Monday, February 27, 2012

Mullins, Callaghan return to Wheeler
for Indy Acoustic Cafe Series

Just about a year ago, Shawn Mullins came to Indianapolis to perform as part of the Indy Acoustic Cafe Series at the Wheeler Art Community Center. I went to the show, but didn't take pictures for reasons I won't get into here.

Mullins returned to Indianapolis last Friday, and singer-songwriter Callaghan, a UK native who makes her home in Atlanta, Ga., opened for him -- just like she did last year. And just like last year, the show was a sellout, which I'm sure delighted Series organizer Mark Butterfield, who donates all beverage sales proceeds from the shows to charity.

It was a great show -- Callaghan was clearly excited about the imminent release of her first CD, "Life in Full Colour," which is due out in May, although people attending Friday's show were able to purchase advance copies. Mullins also has a new album to promote, "Light You Up," and he played several songs from it, including the title track, "California" and "The Ghost of Johnny Cash." The latter was one of two encore numbers; the other was "Lullaby," a Billboard Top Ten hit in 1999. He also sang "Beautiful Wreck," a single from his 2006 album "9th Ward Pickin' Parlor."

Callaghan will be back in Indianapolis in less than two weeks; she headlines a show at 8 p.m. March 8 at the Irving Theater, 5505 E. Washington St. Opening for her is an Indianapolis duo that goes by the name the Yellow Kites. Tickets are $8.

The pictures here are from the Callaghan and Shawn Mullins show in Indy this past Friday. Joining Mullins for his set was Patrick Blanchard (pictured at top with Mullins, who's on the right). Blanchard plays bass for Mullins' usual band and played electric lead for Friday's show. Callaghan joined the two for two songs late during Mullins' set, both tunes that Mullins said were new compositions. For the second number, Mullins and Callaghan stepped away from the microphones and stood at the edge of the stage, front and center. They were no more than 3 feet from the people in the front row.

There are additional pictures at my Facebook photography page; follow this link for the Mullins set and this link for the Callaghan set.

To see complete galleries, follow this link for Mullins ... and this link for Callaghan.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Bishops play CG's Sports Cafe

As promised, today's post delivers pictures from the Indy cover band The Bishops' performance on Jan. 21 at CG's Sports Cafe in Bargersville, Ind.

Actually, the trip to CG's was primarily to take formal shots of the band -- a group shot and individual mug shots -- for the band to use on its website. But, I also wanted to experiment more than I had in the past with the video feature on my Canon 7D, so I recorded a half-dozen video clips of the band, and those are posted at my smugmug gallery.

Here are shots from the band playing CG's; leading off with my favorite of the formal group shots. Guitarist and vocalist Bryan Bishop had asked for a series of serious, smile and kooky shots. This was the jewel of the kooky shots.

To see a full gallery of stills from this show, visit this link.

Above and below: It's rare to find an angle, room and no dancers to impede a shot that includes a full band in one frame. I got not one, not two ... even three at CG's. The ones above and below were taken from normal angles on opposite sides of the stage. Above, from left, are keyboardist RJ Johnson, guitarist and vocalist Bryan Bishop, drummer John Margue, vocalist Georgette Fraction, bass player Eldon Hawkins and lead guitarist Matt Ley.

Above and below: The lead vocalists in some rare form -- Bishop wearing a cap hip-hop style in the middle of a hip-hop tune, Fraction caught in a mini-swirl, hair a-flyin'.

Above: Bishop, taking his hip-hop flavor to the people ... and on the dance floor.

Above: From down low, a third image of the full band in one frame.

Above and next few below: Individual captures of the other band members, starting with drummer Marque above, who's ready to come down hard with both sticks. One of the nice things about CG's was the lighting was ample across the stage, so when it came time for band member introductions -- and brief solos -- I could get Marque and the others without the usual lens fighting to find light and focus. 

 Above: Keyboardist RJ Johnson

Above: Bass player Eldon Hawkins

Above: Lead guitarist Matt Ley

The Bishops play Mickey's Irish Pub

Today's post is another effort to play catch-up. On Jan. 14, I shot three music performances in the Indianapolis area, starting with two at the Indy Acoustic Cafe Series (Griffin House and Vance Gilbert) in Fountain Square in Indianapolis, before finishing the night in Carmel, at Mickey's Irish Pub, where the cover band The Bishops invited me to shoot their show.

The Bishops were introducing two new band members -- keyboardist RJ Johnson and lead guitarist Matt Ley -- and wanted fresh performance and group shots. I followed up the Jan. 14 visit with a trip the following weekend to CG's Sports Cafe in Bargersville, where I took formal group shots, one of which the band is now using at its web site, and also recorded a dozen video clips, which you can check out at this link. I'll post shots from the show at CG's in my next post. 

Today's post, however, concentrates on the Jan. 14 show at Mickey's. Besides Johnson and Ley, band members include drummer John Marque, bass player Eldon Hawkins, vocalist Georgette Fraction and guitarist/vocalist Bryan Bishop. The image leading off the post is my favorite among the many shots I got of the Mickey's patrons dancing to the music and fussing over new guitarist Ley.

To see a full gallery of images from this show, visit this link.

Above, a view of the dance floor from the stage. Band members Matt Ley (foreground) on lead guitar and Bryan Bishop (far right) on lead vocals. Below, Ley in the throes of a solo.

Above: I didn't find out until after posting a similar picture -- one without the dip -- on my Facebook page that the couple featured in this silhouette were at Mickey's that evening to celebrate their engagement. The couple, which asked me for prints of this shot, are Dean Kraner and Kimberly Hamilton McCord.

Above and below: The primary vocalists for The Bishops, Bryan Bishop and Georgette Fraction. 

Above and below: The band's rhythm section, John Marque on drums and Eldon Hawkins on bass.

Above: New keyboardist RJ Johnson, with Marque in the background.

Above and next two below: More shots from the dance floor.

Above: The band brought up a Mickey's patron to handle lead vocals on a song during the last set. He embraced the opportunity and did a bang-up job.

Above: Catching Fraction in a reflective moment.

Above and next two below: More interaction between dancers and guitarist Ley.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A photographic reflection on being ...
... a Super Bowl city, Part III

This post is the third and last installment -- and most likely last word from this blog -- on the Super Bowl in Indianapolis, and gathered from what I've been hearing in any conversation in which the big game is mentioned in recent days, everyone in Indy is proud of what it accomplished ... and yet ... quite ready to put it behind us.

Walking through Downtown Indianapolis during the week or so before Super Bowl XLVI gave me a chance to look at and photograph our interesting skyscrapers and landscapes -- some for the first time, others because of the dressage applied because of the game and others ... simply because they are what make up the Downtown. Of the latter group, I include those for the benefit of those of you who are not from Indianapolis, but might appreciate a glimpse of what the place looks like.

I didn't get to see nearly as many buildings close up as I would have liked or wanted. I made a point to grab as snapshots of things you could see normally so those of you who don't live here will know that these are things you can see anytime you visit Indy.