Charlie Worsham – Auburn Hills, MI – 9.18.13

Charlie Worsham - 09.18.13 - Auburn Hills, MI (Jon Diener)

 

For the last few months, I’ve been seeing the name ‘Charlie Worsham’ pop up in music circles and social media. So, I decided to see what all the fuss was about and checked out his August, 2013 release Rubberband on Warner Bros. Records. Not only did I immediately hear/see what all the fuss was about, but I instantly felt a connection to Charlie’s songwriting, voice and instrumental prowess. Short version = this guy is going places.

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Little Big Town – Huntington Center – 10.04.12

A selection of my favorite images from the October 4, 2012 show at Huntington Center in Toledo, OH. As with the Eden’s Edge photos from the previous post, this Little Big Town set was part of the Rascal Flatts “Changed” Tour of 2012.

 

 (Jon Diener)  (Jon Diener)  (Jon Diener)

 (Jon Diener)    (Jon Diener)

 

The full gallery of images can be viewed here.

All images ©2012 Jon Diener. No unauthorized copying, reposting or distribution permitted.

 

Eden’s Edge – Huntington Center – 10.04.12

Back in about 2007, when my son was in the Music Business program at Belmont University in Nashville, he met a trio of musicians that were relatively new to Music City and needed some demo recordings. He did a few sessions with them over a period of a couple years and shared some of those recordings with me at the time. I thought the singers/musicians were very talented and showed a great deal of promise with their songwriting.

Now, fast-forward to 2012…

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Little Big Town – DTE Energy Music Theater

After a few months of distractions in other areas of life, I realized I haven’t posted anything about the last couple shows I’ve shot. So, here’s the first installment of Operation Catch-Up 2012.

You may have read an earlier post of mine, 10 Years and 180 Degrees Later, about returning to DTE Energy Music Theater to witness my son work his magic as Front-of-House sound engineer for Joe Nichols. That was on June 20, 2010. Fast-forward 2 years and a month… and it’s deja vu all over again. This time with Chris working for Little Big Town, and touring the country as part of the Rascal Flatts “Changed” tour.

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Last Summer on Earth Tour

The Mayan calendar seems to come to an abrupt end in late 2012, so why not celebrate the end of times with a summer music tour? Specifically, the Last Summer on Earth Tour.

Barenaked Ladies - Toledo Zoo Amphitheater - 07.06.12 (Jon Diener)

 

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Little Big Town

Little Big Town – November 18, 2011 – Honeywell Center, Wabash, IN

As you probably know by now, my son works in the music business in Nashville. He has toured as sound engineer for several country music acts including Chris Cagle and Joe Nichols. Currently, he is approaching his one-year anniversary with Little Big Town, as their monitor engineer and production manager.

Last November, I was able to spend the afternoon and evening watching him do his thing at the last show of their tour in Wabash, Indiana. After meeting LBT members Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Kimberly Schlapman and Phillip Sweet (as well as band members and remainder of the crew), I watched the soundcheck, took a group photo of everyone to commemorate the final show, and then got to watch and photograph the entire show. Here are a few of my images from that experience.

 

 (Jon Diener)

 

 (Jon Diener)     (Jon Diener)

 

 (Jon Diener)     (Jon Diener)

 

 (Jon Diener)

 

My son's view at each show.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strike and load-out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Big Town members, band and crew.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite the nearly 7 hour round trip drive, I enjoyed every minute of my day with Chris and the LBT gang. Being treated like one of the family, I was extremely grateful for the southern hospitality extended to this middle-aged yankee.

Be sure to check out my complete portfolio of live music images here.

Thanks for visiting!

 

 

Joe Nichols – WYCD Downtown Hoedown

May 13, 2011 – Detroit, MI

WYCD-FM Downtown Hoedown

Joe Nichols and a few of his close friends. (Jon Diener)

Joe Nichols and a few of his close friends. - © Jon Diener

 

Bassist Michael Jeffers (Jon Diener)

Bassist Michael Jeffers - © Jon Diener

 

Justin Weaver and Dan Agee tearing it up. (Jon Diener)

Justin Weaver and Dan Agee tearing it up. - © Jon Diener

 

Drummer Wes Little (Jon Diener)

Drummer Wes Little - © Jon Diener

 

Joe Nichols (Jon Diener)

Joe Nichols - © Jon Diener

 

 

Joe Nichols says hello to Detroit. (Jon Diener)

Joe Nichols says "good night" to Detroit. - © Jon Diener

 

View the full image gallery here.

