The purpose of this blog is to act as an online home for some of my many original blues photos over the years. I have been lucky to photograph many stars in the blues world and plenty of unknowns, too. It was something I did for fun, not profit, and as a way to remember all the wonderful shows I have seen.
The story of how I came to start taking pictures is a simple one. I had been hanging out in blues bars since the age of 18. I always enjoyed the music but I never thought about taking pictures until Zuzu Bollin died in 1990. I always enjoyed Zuzu's shows at venues large and small around Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW). I had his CD, LP, promo shots, newspaper clippings, etc., but none of them captured what I saw in the clubs. Zuzu was old, sick, and had a drug problem when he was rediscovered in the 80's. Most of the time it showed. Sometimes he looked like he was at death's door. However when his name was called to go onstage, he rose straight and strong, with a big smile on his face, and strode with purpose to the stage where he proceeded to give it his all. At the end of his set, he returned to his seat and was suddenly a sick old man again. The stage was transformative for Zuzu, and I would never see that again now that he was gone. I regretted the fact that I would never have a "good" photo of Zuzu. That's what started my adventure in blues photography.
Since then, I have managed to capture a few moments, here and there, that help me relive that joy of performing. It works for me, and I hope a few of them will work for you, too. Sadly, many of the artists I have photographed have since joined Zuzu on the big stage in the sky.
I started out shooting with a Pentax K-1000 back in the film days. Usually with a 50mm lens and sometimes with a zoom telephoto. All manual, no fancy bells and whistles. Just film and glass. Many of the photos here will be scans of prints. At least up to 2002.
I hope you enjoy browsing these photos and maybe even find one of your favorites included. If you don't see someone you love, ask. I might have some shots. Just please remember I didn't start this until 1990 so I do not have that rare Robert Johnson or SRV photo you might be looking for. Since then, I have been able to shoot almost every major touring blues act since 1990.
If you use the artist index, BE SURE TO PAGE DOWN AFTER SELECTING AN ARTIST. Some artists I have shot many times and selecting an artist will bring up many images.
If you are just paging through instead of using the index, be sure to click on OLDER POSTS in the lower right hand corner to go to the next page. There are many pages.
All photos are my copyright and all rights are reserved.
CLICK ON ANY PHOTO FOR A LARGER VIEW
Friday, September 8, 2023
This was at the KNON Blues celebration for my 40th Anniversary on KNON at Poor David's Pub in Dallas. With Danny Cochran on drums and MVP Drew Allain on bass. Drew did double duty and stayed and backed D.K. Harrell. Thank you Drew!