Sunday, October 30, 2016

Mandolin Orange Photos, Charlotte, NC, October 28, 2016

Mandolin Orange
McGlohon Theater
Charlotte, NC
October 28, 2016
All photos copyright 2016 Daniel Coston

October 30, 2016

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Shonen Knife Photos, Charlotte, NC, October 25, 2016

Shonen Knife
Snug Harbor
Charlotte, NC
October 25, 2016
All photos copyright 2016 Daniel Coston

October 27, 2016

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Chad & Jeremy Photos, Larger Set, Bethesda, MD, October 17, 2016

Chad & Jeremy
Bethesda Blues & Jazz Club
Bethesda, MD
October 17, 2016
All photos 2016 Daniel Coston

October 26, 2016

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Upcoming Shows At The Double Door Inn That I'm Involved With

November 25th- The Young Ages, stars of my NC 1960s Rock & Roll book. Stan Barkley & Friends open at 8:30pm.

December 11th- Working on this now. More soon.

December 14th- Queen City Anthology presents: The Loudermilks and Houston Brothers, one more time. 9pm start. More to come on this show.

Thank you, and spread the word,
October 23, 2016

That Time My Therapiggy Took The Field At Panthers Stadium

More posts from Blinker soon,
October 23, 2016

Dar Williams Photo, Charlotte, NC, October 21, 2016

Dar Williams
Evening Muse
Charlotte, NC
October 21, 2016
Photo copyright 2016 Daniel Coston

October 23, 2016

Amanda Shires & Lilly Hiatt Photos, Charlotte, NC, October 22, 2016

Amanda Shires
Lilly Hiatt
Double Door Inn
Charlotte, NC
October 22, 2016
All photos copyright 2016 Daniel Coston

PS, this is blog post number 1000! Yay!

October 23, 2016

This Weekend's Update

Three days of photographing the Mint Museum's 80th anniversary events. Photos of Dar Williams at the Evening Muse, Amanda Shires and Lilly Hiatt at the Double Door Inn, Joe Newberry and Val Mindel at a harmony workshop, one Observer shoot, and a Carolina Business Review taping. Got photos published on Architectural Digest's website. Thanks to everyone that stopped in to see the NC Music HOF photos. Had a photo of myself on the news, for good reasons, I promise. (Thank you, Ashley Anderson.) And wishing that I could hear Harry Caray call one more Cubs game, wherever he is now. Cubs Win! See you in the World Series, and see you on the road.
October 23, 2016

Friday, October 21, 2016

North Carolina Music Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony, Kannapolis, NC, October 20, 2016

North Carolina Music Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony
Avett Brothers
Carolina Chocolate Drops
David Holt
Chairmen Of The Board
Band Of Oz
Kannapolis, NC
October 20, 2016
All photos copyright 2016 Daniel Coston

October 21, 2016

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Chad & Jeremy Photos, Bethesda, MD, October 17, 2016

Chad & Jeremy
Bethesda Blues & Jazz Club
Bethesda, MD
October 17, 2016
All photos 2016 Daniel Coston
More photos soon

October 17, 2016

I Love This Freaking Band - The Zombies

I Love This Freaking Band
The Zombies

"This will be our year, took a long time to come.”

Some of my adventures from the music that I love flash by in the blink of an eye. Discover an album, fall in love with the music. You go see them live. In my case, you sometimes end up working with the band. Things move on, and the adventure ends. But some adventures evolve over time, and unfold as the years pass. The answers only reveal themselves when they are ready. And the journey makes you appreciate the music, the people and one’s own experience a little more than you might have when the journey began. One always begins an adventure with hope. Those aspirations are often tested, and can be lost, if not careful. But given time, luck and perserverance, any good that is there may still win out. The journey can take 20 years, 50 years or more. Yet the search for sounds unheard can lead you to the most amazing places.

