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

Living Colour • Orange Peel • November 1, 2017

I’m so happy I made it out to the Orange Peel last night to catch Living Colour. This was the first time that I had to opportunity to make one of their legendary shows.  Their performance was beautiful and energetic.  This talented group of hard-rocking musicians has a stage presence that commands your undivided attention. The audience danced and sang along, eyes glued to the stage. I was right there with them, camera in hand. I always welcome bluesy, alternative rock with an edge into my world. The sound was loud, the solos were spectacular, and the visual experience of the performance itself was absolutely beautiful. The pleasure was mine — thank you, Living Colour!                        – Libby Gamble

– Photography By Libby Gamble Photography

Moon Hooch • Asheville Music Hall • October 25, 2017

Holy Wow! What a show! I’ve got to be honest, I’d never heard of Moon Hooch before I went to the Asheville Music Hall to check them out while on tour with Marco Benevento.  Several friends warned me shortly before their set that I was in for a treat, but never in my wildest dreams did I expect the energy and danceability of dueling wind instruments playing with a drummer.  James Muschler (drums), Mike Wilbur and Wenzl McGowen (saxophone) make up the dance-oriented trio.  I’ll definitely be on the lookout for them again in the future —  I now have a huge crush this amazing band.

Marco Benevento • Asheville Music Hall • October 25, 2017

Marco Benevento played the Asheville Music Hall on October 25, 2017. The band is made up of Andy Borger on drums, Karina Rykman on bass, and Marco Benevento on piano. Each member of this band is a badass in their own right. The music is poppy and danceable and I’ve never been disappointed by a show that they have played.

The Cannonball Jars • The Mothlight • June 19, 2017

The Cannonball Jars brought their super-fun blend of “Punk Street Power Pop” to The Mothlight Monday night. Truly electric and alive, the band blazed through nine originals at fast speeds. When I closed my eyes it felt as if I was attending the headliner at this year’s Warped Tour. I met with lead singer and guitarist Benjamin Hatch after the gig, “It’s Fun, heartfelt music with a healthy dose of mischief. Honest, genuine lyrics that don’t take the protagonist too seriously. All ages are welcome, but like all truly great rock and roll, it is dangerous. We’re gearing up to record a full-length in September. It’s gonna be a doozy. We want this record to be mischievous and fun. It’s genuine, poetic energy and it explodes in your brain when you hear it!” Matt Evans called it a “Pop punk version of The Beatles playing The Beach Boys covers, on a Lookout! Records compilation.” Their music is both familiar and fresh, and that is a healthy achievement. I can only see this band getting bigger and bigger, be on the lookout and catch their next show!

– Joshua Marc Levy, Asheville Art Family

Photography By Libby Gamble Photography

Setlist:
1. New 1+2
2. Alright
3. Go On
4. Hey Betty
5. Ghost Castle
6. Roam
7. Plant Song
8. More Time
9. Beds

 

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

 

 

 

The Mike Dillon Band • Salvage Station • May 18, 2017

I arrived at the venue early and had the pleasure of hanging out with local AVL drummer Claude Coleman Jr. of Ween and The Mike Dillon Band, weirdos, doppelgängers, and a friend who was down and out. I said to my friend, “Maybe you’ll find a hundred dollars on the ground!” Just a few songs into the set, Mike bursts into his own song “Maybe you’ll find 100 dollars on the ground!” (which I had previously not heard… I swear!) Synchronicity was in the air, and similar life stories and duplicated local plot lines in conversation with the doppelgängers, made it obvious this concert was an AVL “Westworld” hub! Whaaaat? What do these cats sound like? This band is like an acid trip with punk rockers at an amusement park. Picture cartoon circus elephants blowing their trunks in unison, side-to-side, with looney musical jazz accompaniment. Picture crazy clowns escaping the asylum to mass percussion. Part jazz concert with vibraphone, part raging and “Primus / Fantomas-like”, with spoken-word stories that reminisce of The Dead Milkmen and even Frank Zappa. Annnnd I can’t help but think of Iggy Pop during the new cut “Iggy Iggy!” off their newest album release (it’s off the charts!) So many great influences, and such an original sound. Headliner Karl Denson made a guest appearance mid-set on some swinging jazz, belting it out on the sax. Claude Coleman Jr. obliterates on the drums, he is a machine, we love you Claude! Just when the music gets too heavy to handle, it calms at just the right moment, and morphs into hilarious ecstasy. “Is today National Viking Day?” Mike asked the crowd… A super fun story about how Mike went to a Grateful Dead concert and tripped out too hard was the icing on the cake of this perfect set of live music and psychedelic comedy. I love this band, this was super fun, do not miss them when they come to your town. Thank you!

– Joshua Marc Levy, Asheville Art Family

Photography by Libby Gamble Photography