 

Photos are Worthless

It is an interesting period in photography right now.  Technological advances in camera bodies, lenses and software, along with a burgeoning social media revolution and widespread availability of training and tutorials, have all converged to make advanced photography available to the masses.  That’s a good thing, right?  Well, not so much.

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Out With the Old…

I figured I would sneak in one more blog post before 2010 is over and done. It’s been an interesting year, with many highs and a few big lows. I’ve written about some of those in previous posts, so I won’t dwell on them here. But one of the pluses for 2010 is that I played more gigs this year than I have in a long, long time. From about August until now, I was playing nearly every weekend with at least one of the four bands I’m involved in. It has reminded me how much I really enjoy playing music. And I’ve met some really great players, that were under my radar until recently.

On the photo side of things, it has been a fairly quiet fall. I shot the Joe Nichols shows in September and November, a couple of corporate headshot sessions, and the Hines Farm benefit, but that’s been about it.  A few weeks back, a realtor friend of mine asked me to photograph a couple of unique listings of his. He realized that the typical realtor-shot images of the interiors wouldn’t do these homes justice, and felt my skills with the camera could help generate more interest in these properties.

Dining Room - Old West EndStairway - Old West EndThe two homes were quite different from each other.

One was a large, early 20th century home in Toledo’s Old West End area and featured custom wood trim and built-ins. Because of its historic nature, it still retained the original wallpaper in the dining room as well as a few original Tiffany lamps. The dark wood and limited lighting in this stately home posed a challenge in my attempt to get proper, consistent exposures in many of the rooms.

Bedroom - SylvaniaThe other listing was more typical of the newer, larger suburban homes found in many areas around the country. It was originally a builder’s home and the numerous custom features found throughout, were indicative of this. Numerous customized tray ceilings, a built-in desk in the study, lighted art niches, and the dramatic two-story entry all proved this was no cookie-cutter subdivision clone. Kitchen - Sylvania While the lighter decor and more elaborate lighting in this home helped my images, I was constantly struggling to capture the drama of the custom ceilings in many rooms. Using an extremely wide-angle lens helped get more area in the frame, but it also started to distort the vertical and horizontal lines of the highly detailed ceiling designs.

Initial interest in these listings has been very high, according to my realtor friend. I hope these properties do well for him – it’s been a tough couple of years in the real estate industry.

Sonia Leigh

Front of House Sound Engineer Chris Diener mixing for Joe Nichols at Ferris State University

Last week, I had the chance to visit briefly with my son again, while they were on a tour stop at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI.  And while I love shooting Chris at work, along with Joe Nichols and his band (The “We Ain’t Got No Damn Band Randys”), I decided not to do much of that this trip. After all, I’ve already shot about ten or eleven of Joe’s shows over the last couple years, with pretty much unlimited access.

So I didn’t feel like I would be shooting anything new or unique at this show. Plus, my wife was with me and I didn’t feel like deserting her for an hour or so, to go run around the arena shooting Joe’s set.  Instead, I shot a few band images from back near the sound board, as well as a few of Chris at work in front of a large Midas console. (It was incredibly dark near the sound board, so I had my camera’s ISO cranked to about 4000 for some shots of Chris, resulting in fairly noisy images.)

But like any photog worth his salt, I couldn’t just sit through the warm-up act with my camera gear sitting idly by. The opener was a singer-songwriter from Atlanta named Sonia Leigh.  Honestly, I had never heard of her, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Let’s just say, I think you’ll be hearing her name in music circles quite a bit more in the future.  She’s a young, scrappy, tomboy-ish little thing with a voice bigger than her diminutive frame would suggest.

As I started shooting her set, I tried to dissect her musical influences, and more specifically, which other singers she reminded me of. I detected (in no particular order) Melissa Etheridge, a little Indigo Girls, a touch of Bonnie Raitt, a splash of Janis Joplin, maybe some Tanya Tucker, a little Sheryl Crow, some Brandi Carlile, and much more.  Her songs covered the usually country fare – livin’, lovin’, drinkin’, fast cars, and broken hearts. The basic band (guitar, bass, drums) behind her smoky voice and acoustic guitar, was a natural fit for her no-frills music.

She won over the crowd pretty early on, and seemed to keep them entertained for the duration of the set. I moved around the middle of the arena floor shooting Sonia and the band.  While I could have pushed my way through the crowd to the front of the stage, I didn’t really feel I could have gotten any better images there.  It’s always interesting and exciting shooting an act I have never heard – I think it causes me to pay more attention to the performers to try and predict what will happen next.  I felt I walked away from venue with some pretty solid shots, and I learned about a new, up-and-coming artist in the process.

The full photo gallery of images from the show can be seen at my website.