THROUGH THE LENS: Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, and More Photos of the Week
Bruce Springsteen - 2023 - Photo by Peter Dervin
While this column of late has been featuring festivals, it’s time to turn our attention to other roots music photos taken by ND photographers during the past few weeks.
Be they legends of rock and roll, blues, bluegrass, or Americana, legends in the making, or everyday working artists looking to make their mark, this week’s edition concentrates primarily on performers who have have not been recently featured. Here are some quick takes on a select few of the artists whose photos are are included in the gallery below, but of course emphasis should be placed on the fabulous photos themselves.
Rock and Roll
It takes a certain skill and resume for a photographer to gain access to the bigger-name performers, especially in rock and roll. So, very special thanks to Peter Dervin and Kim Reed for going the extra mile for getting permission to photograph some legends.
Peter was ecstatic when he told me he had secured a photo passes for Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr. But the bad news was he had to take photos “at the back of the house.” Almost always this means the soundboard, which is a very long way from the stage. Fortunately, Peter had just acquired a 150-600 mm telephoto lens. I don’t mean to get all geeky here, but all photographers have at least one telephoto lens, usually 70-200 mm. Those are of little use when you are so far away. To put this in perspective, there’s a photo in the gallery showing where Peter shot from. When you see that picture it makes the others that much more spectacular.
Kim had the good fortune to photograph The Eagles on tour. The Eagles show was extra special as it featured an orchestra and a 22-member choir. He also caught Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, a winning meeting of rock and bluegrass.
Kim also caught Billy Strings, who has brought a ton of new fans into bluegrass over the past few years. I distinctly remember after seeing Strings at MerleFest in 2016 and telling a friend, “He’s Tony Rice on acid.” Today, even that may be an understatement.
Speaking of opening up bluegrass to younger folks, Eric Ring caught Nickel Creek on their reunion tour. It seems funny saying that as it seems like just yesterday they too took bluegrass by storm, resulting in their first IBMA award in 2001 the first of four Grammys in 2005. Eric’s photos show the sheer joy of their performance.
Jim Brock captured two stunning photos of someone I, and many other folks, have admired for years, the legendary Little Freddie King, and a younger talent who blows away everyone who sees him: Christone “Kingfish” Ingram.
Speaking of legends, Eric also caught Bobby Rush and Peter witnessed Charlie Musselwhite and Elvin Bishop together in an intimate performance. Mark J. Smith photographed the dynamic Shemekia Copeland.
In the Philadelphia area, Mark also caught two other artists of note: 1) perennial ND fave James McMurtry, who seems to get only more cantankerous in his observations on life in America today; and 2) the woefully underappreciated Suzanne Vega, who has made a string of great albums and continues to tour the world long after her glory days on 1980s radio.
At the other end of the country, in the Pacific northwest, Kirk Stauffer caught Margo Price, Nikki Lane, Lindsay Lou, Larkin Poe, and Anna Tivel.
Click on any photo below to view the gallery as a full-size slideshow.