They are open

© John Gellman

King Daddy’s Chicken and Waffles opened last Saturday in West Asheville. I don’t get the chicken and waffles thing, but it seems to be a fast growing niche. I guess if you go way back in time, there were probably Luddites who didn’t get that newfangled bread and butter thing, a combination that seems to have worked out rather well.  All I know is King Daddy’s fried chicken is hard to beat. And an old acquaintance of mine, Dixie Chicken, hangs in the restroom.

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Color-coordinated embrace

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Spring colors are blooming in Asheville.

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Night stalking again

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The weather is starting to warm up, so I’m back on the streets. I’ve been looking at some really good street photography lately and decided to try some less structured shots around town that have a different feel than what I usually do. I would like for this type of work to be less posed with less attention to composition, but old habits are hard to break, and I can’t bring myself to go into total point and shoot mode. All these were shot in downtown Asheville late Saturday night. Some are inside and some are on the street. None were completely posed, and most, but not all, of the folks were aware that I was shooting their pics.

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After the show at the Orange Peel.

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The Walking Peelers.

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Kissing kids.

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Inside a basement club.

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Stairway into the light (night).

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In the lobby of an apartment building.

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Guy who said he is famous.

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After closing at Doc Chey’s.

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Street musician playing a Taylor guitar at 2 am.

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This woman and her husband (above) were playing some of the best tunes I’ve ever heard on a street.

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My mojo shadow. (I had the best fish taco ever there.)

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Paradise Garden mail train

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Last week I had the opportunity to shoot in Paradise Garden. Located in Summerville, GA, Paradise Garden is the largest outdoor folk art installation in the United States, all created by the late artist and Baptist minister, Howard Finster, who died in 2001. I really can’t find the words to describe Paradise Garden. Fortunately, others can, and you can view a trailer for a forthcoming documentary HERE. I was there to shoot some pictures of Henry Paul and Dave Robbins of the band, BlackHawk. Henry and Dave actually knew Howard. In fact, he painted them.

As a first time visitor, I found Paradise Garden to be visually overwhelming. When I wasn’t shooting Henry and Dave, I found myself attracted to the small details, like the train in a mailbox shown above. Ordinarily, I don’t care to make photos of others’ artwork. Still, I really liked the little mail train, and I don’t know if its appearance today is exactly as Howard Finster constructed it, sometime at least 13 years ago. How many visitors have handled the mailbox and the little train in those years?  Did Howard put the train there or did another visitor? All I know for sure is that I like it.

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A badass studio band for the King

© John Gellman

Today’s post should wrap up my coverage of the King Edward recording sessions until the CD is released. Producer Brian Brinkerhoff really put together a stellar studio band to play with King. Drummer Marco Giovino, who regularly plays with Robert Plant is shown above. Scroll down for the rest of the outfit.

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Oteil Burbridge of the Allman Brothers Band on bass.

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Doug Lancio of John Hiatt’s band on rhythm guitar.

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And of course, the King.

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King Edward Antoine

© John Gellman

Perhaps I engaged in a bit of hyperbole when I said you’ve probably never heard of King Edward if you’re not from Jackson, Mississippi. I understand some King Edward fans from all around are taking exception to my comment. Well, I apologize. Let’s just say he’s not exactly a household name. However, King is about to get some well deserved recognition once the album of mostly original songs he recorded last week with an extremely hot studio band is released. Meanwhile, you can check out his website by clicking HERE. I was thrilled to be able to document the recording sessions and shoot the pics for the CD package. I’ll post some more pics tomorrow or the next day.

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The last lunch, then back to the Castle

© John Gellman

I’m in Nashville this week shooting a recording session for King Edward, a 76 year old Mississippi blues master you’ve probably never heard of if you don’t live in Jackson, Mississippi. Producer Brian Brinkerhoff is recording King at Castle Recording Studios outside of Nashville with an all-star studio band consisting of Doug Lancio on guitars, Oteil Burbridge on bass, and Marco Giovino on drums. Friday was the last full day of recording, so everyone took a break and had an exceptionally good lunch at Barbara’s Home Cookin just down the road from the Castle. Shown above, in a scene that looks vaguely familiar (from L to R) are Lance Van Dyke – recording engineer, Paul Lani – co-producer, Jeremy Solterbeck – videographer, Brian Brinkerhoff, King Edward, Marco Giovino, Oteil Burbridge, Doug Lancio, and King’s manager, Miss Peggy Brown.  After lunch, the musicians and producers posed in front of the Castle. I’ll be posting more shots from the recording sessions in the next few days.

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Exceptionally Hot Tuna in Charlotte

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I was fortunate to see one of the best acoustic Hot Tuna sets ever last night at the Neighborhood Theater in Charlotte. Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady, and Barry Mitterhoff were (insert a superlative here). I’ve been a fan of Jorma and Jack since I was in high school, when Jefferson Airplane was flying high. Almost 50 years later, they are still doing their thing and I am still doing mine. Guess none of us can complain. Jorma Kaukonen is pictured above.

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