Glitch

© John Gellman

A local gallery recently asked for submissions and hung an exhibition of digital glitches; photographs where something went haywire in the digital capture or processing. (I think the show opened last week and is still up.) I thought that’s a cool idea, but nothing like that EVER happens to me. A couple days ago my friend Drayton Aldridge asked me to shoot his band, Drayton & the Dreamboats, performing at a local club, so I did. Everything went as expected until I looked at the pics. And there it was. A glitch on one image of their drummer, Mike Oliver. And I thought, “Damn, I missed it by that much.”

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Mei Li Trapasso is an amazing chef

© John Gellman

I was fortunate to be invited to dinner at Mei Li Trapasso’s home in Greenville, South Carolina last Saturday. Mei is friend of a friend, and we met to discuss her forthcoming cookbook. Turns out she may need some pictures. The Beijing native, who teaches Chinese cuisine at Furman University, prepared a totally awesome five course dinner and served it outside on her beautiful back deck. The double cooked pork belly with sweet peppers was just too beautiful not to photograph. I placed it carefully on top of a pot of yellow flowers that bordered the deck and got a few shots. It tasted every bit as good as it looked, and this was just one of five equally visually appealing and delicious dishes that Mei prepared. I should add that this food was not “styled” for photography in any way. It is exactly as Mei served it, just before we ate it. I have never shot food before, so I’m quite pleased with the result. (And I could get used to eating my subjects.) Gotta credit Sparrow Pants for design inspiration on this shot.

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Busker of the day – Yoshi

© John Gellman

Yoshi is a spiritual being who studies metaphysics when he’s not busking. He also produces music on computers, eats when he’s hungry, and sleeps when he’s sleepy. We’ve been talking about doing a photo shoot for some time, and I’m happy he finally made it to my Flatiron Studio.

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Guitars galore – the first annual Freeborn Jam

© John Gellman

It’s been a while since I have shot The Outlaws, so I was delighted to be a part of their first annual Freeborn Jam in Nashville last weekend. BlackHawk was there too, but all these shots are from The Outlaws set. A couple guests sat in. Ed King played on three songs, including his very own Sweet Home Alabama. It was certainly a treat to hear Ed play one of the most iconic guitar leads in rock ‘n roll history (which he wrote). And let me tell you, after all these years, he’s still got his chops. He sounded great, and so did the band. While we’re on that subject, for decades I’ve heard fans long to hear The Outlaws with three lead guitarists. Well, Saturday was the night. Billy Crain sat in for the entire set, and there they were, The Outlaws live on stage with three lead guitars. Except when Ed King walked on, and then there were four. What a night. I was truly honored to be there to hear it. Above is a shot of Chris Anderson I captured with a telephoto lens from the side of the stage. He was having such a great time, when he caught my eye he gave me an exuberant look and shout. Scroll down for more pics.

 

© John Gellman

Henry Paul was feeling the heat of a special night.

© John Gellman

Ed King and Steve Grisham made up half of the four lead guitar army.

© John Gellman

Billy Crain and Chris Anderson made up the other half.
And yes, that’s the very same Les Paul you will find at the top of each page on this blog.

© John Gellman

Ed brought his 1959 Strat, the very same guitar he was playing when I took his picture with Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1974.

© John Gellman

Billy brought Tommy Crain’s gold top Les Paul.

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Monte Yoho and Dave Robbins were rock solid, as usual.

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Randy Threet and Henry Paul IV surround Billy Crain to give me a special welcome back between songs.
Yes, this was actually during the show.

 

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Busker of the day – Taylor Knighton

© John Gellman

Singer/songwriter Taylor Knighton has been busking in Asheville and playing some shows for over a year. I don’t know how I could have missed her, but I haven’t heard her perform. She arrived for our photo session with a guitar and a ukulele, amd I decided to go with the uke, mainly because I have shot so many pics of musicians with guitars. Not that it made that much difference in the shot we selected to use here. I plan to hear her play at the Sly Grog next week. I gotta thank my most recent victim, Chris Semsey, for his assistance holding reflectors to help me get the light just right.

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Busker of the day – Chris Semsey

© John Gellman

Before I moved to Asheville full time, I was spending nights on a futon in my Flatiron Studio (in violation of the terms of my lease) where I could do everything but shower. I made arrangements to shower daily at Bon Paul & Sharky’s, a great hostel in West Asheville, which is where I first met Chris. He was staying there during his first visit to Asheville, and now he works there when he isn’t playing drums in a local band, Shadow Show, or busking downtown. I have seen a few pics of Chris drumming while wearing a shirt, but he plays in the flesh (above the waist) so often, that’s how we did his portrait.

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Buskers of the day – Sarah & Banjo Mitch

© John  Gellman

The conversation went like this. “What’s your last name? McConnell. Mitch McConnel, like the senator. Oh God. Any relation? No.” Even though he shares a name with a notorious Republican, he’s not one. All things considered, it beats being named Headly Lamar, but not by much. (I just had to get a Blazing Saddles joke in there.)  Anyway, Sarah Gwendolyn and Mitch McConnell are the Chinquapin Duo. Chinquapin, like the tree. They can be found busking on the sidewalks of Asheville.

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Busker of the day – Lilli Jean

© John Gellman

I can’t explain why I never met Lilli Jean before last week. We know all the same people, but still. She has been a regular on Asheville’s sidewalks and in venues around town for quite some time. When I ran into her busking on Biltmore Avenue last week, I wasn’t gonna miss the chance to talk and ask her to pose for me. She is nothing if not prolific, creating a bundle of new songs at every opportunity. That must be her singer/songwriter hat she’s wearing in the pic.

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