Music at Baja Bean / Covington Rock

Well, this is a bittersweet blog entry.  A few weeks ago The RVA was rocked by the Von Shakes.  It was one of my favorite weekends with them!  (close 2nd is the middle of new york state college weekend….  The lap dance room at that backwoods bar!!!  Wow!)  At any rate, the RVA weekend was tops. They had a blast. RVA had a blast.  & then I saw them a week later and they told me they broke up.  I’m so bummed writing this because I missed their last show, which happened this past weekend in NYC.  I had 10 events/people to create images of this past weekend and just could not get up there.  Sad.  I remember their very first show in NYC and how quickly they just grabbed my attention and kept it.  A damn good band and its just a damn shame that the music industry makes it easy for autotuned assholes who spend their time creating tabloid headlines while real musicians and talented performers have to scrape by and struggle to hopefully get a few pennies from itunes. I hate this side of the music biz..the side that forces the exceptional to grow weary and over it.  There are too many bands that should be where some of this radio bullshit it.

Ok, rant over.  I <3 these guys.  The von shakes showed me mad respect as a photographer and friend and I hope that maybe…one day…there will be a reunion show.  If BooB can get back together for a show after 5 years (sold that out, duh!) then I have faith that I may get to see VS rock again.

Till then…  The Baja Bean show!

The Von Shakes had been included on the eves bill by the vendors!  Thanks!!  I had never seen them before and was psyched because the badass Stephen Kuester was going to be sitting in on the slide guitar.  Oh yeah, I like it when SK plays that slide.  It nice.  The good ole boys took the stage and introduced the Von Shakes to some nice honkytonkin’ rocknroll!  Dug their sound and their songs.  Again – THIS is what is needed in music.  Good storytelling with a good show and damn fine music.  (ok, not going to let myself starting ranting again!) So go see them when they play next, you’ll love it.

& then some of the guys from one of my 2014 fave bands, Tarrant, took the stage.  Jordan Tarrant always brings great stories to life with his rich voice and he was joined by  Jared Pool on mandolin & Russell Lacy on guitar.  These guys know how to weave some magic together.


Another Round of RVA Musical Things | Covington Portraits

2/8/14  was an epic night of music in the RVA.  The adventure started with The Big Payback at The Bull & Bear Club for the third annual Bootleggers Ball, which is  a fantastic celebration of the Prohibition Era.  Everyone in RVA came dressed in their vintage and feathers to  The Bull & Bear Club to dance the night away.  
The Big Payback a Tribute to James Brown
, well, what can I say about TBP !!??!! other than – they are finely tuned perfection.  I mean, this is about as real as you can get, until you invent a time machine to go back to an actual funkified James Brown heyday throw down.  Seriously, they are everything in a perfectly executed tribute MACHINE.  I can’t get enough and I’ve never seen a crowd that could either.  The sounds, the moves, all just makin’ ya git down to the Get Down.

To see all the pics from the night CLICK HERE

I left the crowd tearing up the dance floor and headed to The Camel for The People’s Blues of Richmond, another of my fave RVA bands.  This night had all the bases covered, music to dance and do nothing but have a great time too.  & all the people that go to those shows are kickass.  Fun people who just want to get down and enjoy.  These bands will have every crowd dancing every time, without fail.

So I made it to PBR in time for the last sweaty, high energy, funky, rocking set.  Everyone in attendance was ripe for every dang thing they were delivering.  The crowd might get a little mosh mayhem sometimes but a guitar surfing above them brought back the focus from the edge of utter chaos at just the right moment.    

For all the pics CLICK HERE

It is hard to stop a night of music when that many musicians end up at shows together at the end of the night.  I love that in RVA, the musicians go out and support other bands shows.  It makes for a great community and a base for collaboration.  That night Jordan Tarrant created a spot for the music to continue.
RVAHang-20140209-06-CovingtonPortraits jordan tarrant

A few nights later I met Nate of Porter Street Productions up at Balliceaux for the RVA Big Band to snap some pics while he filmed.  We got their early and I’ve got to take a moment to say…wow….   If you dropped me blindfolded in the middle of there, never in a million years, would I guess it for the old Bogarts.  The old comfortable backroom, that dark woodend room that embraced you and held you in the music was gone.  Not that Balliceaux isn’t fantastic.  It is beautiful and big and very classy.  I just will always be wistful for the old Bogarts or perhaps the memories of the nights of the old Bogarts.
This was my first time seeing The RVA Big Band, a 17 piece music ensemble of awesome that features a long list of the A Team players of RVA, including some that carry over from the long ago Monday nights of The Devil’s Workshop at Bogarts.  The RVA Big Band plays every Monday night and I highly recommend going and checking them out.

For all the pics CLICK HERE

Working for a spell at The Virginia Moonwalker is grand on many levels, one of the tops being that I never know who I will find when I show up to prep gear for a night.  This particular afternoon, I found Russell Lacy laying down a track for Ben Butterworth with Corey Wells, Matt KuesterRaphael Katchinoff.  I love the honest sound that comes out of The Virginia Moonwalker.  There is just something some raw and pure about the way it is being done out in this country studio.

YEAH!  Finally a Chelsea Temple show!!  Chelsea started the evening at Cary St Cafe with her soulful originals mixed with covers.  This girl can sing.  Seriously, the RVA songbird.  She’s got emotion and power and one of those purely beautiful voices.

For all the pics CLICK HERE

The end of the latest Round of RVA Musical Things kept me at Cary Street Cafe for Mekong Xpress & The Get Fresh Horns.  The place was packed and VDAY love intoxicated all with their all encompassing funky fresh sounds.  😛


For all the pics CLICK HERE

speaking of Things…. if you still haven’t sampled Todd Herrington’s Things you are missing out.  Just get the whole album, you will be silly happy you did.

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