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
Melvin Seals & JGB at the Salvage Staion, Asheville, NC
Sunshine Becker & Lady Chi
Ron Holloway and Melvin Seals
Ahhhh… Melvin Seals & JGB rolled into the Salvage Station Friday and excitement filled the cold, rainy night. It was hard to make it from one end of the room without giving and receiving big, meaningful hugs from friends and strangers alike. For me, the most special thing about seeing JGB is that love fills the space and the dancings bodies that surround me are all wearing smiles. The iconic sounds from Seals’ Hammond B3 organ fill the air and I am transported to another time, another place. There is an emotional connection to experiencing the band live and all I can really put into words is that it makes me happy.
Melvin Seals – Hammond B3 organ, Keyboard & Vocals; Zach Nugent – Electric Guitar & Lead Vocals; John-Paul McLean – Bass; Pete Lavezzoli – Drums; Shirley Starks and Cheryl Rucker – Backup Vocals
– Photography By Libby Gamble Photography
Multi-instrumentalist Karl Denson brought his authentic blend of funk and jazz to AVL’s Salvage Station this past Thursday night, along with Melvin Seals of The Jerry Garcia Band fame as 2nd keyboard player. Denson has played with Lenny Kravitz and helped form The Greyboy All-Stars. He has also extensively toured with The Rolling Stones, whom they covered tonight with a tasty rendition of “Tumbling Dice.” Tonight Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe consisted of Alan Evans (drums), Chris Stillwell (bass), David Veith (keys), Chris Littlefield (trumpet), and Seth Freeman (guitar). The Universe expanded beautifully with the addition of opener Mike Dillon adding a new vibration of percussion to the already solid rhythmic landscape, and Melvin Seals spinning his own brand of funky B-3 magic. Although Karl previously announced that he doesn’t play much Dead in his live set, the band went into a smooth version of The Grateful Dead’s “West L.A. Fadeaway” which had everyone in the crowd grinning ear-to-ear. The Station was packed with friendly dancing heads who were twirling and flowing to the spirit of the music — and the spirit was alive and well.
– Joshua Marc Levy, Asheville Art Family with Libby Gamble
Photography By Libby Gamble Photography