In 1961, a group of kids in St. Albans, England decide to form a band. Colin Blunstone came to that first rehearsal intending to be their guitar player, but was soon switched to lead singer. The other bandmember that had planned on being their singer, Rod Argent, would have to be content with being their keyboardist and backing vocalist. When they realize that their original name of the Mustangs was already taken, the band decides on a new name that no one else is sure to have, the Zombies. The band eventually coalesces around Blunstone, Argent, guitarist Paul Atkinson, bassist Chris White and drummer Hugh Grundy.

From the start, the Zombies were a little different. They were more influenced by jazz and R&B than their beat group contemporaries. Blunstone, Argent and White all sang, providing a strong three-part harmony to their songs. Argent and White also began their own songs, and were determined to get their songs recorded. When the band wins a newspaper competition with their version of George Gershwin’s “Summertime”, they bring two of their songs to their first recording session. White’s “You Make Me Feel Good”, and Argent’s “She’s Not There”. 

"She’s Not There” quickly becomes a breakout smash across England and Europe. By the fall of 1964, everything British and Beat Music was hot in America, and the Zombies quickly found “She’s Not There” becoming a top ten hit in the United States. The band’s popularity in North America would eventually eclipse their success in England, with their follow-up “”Tell Her No” charting higher in the States.

After “Tell Her No”, the hits dried up for the Zombies, despite a slew of great singles, and an excellent debut album, Begin Here. Over the next two years, the band toured the world over, trying to make a living and searching for that next hit single that never seemed to arrive. By 1967, the band was exhausted, and Decca had given up on the band. Undaunted, the band signed to CBS Records for just enough to get a new album recorded in just two weeks at Abbey Road Studios. 

That album, Odessey & Oracle, is now seen as one of the high watermarks of 1960s music. Both Argent and White wrote their best songs to date for the album, and unlike many other albums of its time, seems as fresh now as when it was released in 1968. Sadly, interest in the new album was hard to find, and the band quietly decided to call it a day. In 1969, a DJ in Idaho began playing the album’s closing track, “Time Of The Season”. By the end of 1969, the song had sold three million copies, and many discovered the album for the first time. Despite the success of the single, the members of the Zombies had already moved on to other projects, and the legend of the Zombies would left for future generations to find.  

For much of my young life, I didn’t know much about the Zombies, apart from those hit singles. Eventually, a friend gave me a tape of the Zombies singles, and I began to understand how many great songs they had. Despite that, I was initially turned off by the hype about Odessey & Oracle that had emerged in the years since from every music writer and record snob, and I didn’t give the band, or Odessey & Oracle the attention it deserved for a long time.

In 2003, a friend gave me a remastered CD copy of Odessey & Oracle. For the first time in my life, I was in the right headspace to devour the album in all of its beauty. All at once, I realized just how magical the album was. The harmonies, the songs of longing and hope. Songs of being hung up on a dream, which I still am. Songs of freedom from prison, tales of wars and roses, of friends of mine. The album finally spoke to me in the way that I now wish it had done many years before.

In 2004, Blunstone and Argent reconvened the Zombies name, and began playing shows in the United States. When the band played my home of Charlotte, NC, I was ready. I interviewed Blunstone and Argent via phone, and photographed their show with as much excitement as I’ve ever had for a show. Over the next few years, I saw the band on a few more occasions. Each time, the band began to play more songs from Odessey & Oracle, as they also began to realize the album’s impact on audiences.

In 2008, all of the surviving bandmembers (minus Atkinson, who had passed away in 2004) reunited for shows in London to play Odessey & Oracle in full. My wife and I used the money from our wedding a few months before, and bought tickets to the show. As exciting as it was to seeing and photograph the show, things didn’t work out the way they had planned. The venue was a problem, and I never got the photos I wanted. We had hoped to meet the band after the show, but another venue mishap prevented that. The sales that I hoped for the photos I’d taken never materialized. 

