(Link to Christi's block click here.)
There is a lot to be said about this 20th anniversary show of The Steepwater Band. To sum it up, it was the best show the band put on that I have seen (other than my first show 6 years ago). Sort of a new beginning for them as well. What they could not predict was all of the notoriety they are getting now, like they have finally been seen by the industry. Perhaps they are no longer the customer looking for gigs. Instead, the gigs are the customer looking for them.
The Steepwater Band has its history built on classic blues, Chicago electric blues, and their own blues. For me, they are a balance between roots music and modern blues. This was shown tonight during their “front porch music” set, where we were able to see them "unwrapped", as it should be. That is how you connect to blues. Yet they move to traditional and somewhat modern with the flip of the switch, so comfortably, so talently.
The boys are so natural that you cannot help but feel a connection to them, like you have been friends forever. When you get that, you see the other loyal fans that get it. We do not need the recognition. We want the band to be happy, recognizing them as individuals and a as a band that plays great music.
Like meeting my bride twice for the first time, I met The Steepwater Band twice for the first time. The first was when friend Pete Calacci set me up with drummer Joe Winters of the band to obtain a photographer’s pass to photograph them at the Chicago House of Blues. That was my first photographing of the band, and ironically, the first time seeing but not seeing my future bride. The second time I met the band (not actual second) was after I met my now Bride Christi, who has known the band for eighteen years, including being a roadie for a short period. Her connections with the band members goes deep with a lot of love for them and their music. That just drew me to the band even more, my second time meeting the band for the first time.
"The Handcuffs" opened for Steepwater. They were amazing! You saw the individuality in each musician. Their orchestrated play coinciding with their individual muse. They engaged the audience and slammed us with their tunes that rocked us out. Though I enjoyed all of them, for whatever reason the bass player and keyboardist caught my attention. Perhaps because they were in the background of their very dynamic lead singer, yet you saw them as performers in their own right. Let me introduce you to The Handcuffs and follow with the photographs. More information on the band can be found at the end of this blog.
Chloe F. Orwell - Lead Vocal
Brad Elvis - Drums
Emily Togni - Bass
Alison Hinderliter - Keyboard
Jeffrey Kemieclak - Lead Guitar
The Steepwater Band
Jeff Massey - Lead Vocal / Guitar
Joe Winters - Drums
Tod Bowers - Bass
Eric Saylors - Guitar
I will need to clarify here, that unless you had bellied up to the bar with your camera (stage) as it were, you were not going to be able to take a photograph of the entire band this evening. Tonight you were on your own with your camera, and I was not about to shove my way in to take photographs. The band plays for the fans, not the photographer. I found a sweet position on stage left, while Christi found one on stage right. So for the most part of the evening that was my spot, right were Eric Saylors played. Not that I do not enjoy photographing Eric, because I do. His dynamics play for the camera. I just feel guilty not getting complete band shots or more of the other guys. C'est la vie . . .
I swear if I were an alien, I would say Eric is bending back falling asleep (above photographs). It was anything bu that. Eric just knows how to get his freak on when playing guitar.
When the lighting gets a bit too wacky, I switch to black and white. It helps when you are trying to see Joe hiding in the back. (Note that the photographs in the blog have not been color corrected, with exception of switching some to black and white.)
The one regret, which really cannot be a regret because it was my choice not to barge in front of people, was taking photographs of the entire band when they did their "front porch music" style. This is the band unwrapped, and hardly ever seen. It was the best part of the evening. If others took photographs of this that they would allow me to link too, please let me know. (Thanks Kim for donating!)
Here are some photos donated by Kim . . . thank you Kim!!!
There are the many faces of Jeff Massey, then there are the many faces of Eric Saylors!
A little "High and Humble" awarding going on here . . .
One last photograph as we walked back to the car, just because . . .
As always Martyrs', thank you very much for your wonderful venue and support of music!!!
3855 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 6613
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