendition of the Rascal’s “Groovin”, which Jones performed during this show as well. Booker, along with William Bell, co-wrote the tune “Born Under a Bad Sign”, made famous by Albert King and Cream.
Once again, the folks at the Portland Jazz Fest put on an amazing show. From the first night, featuring Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band to the last night featuring a double-bill with the James Carter Organ Trio and Bobby Watson’s 30th Anniversary of his band Horizon, this festival will be hard to beat.
It was an amazing experience to be in West Helena, Arkansas to shoot 2013 King Biscuit Blues Festival. The festival staff does a remarkable job bringing the best in the business to this 3 day, 6 stage festival. Highlights for me were I guess the highlights for many. It was nice to see Robert Cray after not having seen him for a few years. I really enjoyed Greg Allman’s set which was filled with a nice mix of new tunes along with some of his well-worn songs. Another highlight for me was Joe Louis Walker, who played on the Lockwood-Stackhouse stage. I saw him many years ago, opening for Robert Cray in Indianapolis and I thought his performance at the KBBF was outstanding. There were a few musicians I had little knowledge of prior to the festival, including singer-songwriter Paul Thorn, who turned in one of the better performances in a festival full of them. If you get the opportunity to visit this area, please leave time to attend the King Biscuit Blues Fest, you’ll be glad you did!
I did a fun shoot with blues guitarist/singer Howl ‘n’ Madd Perry for Living Blues magazine while I was there. I hooked up with Perry and his musician daughter Shy Perry for an afternoon shoot at the Shack Up Inn next to the Hopson Plantation in Clarksdale. A unique experience if you get a chance to stay here and a great place to do a shoot. I photographed him again the following day during the band’s performance at the KBBF, images from both shoots appears in Living Blues #228. Photo©2013 Mark Sheldon
As mentioned, it was great see & hear Joe Louis Walker after so many years, this was one of my favorite performances of the festival. Photo©2013 Mark Sheldon
Though I’ve seen and photographed the legendary James Cotton many times, it’s always great to get another opportunity to see this Mississippi Bluesman live. At 78 years of age, he can still play his ass off. This was more or less a home-coming for Cotton as he lived in West Helena as a youngster.
Playing with too many folks to list here, he spent time with Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and even toured with Janis Joplin in the 60s before forming the James Cotton Blues Band in 1967. This is an image of Cotton during his Friday night performance on the Main Stage. Photo©2013 Mark Sheldon
More to come on my entire trip which included Memphis, Clarksdale and other towns along the way in Mississippi.
This is an image of mine of the legendary vibist Bobby Hutcherson. It was used to illustrate a feature on Bobby in the April 2013 issue of Downbeat magazine. I made this image in February 2009 when he appeared at the Portland Jazz Fest.
Though now called the Crystal Ballroom, it was originally built as Cotillion Hall, a historic building in Portland. Cotillion Hall was built in 1914 as a ballroom, and dance revivals were held there through the Great Depression. Starting in the 1960s, the hall hosted many popular pop, rock, folk, blues and jazz artists, as well as beat poets and other entertainment. The early to mid 60′s saw James Brown, Marvin Gaye and Ike & Tina Turner play there. In the late 60′s, band such as the Grateful Dead, Blue Cheer and the Electric Prunes performed as well. The building sat vacant from the 70′s though most of the 90′s. The building was bought and re-opened in the late 90′s and has remained so since.
One cool feature of the Crystal is the “floating” dance floor on the main floor, which I think is built over ball-bearings. You can literally feel it bounce when you walk on it. I’ve shot in there many times and when the crowd gets going, it’s difficult to shoot in there because the floor moves so much. It’s a beautiful building, if you’re ever in Portland, check it out.