The trip’s mis-steps also reflected my own misgivings about where my career had gone during that period. For years, I got by on just enough work to keep going, and the woman I loved that kept me grounded in Charlotte. When we got married, my only request was that our first dance would be to “This Will Be Our Year”, a song that sits on side two of Odessey & Oracle. Even in my darkest of emotions, which I largely hid from everyone, I firmly believed that my time would finally come again, and I tried to hold myself again when I was down. Keep hoping, and keep going.

In the intervening years, the current iteration of the Zombies became even more popular, and toured even more than the original version of the band. I got to photograph Argent and Blunstone together with members of the Left Banke, my other all-time favorite group. I photographed them at a radio station interview where my friend literally used ever question I’d written for the band. Rod Argent congratulated my friend on his “good questions” after the interview, and I could only smile. They never remember me, or that I’ve met and photogaphed them several times, but that’s okay. They are rock stars now, playing to more people than ever before, and meeting all of those fans on any given night. All of whom have very similiar stories to mine. And the Zombies deserve that success.

As the fortunes for the Zombies continued to brighten, so did mine. The city I lived in, and had often given up on, began to open their doors to me. Success for me is knowing that I can take care of myself and my wife, and that the bills will get paid. I take more pride in that than photographing a hundred album covers, a hundred times over. This will be our year, indeed.

In the fall of 2015, White and Grundy reunited with the Zombies for a series of shows in the United States to perform Odessey & Oracle in full. For much of the tour, I thought my schedule wouldn’t allow me to see it. With one last possible date, I flew to Denver, Colorado with only my camera and photo pass in hand. I get three “dream goals” for the trip. Meet Hiugh Grundy and Chris White, who had written the song that I danced to at my wedding. Get posed shots of the original lineup, and get an album signed by the whole band. One by one, all three happened, and the show was fantastic. I walked out of the venue in a sleep-deprived state of euphoria. It had all come true. I was so happy, I was not even thinking about how and when I would find my way back to the airport, and the daylong journey back home. But I had come so far to reach that moment, and in that instant, I knew that it happened the way it was supposed to have happened. It just took luck, perserverance, and time. Of the season, and all of the seasons that had come and gone in the intervening years.

At any given moment today, someone will discover something that they will love for the rest of their life. A person, a form of art, a sound or vision. And the journey will begin here, again. And while their brightest moments may burn longer than others, that hope and quest for greater sounds unheard will lead them to their time of the season, their walk in the sun, and their year. No matter how long it took to come.

Here’s to hope. Here’s to discovery. Here’s to the Zombies.
-Daniel Coston

Reeve Coobs Interview

Reeve Coobs: The Singer With The Songs
by Daniel Coston
from the October 2016 issue of Tangents Magazine

If you’ve seen her at the Evening Muse, or onstage with the Tosco Music Party, hearing Reeve Coobs sing is an unforgettable experience. After taking nearly ten years to complete her first album (What Love Is All About, released in 2012), Coobs has put together a second album that shows her to be as comfortable singing with a Rock band as she is with just an acoustic guitar. Me & You also shows that Coobs’ songwriting has continued to mature, and show that there is more to her music than just her voice.

Tangents: New album. Tell me about it.

Reeve Coobs: It’s a collection of songs that all came from people telling me I should write a love song. These are the songs that came out of those conversations, most of which are not actually love songs. 

Tangents: How did the process for this album change, as opposed to recording the first album?

Coobs: I wanted this album to sound different so This time around I chose to strip the music way down. It's mainly just me. Which was scary because I love my band and I love what they create musically but I also like to hide behind their artistry. This project seemed to call for something a bit stark. I also recorded a few tracks completely be myself which was very different. 

Tangents: How did Jeff, and the other musicians contribute to this album?

Coobs: Jeff took more of an advising role this time. Helping me critique and listen and say "yes, it's done". Eric Lovell really helped so much, not just as an engineer but also guiding and encouraging me to be brave and let the songs be bare. Jason Atkins and Daniel Flynn also lent their talents.  

Tangents: Has what you write about changed since the first album? Do you feel this album is more personal than the first album?

