Sunday, August 22, 2010

Great American Taxi with Todd Snider @ Hoxeyville.

I have good friends who have an Americana band here in Kalamazoo called Ninth Street Bridge and they told me a while back that they were confirmed to play the Hoxeyville music festival up in Wellston Michigan Saturday August 21st. At first i wasn't too interested in going and only would consider it if i could line up a photo pass and after sending the request too late i could not get one. Then on Friday i found out that i could still bring a camera and get pretty close to the stage without a pass and the line up on Saturday was interesting enough so Brett was able to get me in at the last minute and i got a ride up with their new part time drummer Tommy Ufkes. Ninth Street Bridge played for about an hour on the smaller third stage to a small crowd but they sounded great.
After the show we walked around and checked out the other stages. Todd Snider was on stage when we arrived so i missed his show on the main stage and i also missed Kalamazoo's own Greensky Bluegrass while Ninth Street was playing but i knew we would catch up with some of the Greensky guys later that night to do some pickin at Dave Bruzza's campsite.
Colorado's Great American Taxi was on the second stage and i was able to catch that whole show with Todd Snider sharing the stage with them. Great American Taxi is a name i knew because i saw them at the Musicfest in Steamboat Springs Colorado last January and i knew they often act as Todd's backing band. I was able to walk right up to the front of the stage and also backstage near the end of the show to talk to Todd.
Great American Taxi is a very talented group of musicians led by vocalist and mandolin player Vince Herman who is one of the founding members of the Colorado jam band Leftover Salmon and they have a sound that reminds me of the Grateful Dead but with more of a bluegrass based sound that can adapt to almost any genre within the wide open space of Americana music and with Todd Snider sitting in you are guaranteed a great time. Great American Taxi released a critically acclaimed album called "Reckless Habits" a few months back and its been well received in Americana music circles and Todd Snider has had his album "The Excitement Plan" out for about a year now and he has such a huge catalog of music to dig into and his anecdotes between songs are almost as entertaining as his songs. Later in the set Paul Hoffman and Dave Bruzza (who was wearing a gorilla suit) of Greensky Bluegrass joined in on mandolin and Dobro. Click here to view more photos from part of Saturdays shows. Click here for more photos i shot in black & white. (C) copyright Jeff Dykhuis.

Jamey Johnson @ Joe's

I haven't spent much time keeping up with current Nashville country music but that's no reason to miss going to see Jamey Johnson at anytime. His music never sounds dated whether he's playing a new song i haven't heard yet or the songs off his last two albums and you know you are going to hear authentic country music. Jamey has been known to play long shows at Joe's, this one clocked in at about two solid hours of hardcore country music, new songs, some hits and some covers. Jamey is set to release a double album called "The Guitar Song" on September 14th, and like the "That Lonesome Song" it will also be released on vinyl. I was allowed by Jamey's management to only shoot the first three songs, its a standard rule for concert photographers but it makes it hard to get a wide variety of shots but it leaves me free to enjoy the show and talk with everyone.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Randy Wells Red Dirt Festival @ Joe's

If you are a fan of Red Dirt music and baseball then maybe you have heard of Randy Wells, the Chicago Cubs pitcher who has become an advocate for spreading the word around about all the musicians he likes in the Texas and Oklahoma music scene. Randy has helped get a few voices out there that many people up this way might never have heard of through word of mouth and even through having a few artists sing the National Anthem in Wrigley field like Stoney LaRue has done and just this past Tuesday Randy Rogers did.
Randy is also very active organizing charity events through his foundation dedicated to helping those with childhood illness and Joe's bar in Chicago was the scene for combining the two. Musicians Brandon Jenkins, Randy Rogers with fiddle player Brady Black and Stoney LaRue with his band the Arsenals provided the music while a silent auction was held up front and special events like a dinner date with Randy were auctioned off on stage between sets.
Brandon Jenkins took the stage first playing his brand of authentic Red Dirt music ingrained in him from his days around the Stillwater Oklahoma music scene with guys like Bob Childers, Mike McClure and Jimmy LaFave and even though he calls Austin home now his music still carry's that influence in songs like "The Whole World's Gone Crazy" and "Faster Than a Stone" and a few from his latest release "Brothers of the Dirt" like "Blood for Oil" and he ended the set with one of the many songs that have been covered by other fellow musicians "Finger on the Trigger" which was also done by Bleu Edmondson.Randy Rogers was on next with his acoustic guitar and accompaniment by fiddle player and harmony vocalist Brady Black. The Randy Rogers band is gearing up for the release of its next CD "Burning the Day" out on August 24th and its sure to be a huge hit with songs like "Interstate" and "Too Late for Goodbye" showing up in their set list more than six months ago all worked out and sounding great. Look for the video for "Interstate" and come see them as a band again at Joe's on October first with Roger Creager.

Stoney LaRue and the Arsenals were on next, Stoney is also a musician with roots in Oklahoma with a penchant for jamming classic grooves by the Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd during his set of original songs like "One Chord Song" and "Solid Gone" too the funky "Oklahoma Breakdown" written by Mike Hosty. Stoney and Brandon often write with each other and collaborate musically as well.
Randy Wells even came out on stage to join Stoney to sing and even though Randy does write and plays some guitar its probably better for him to stick with Baseball. Everyone got together on stage to jam during the last song and All in all its was a successful fun filled night for a great cause benefiting the Childrens Memorial Hospital and probably also showed quite a few people what the Brotherhood of the Dirt is all about.