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

Melvin Seals & JGB • Salvage Station • October 28, 2017

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

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

 

 

 

Golden Dawn Arkestra • Asheville Music Hall • May 20, 2017

As last Saturday night grew near, I became a bit excited about a band I knew nothing about. I was a fan of Sun Ra many years ago and my interest was sparked by an Arkestra coming to my little city. Thoughts of funk, costumes, and interstellar vibrations filled my head as the day progressed; and as I stood impatiently waiting for this band to take the stage, my curiosity was delightfully satisfied by costumed performers entering the Asheville Music Hall — parade style. Masks, paints, and wigs hid the identities of this band of love and light creating a festival-like blend of creepiness and fun. They played instruments, carried cans of sage, and smudged members of their audience as they made their way around the room. It was at this point that I knew that we were in for a treat. Sounds from the vibraphone, synthesizers, guitars, keys, drums, and percussion instruments along with a horn section filled the room and the audience was held captive. The Golden Dawn Arkestra delivered a funky and jazzy musical journey into the cosmos which was candy for both my eyes and my ears. The night flew by quickly as the avant-garde ensemble of nine mesmerized the crowd with theatrical performances and magically danceable music. There were moments when I was simultaneously reminded of James Brown and Sun Ra, yet  Golden Dawn Arkestra definitely has a sound of its own — and I look forward to making the intergalactic voyage with them again soon.

Review and Photography By Libby Gamble Photography

Larry Keel Experience • Asheville Music Hall • April 15, 2017

The Asheville Music Hall hosted one hell of a bluegrass “Soul Shakedown Party” with The Larry Keel Experience as the source. LKE has been lighting fires within their hardcore fans for the past 20 years, and it was felt throughout the night as warm smiles, hoots and hollers, and all around good vibes were shared by everyone. The combination of Larry Keel’s unmatched acoustic flat-picking talents, his wife Jenny Keel’s sweet voice contrasted by her rich bass, and Jared Pool’s ability to shred on his mandolin like nobody’s business, equals the best bluegrass experience to date. The setlist included a dreamy mix of bust-outs and original favorites such as “Ophelia” and “One”, which set the stage for what we like to call a barn-burner! One of the highlights was watching a friend’s face light up as they went into “Russian Lullaby.” A new fan was born. Larry kept us on our toes as usual when he switched it up during “Whirly Pig,” “Asheville Police and we all fall down!” In keeping with tradition, The Sufi Brothers who warmed us up for the LKE, shared the stage and treated the crowd to a jam that took us off into the mountains where the roots run deep. One of my all-time favorite bands performing at the most beloved “cheers” venue in town, surrounded by hometown buddies that have been on the LKE train from the beginning; an absolutely stellar evening of bluegrass indeed. Larry urged Asheville to bring it on and we sure as hell did! Hurry on back now. We are impatiently waiting for the next train!
– Heidi Rowell
Setlist:
Miles Voodoo
Soul Shakedown Party
Ophelia
One
Pickin Wind
Guitar Man
Russian Lullaby
Miles
Rollin Tumblin
Internet
Lil Green Warrior
Fireline
Jerry’s Trance
Callin Wind
Southern Nights
Stoney
Miss Ferris
Whirly Pig
Woodchuck

Consider The Source • Asheville Music Hall • April 14, 2017

 

Consider The Source brought their blend of ‘sci-fi middle eastern fusion’ to the Asheville Music Hall on Friday. Having not seen this band previously live, I was expecting a more trance-like mellow trip, based on the bands artwork, OM (aum) logo, and known hippie fan base. What we heard and felt was far more intense. With an obvious background in metal, these guys do not let up, morphing high speed chases through foreign lands and abstractly warped back into the present tense. The Asheville Music Hall is perfect for a band like this, melding impeccable sound with a seamless flow throughout the crowd, who were all in good spirits.”

– Joshua Marc Levy, Asheville Art Family

Photos by Libby Gamble Photography