Best of the Week: Joan Armatrading, Jason Isbell, John Hammond, and More
When I became ND’s photo columnist, one of my aims was to devote some columns to a theme, e.g., photos featuring a a single artist, a festival, or a sub-genre of Americana. Last week I featured Emmylou Harris and it was a smash. ND’s own social media platform helped get the word out and, after Harris picked it up, it went out to many folks who weren’t aware of No Depression. More folks became aware of our roots music community which, in turn, is beneficial for the magazine, its contributors, and readers. I want to do more.
So, to that end, I have reached out to many of our photographers to suggest themes and post some related photos. This week, I request that readers also suggest potential future themes by sending me a note or commenting below. I am, of course, limited to the photos that are posted on this site. Thus, if you have ever thought about picking up a camera and taking some photos, please doing so. And if you are a photographer who has seldom, if ever, posted with us, submit one or two from time to time. (Log in, click the “Post” button at the top of the page, then select “Photo” and follow the prompts.) Let’s make this thing rock.
This week, I’m featuring three pictures by Glenn Cook. He got two excellent shots from the UNITE To Face Addiction Rally in D.C. — Sheryl Crow and Jason Isbell, whom it seems we can never get enough of. That’s not to slight his photo of Phil and Dave Alvin, who have to be two of the longest- and hardest-working guys in music. The Blasters live on in one form or another, this time revisiting their roots. Whether it be with the Guilty Men, the Guilty Women, or (like Peter Rowan) in whatever configuration, long live Dave Alvin.
Phil Alvin will live forever in my heart for having worked with Sun Ra.
C. Elliott’s photos of Natalie Prass and Joan Armatrading seem to pair a younger, invigorating artist with an established artist who, in her day, set the world on fire and is still striking matches. These two artists deserve your attention. I still treasure Armatrading’s A&M records and have taken inspiration from the Prass photo to spur me into listening to her some more, which I am doing as I write this.
We round out things with two more established, well-respected artists: John Hammond and Eliza Gilkyson. I can never get enough of Hammond talking about his younger days with Mike Bloomfield, sneaking into Chicago blues clubs and seeing the legends. And all those fantastic facial contortions.
Finally, Gilkyson is a fine singer-songwriter but considers herself a folksinger first. I had a nice chat with her last week that I hope becomes an article. I’ll share it here, if it jells.
Now, slide through the featured photos of the week, then go take a peek at all the photos that have been posted, under the “All Photos” link on the Media page.