music

Post Pickathon 2013

Post Pickathon 2013

The writer Pete Brook posed a question last year at Pickathon for a Wired.com story: What makes a good music photograph? I’m quoted in the story, and yet, a year later and another Pickathon in the books, I still don’t know the answer. But last weekend, as I scurried around and split my time making pictures, managing […]


T-Model Ford

T-Model Ford

My boys call each other Chicken Head sometimes when they’re arguing. I don’t really know if it’s an insult or not, so I let it slide. It could be worse. Their choice of words always reminds me of seeing blues man T-Model Ford work the crowd into a trance as he howled an extended version […]


On pianos, organs and singing a song

On pianos, organs and singing a song

We bought a piano a couple of years ago from a little shop in Southeast Portland called Immortal Piano. It was not for me, nor for Sara, but for our boys. We simply want them to enjoy having a piano in the house, to learn to read music and be able to pull out a […]


Post Pickathon Post 2012

Post Pickathon Post 2012

The Barr Brothers on the Starlight Stage Here we are again. It’s been more than a week since Pickathon and I haven’t quite figured out what to say about the whole thing. It happens to me every year. But time passes and moments emerge. I was at some dear friends’ wedding the other night at […]


Pickathon 2012 – Now it begins

Pickathon 2012 - Now it begins

I’ve been watching and photographing the build up to Pickathon for the past two weeks, but it really only hit me last night that it’s about to happen. This amazing collaboration of talent will explode into action tomorrow. And though I’ve been saying “I can’t wait” for months, it’s only now that I really mean […]


Heartbroken twice, years apart, same night

Frank Fairfield at Pickathon 2009 Frank Fairfield sat alone on stage this past Sunday night. There were three monitors and a microphone, but none of that gear was plugged in. His quiet voice was sincere as it drifted over the banjo. His right foot kept time, his left leg swung freely. He sang of poor […]


Revisiting the house concert

Enjoying the potluck, waiting for the As Faiscas show. Last summer, right when things were crazy with warm weather everything, I threw out a request to let me know if you knew of a house concert at which I might be able to make pictures. I love the house concert. I made it to a […]


From farm to fame

Jill Andrews watches as The Avett Brothers warm up in the parking lot at Pickathon 2006 If the Avett Brothers pulled out their instruments and starting playing tunes in a parking lot at a music festival today, I believe there would be a few more people perched on that tailgate with Jill Andrews. But that’s […]


Langhorne Slim – Hard to Miss

I knew this year Pickathon would be different than any previous: More bands, fewer sets by each band, more friends at the event than ever, more decisions. I was going to miss music and I wasn’t super happy about it. So looking at the schedule, I started to do triage. I mentally crossed out Langhorne […]


Unplugged

Just last night, Portland band Blitzen Trapper played an acoustic show at the Portland Playhouse in front of about 150 people. The audience was silent. The air was still. Vocal harmonies filled the room and sent chills across my skin. It was a different vibe than the past times I’ve seen the band. Those guys […]


Post Pickathon 2010

Langhorne Slim at Alberta Street Pub on Tuesday night Every year, something unplanned seems to happen a few days after Pickathon that brings a few folks back together to share a hug, a beer and some stories. Last night, Langhorne Slim and Woody Pines showed up at Alberta Street Pub and cranked out some tunes […]


The House Concert

Walter Parks warms up before performing a house concert in southeast Portland. There’s the old debate about whether or not there is a “first annual” anything. But you see it all the time. First annual festival. First annual sale. First annual meeting. The AP style book sends a quick reminder that the word annual should […]


Coming right up

Willie Nelson, 1998 I was just looking through the line up for the concert series out at The Edgefield. A couple of the shows should be a good time. Willie Nelson is, of course, legendary. I’ve seen him play a few times and it’s always interesting. Nothing beats the time I saw him play in […]


Hot Night, Big Flash

Just looking at these faces takes me right back to that wonderful August night. Here’s the post that’s now up on the Pickathon site: It was the end of a sweaty day. In fact, according to the ‘time stamp’ on some of these images, it was the beginning of another warm day. Pickathon 2009. What […]


Recycling Day

LTD at the zoo Around here, we call it “Living the Dream.” It’s code for taking care of the kids. There’s a loose knit group of us and we LTD weekly at the zoo or at the museum. We hit the park or a coffee shop. We love our kids and our time together. And […]


Black Shampoo

Wilco performs at the Roseland Theater in Portland in 2004. Last week when we saw Wilco perform, it was just like the first time. No camera around my neck and girl named Sara at my side. The first time? That was November 17, 1994 at an unannounced show under the name of Black Shampoo at […]


Pickin’ on Vivaldi

Fiddle player Frank Fairfield (right) will be playing Pickathon again this year. The morning routine around here requires our wonderful all-classical station to be on. At some point, we shift over to something a bit more rootsy. The afternoon could be almost anything, most likely singer-songwriter oriented. Dinner prep and the meal itself require another […]


Seventy degrees below zero

Pickathon 2009 took place over one of the hottest weekends of the summer. People were hiding under shade structures or in the Galaxy Barn or slipping off to relax under the giant Douglas Firs and maples that surround the Woods Stage. Drop the temperature 165 degrees. Last week, I was on a plane heading for […]


Record Stories

Jammed in between rows of records at Music Millennium last week watching Langhorne Slim play a little in-store concert, I started to get a bit nostalgic. Not about the love lost or the daydreams dreamt that Langhorne was singing about. But about records and childhood and my grandpa. I am a fan of the digital […]


Picturing Pickathon

This was a collaborative effort. Thanks to photographer friends Ian Malkasian, Torsten Kjellstrand and Bruce Ely for helping me with the pictures this year. This little slideshow is just a sampling of what we came up with over the weekend. More will slip out throughout the year in the Pickathon newsletter, news stories and hopefully […]


Pickathon: Sixteen days in two minutes

Well it took more than sixteen days to make the pictures come together and another week of hoping the guys in Blitzen Trapper would give me the green light to use their snappy, little tune “Saturday Night.” But here it is, the time lapse project from Pickathon 2009. A big thanks to Jef Hinkle and […]


Post Pickathon Post II

Dr. Dog Well it’s been a week since Pickathon ended and I’m just starting to come to the surface. I photographed a wedding on Friday so I missed the highlight of the festival for a lot of folks…Thao with The Get Down Stay Down. But that’s okay. I caught the Dr. Dog set in the […]


Pickathon Preview

Pickathon is still hours away but I’m already feeling good, as if I just had my own little festival. I got a call today letting me know that Australian musician C.W. Stoneking was indeed tucked away in a basement in Milwaukie working on tunes with an adopted brass and rhythm section. His brass was held […]


No Time Like the Present

A couple of days after seeing Jason Webley open for the Avett Brothers, I knew I was in trouble. The spring air was filled with jigs, reels and slow airs being blasted at top volume. I was paying closer attention to the Felice Brothers’ and Tin Hat Trio albums. And the point of no return, […]