Trombone Shorty @ACL_Live, Feb 16, 2012

It’s wonderful watching the Birth of Something Great. After awhile, you just know it when you see it… Wow! This guy’s really got it! Trombone Shorty is like a modern Louis Armstrong, 100 Years (or so) later. He’s a nexus and a vortex and a bandleader who is not going away. Might as well figure him out and hear where he’s at: he’s the young spirit of New Orleans. The baton has been passed….he’s picked it up and he’s runnin’. I love watching Creativity, bursting forth in the Now. It’s like watching a great athlete, except the music lasts longer…and you can repeat it. Okay, maybe that’s too over-the-top, and breathless, and hyperbole…but maybe not. Maybe he really is that great. We’ll see. He’s 26… and the music is running through him.

Chris Isaac and Hershel Yatovitz, PBS Special @ACL_Live, Feb 13, 2012

Chris can sing, and Hershel can play. (There’s nothing like a starburst backlight to convey power.) I love performance portraiture. You get to take ephemeral factors like spectacular temporal lighting, serendipitous staging, powerful unscripted moments, and craft a moving candid one-of-a-kind portrait that conveys the feeling and experience and, well, the Music. Like this one.

Loretta Lynn Feb 17, 2012, ACL_Live

Wow. Here’s Loretta Lynn, same as it ever was. 78 (there seems to be disagreement on 76 or 78) years old and still out there entertaining the folks and telling the marvelous stories. A few of the Elder Generation of country entertainers is still cruising along; Willie Nelson, Loretta, George Jones…but go see them while you can… or just listen to the stories later.

Loretta Lynn Feb 17, 2012 ACL_Live

Here is one of the true greats — Loretta. One name will do it. I’ve never seen, that I can recall, a portrait of her looking serious and substantial, so I thought I would do it myself. Hope it’s not too stark for y’all. I think she’s beautiful. There’s a certain gravity from being there at the very beginning and to still be doing it very well. Loretta’s visage should be carved on the Country Music Mt. Rushmore, wherever that might be…

Dirty Dozen Brass Band @ ACL Live. Feb 16, 2012

Tonight, as I edit this evening’s shoot, I’m remembering why I started this blog/plog over 7 & 1/2 years ago… so I could show off images like this, and talk about it…. This was the very first frame from tonight’s shoot of over 1000 frames of Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Trombone Shorty that I shot off tonight. No big deal. Just an abstract image, with no commercial point whatsoever. You know, art for art’s sake…(is there any other point?) I love shooting music. You get to show the Eternal in the Now. Can you hear and/or see it? I knew you could.

Carlos Santana @ACL_Live, Sept 12, 2011

I first saw Santana at the Texas Pop Music Festival in Lewisville, TX in 1969. It was 2 weeks after Woodstock and almost all the same performers were there. It was just as big a deal in Texas as Woodstock was in NY, only the media wasn’t there….3 days of wildness like The Metroplex hadn’t ever seen. Funny how history gets made by where the writers are… Anyway, Santana played a lot of the same songs in 2011 as he did in 1969. They sounded great then and now. He has a remarkable ability to connect with the audience with just his guitar & his heart.

Eric Clapton. May 1995 SRV Tribute Austin, TX

This shot is also displayed on another of my websites: www.scottnewtonphoto.com/turtle That website is a collection of my photos that are on display, a different shot per room, at the W Hotel Austin. The images are mostly shots of musicians performing in or around Austin in the 70’s. Check it out. Eric Clapton played the Stevie Ray Vaughan Tribute at the KLRU studios in Austin in May of ’95, along with most of the great guitar players then alive….