Tristan & Remy

Note:  For you fans of Hula-Hoop Girl Jessica, I’ve added a slide show to the last post (The Hula Hoop Girl Twirls Again-3). You might want to go back and look at some images that weren’t featured in the 3 previous posts.

I was walking back to my truck about a week ago—right after the Chroma Gallery shooting—when as I was approaching the Paramount Theater—I could swear I heard what sounded like Elvis in a slightly lower range and with a bit less of the Mississippi drawl.

As I passed through a small crowd of people who had stopped to listen I saw this young man sitting on the pavement under the marquee singing Elvis’s first hit, “That’s Alright Mama.” Here’s a link if you want to listen to the original 1954 Sun Records recording:

I’ve been shooting and listening to street musicians on the Downtown Mall since the weather turned warm last March—about 5 months now—and this young man and his partner Remy on the upright (“slap”) bass were absolutely the most professional and exciting performers I’ve heard in that setting.

I stood there a minute listening, threw some cash into the guitar case and by gesturing with my camera–asked if I could shoot them. Tristan nodded ”OK” and I commenced firing. Due to the late afternoon light, the proximity of people standing around and the way the two musicians were positioned I couldn’t really get all the angles and compositions I’d have liked but I got a few pretty good images.

As I said—as I came upon these guys I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. These guys weren’t just laying it down—they were kicking the stuffing out of that tune.

As soon as they finished “That’s Alright” I said’

“Wow—you guys are great!–what’re you doing playing here for pocket change? You should be recording—playing clubs.”

They both broke into big smiles and thanked me. I told them what I said above—that they were easily the best musicians I’d heard in the last 5 months. Again they were pleased—glanced at each other and said something to the effect that what I said was one of the best compliments they had had and felt encouraged in their efforts.

They also told me they had a club date set up—they would be playing at a local venue–a college tavern across town called “Durty Nelly’s.”  Here’s the link if you want to know more:

The guys expressed interest in getting copies of prints from this shoot. As I usually do with young performers and models I told them I’d be happy to provide them with prints and the digital files for them to use in their posters and website. It always gives me pleasure to help talented young people on their paths. I didn’t want to interfere with their busking (street performing) so I moved on—as I was walking away they were cranking out a righteous version of “Folsom Prison Blues.”

The date for their appearance at Nelly’s is Sept. 18th—10 days away. I intend to be there and if the management has no problem with it I’ll do some more shooting at the club and see if I can come up with some better stuff that for use on this site and that the guys can use in the pursuit of their career goals.

If I have any readers in the Charlottesville area that like straight-ahead rock-country-blues and like college dives (I saw a review that gave high praise to the food and happily referred to Nelly’s as the “Dive-lover’s Dive,”) you might want to swing by the night of the 18th.

For whatever it’s worth—I’ll be there :-)

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4 Responses to “Tristan & Remy”

  1. Larry Blackwood Says:

    I haven’t commented on your photos lately although I’ve been checking in on them pretty regularly. This set is very impressive. Perfect lighting, good compositions, and perfect processing as well. Very nice job.

  2. Nelson Cheang Says:

    Through the actor’s performance, expression the dialogue between light and shadows. Absolutely great …

  3. orion Says:

    I get lots of praise from fotoblur people but most of it is pretty suspect–it’s a big reciprocity game–but a compliment from you sir–is worth gold to me. My hope is to improve as an artist–I need periodic evaluation–you’re providing that. Thank you very much Larry.

  4. orion Says:

    Thank you Nelson–you are one of several people whose comments I know are sincere. A compliment from you is very much appreciated.

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