Melvin Seals & JGB • Salvage Station • March 20, 2018

Everybody Needs Somebody to Love. Asheville loves Melvin Seals & JGB.

I’m not a music review writer. I make photos. I’ve been trying to figure out how to keep this blog without a writer. It seems silly to just have images up here without saying something about my experience of a show… so here it goes. The photo gods sometimes allow an experience shooting anything to be filled with nothing but sunshine and joy – the lights are perfect, there are no obstructions, the position of each band member is ideal — wait, that’s actually never the case. Photography is all about problem-solving: find a way to get the shot –and make it a good one. After all, a photographer is only as good as her worst shot.

Last night, I found a beautiful moment with saxophone player, Ron Holloway and Melvin Seals. It isn’t always easy to get that badass shot of a keyboard player, especially when the saxophone is sitting between my lens and the organ. As Ron stood up and to take an amazing solo, I found my moment. Melvin sat up and looked towards me and the image magically made itself. (Thank you, photo gods).

The big fun of the night for me was the sweet, familiar sound of the music that I’ve loved for many years AND the challenge of making it work without ideal conditions. This takes us to challenge number two.  Sunshine Becker and Lady Chi have stepped up to the plate as new backup singers for the band. They sound amazing — getting images of them simultaneously without making one them look as if she were eating a microphone was nearly impossible. Thank heavens for a new renovation at the Salvage Station for the sound guys – a new window in the side-stage wall gave me a perfect vantage point. The light was not ideal, but once again, the moment presented itself — and I am grateful.

Overall, the night was beautiful. Friends gathered, hugged, and danced. I came home with images that document a music scene that is alive and well — one that I am honored to be a part of.

– Photography By Libby Gamble Photography

Dose • The Mothlight • June 19, 2017

“When you look down in the rose and it’s empty, listen to us” – Eli Raymer

AVL’s DOSE blew my mind. A young and spirited duo consisting of Carter Herren Sanders on guitar and trippy echoing vocals, with Eli Raymer as the insane madman on drums. Kind of like if Col. Claypool ate too much acid, played guitar and joined Nirvana. These kids are talented, check ‘em out soon!

– Joshua Marc Levy, Asheville Art Family

Photography by Libby Gamble Photography

Setlist:
Good Morning & Goodbye
Another Day
Ephogie
Fearless (Pink Floyd cover)
Minor
Workweek
Blue lips

 

 

 

Marcus King & Friends • Asheville Music Hall • May 15, 2017

You’re gonna have to face the music sooner or later, nobody can escape the blues! Marcus King absolutely shined tonight, supported by an all-star cast of characters from bands including: The Travers Brothership, The Broadcast and John Stickley Trio. The MVP of the jam goes to keyboard player Alex Taub who just killed it across the map, on fire all night, lighting up my brain in just the right ways. Marcus is a young guy, but an old soul. He rips it up on the electric guitar, belting raspy vocals that soothe your mind and body. The majority of the songs and covers selected for tonight were different from previous Marcus King Band shows I have experienced, and our hometown heroes give it their all-time best when in Mr. King’s presence. Set one was very powerful, with themes of lost love, blues reflections, learning and growing. Set two was filled with more sped-up electric rock boogie, into greater positive realms, and blasted off into the stratosphere. Songs included “Bemsha Swing,” “Port Arthur,” “For My Brother,” “Watermelon Man,” and “Where’s Sly?” At one point there was an emotional dedication to the late great Col. Bruce Hampton on “Compared To What.” Long running jams and covers such as “Born Under A Bad Sign” kept the party moving into later hours. Marcus proclaimed, “Let’s allll be late for work tomorrow!” Special thanks to Asheville Music Hall for hosting this last minute jam, the community appreciates you. Sound was excellent, and I love the fans above cooling down this venue. The room was filled with many musicians from other bands, always a great sign, and other local big players on the AVL scene. Josh Blake of “Tuesday Night Funk Jam” and “Granola Funk Express” fame said, “It was a high energy affair, with Marcus leading a bunch of us local cats though a maze of musical mastery…His vibe on stage is always very welcoming, attentive, and humble…a true servant of the music. I’m already looking forward to the next one!” I was lucky to get hugs from power soul vocalist Caitlin Krisko, Caleb at Ashvegas, a lady wearing a “Hard Working Americans” flowered fedora, and a bunch of the members of local crew Dr. Bacon in attendance. Most importantly I got a hug from a close friend I thought I may have lost. Time heals, music heals, I love you all. You can replay this mind-blowing show and others via the local free live music streaming service iamavl at http://iamavl.com/videos. Thank You!

– Joshua Marc Levy, Asheville Art Family

Photography By Libby Gamble Photography