Coobs: I think I will always write about very personal parts of my life but this album seems to be maybe a bit more personal. I think as I'm getting older and maturing as a songwriter I'm learning the value of being as honest with the listener as I can stand. I connect better with a song when it's slightly painful or embarrassingly sweet. Either way I'm trying to push myself to tell the real story in a clever way. 

Tangents: This new album also seems to have more of a Rock & Roll edge on some songs. Was that planned?

Coobs: I wrote a few of the songs on the electric guitar instead of my trusty acoustic and that definitely changed the feel. But it still feels like an acoustic record to me since there is no bass and hardly any drums. I guess the rock n' roll vibe just can't be lost when you have distortion pedals. The vibe wasn't on purpose but stripping the songs down was. My next project I believe will be full band and lots of rock songs. I'm ready to be loud now!

Tangents: You’ve sung in a number of groups over the years. Is there more comfort in a group setting? Do you feel more comfortable as a solo act?

Coobs: I find comfort in both settings. I love playing live with my band because they are so talented and such great people. I love bringing the sounds in my head to life with the help of them. Solo gigs are fun and relaxing because I don't have to lead, I can decide in the middle of a song that I want to do something different and I can. It's freeing and in some ways more creative on stage. But playing with a band is more creative in the writing stage. It's too hard to chose, so I don't!

Tangents: Many people know you from the Tosco Music events. How did you get involved with those?

Coobs: I met John when I was in high school and started attending the parties then. A few years later, when I was working at The Evening Muse, he asked me to join the sing-a-long choir and the rest is history. John has always been a huge support for me and my music. 

Tangents: What does it mean now to sing at Tosco Music events to a sold out show of that size?

Coobs: It's such a fun and amazing time - every time! Every "TMP" I am a part of is different yet everyone feels like I've been a part of something special in our community. It really is such a unique night of music and I'm honored to be a part of it. Seeing the size of the audience grow over the years is truly amazing. Somehow even though it's such a big event now it still feels intimate and kind of like a big family reunion. It's magical. 

Tangents: At this point, do you consider yourself a writer first? Or a singer? Or does that change, depending on the day and time?

Coobs: It definitely changes. I think of them both as crafts and I work on them both and a lot of times separately. Some days I'm geeking out over a harmony part on a Gemma Hayes song that I have to master and some days I'm working tirelessly on finding the right word to finish a song.  

Tangents: Finish this sentence. At the end of the day, I’m happy if…..

Coobs: I've done something creative and spent time with the people I love.

Jay Garrigan & Eyebrows Interview

The Eyebrows: The Eyes Have It
by Daniel Coston
from a forthcoming issue of Tangents Magazine

Tangents Magazine: The Eyebrows! Discuss. How did this band come together?

Jay Garrigan: I wanted to do something different, something in the rock genre with a band that had several layers of voices, yet had an immediate and worldly feel that could move people’s feet and make them dance. Also, I’m singing differently - as in singing or just talking in lower registers and as for approach, trying different forms of consciousness and characterizations. I like three piece bands, but I wanted at least another instrument to explore textures and layers. So that was my aim, to find people crazy enough to make this band a priority and put up with me for several years to come.

Shawn Lynch, who will read later about, is the drummist. Yes, he's a drummist and not a drummer.

Jon Lock, also of the magnificent Bleeps, joined Shawn and I in my basement on bass about a year ago. He brings a real worldly feel to things as he’s internationally toured playing in Reggae/Ska punk bands, a type of music I’ve always enjoyed and Jon makes the low end legit. 

Molly Poe was the latest to join. We’ve had a few guitarists and such in the band, who were great, but Molly adds exactly what we need for keys and synth textures. She’s also new to the stage as this is her first band, but she’s not new to music as she’s classically trained and tour managed other bands. I appreciate a new person in the band because she makes us question a lot of the things we assume are universal truths. I always thought the best bands had 1-2 people who were learning and a few others who were experienced. This band fits that mold.

I think the more important thing about The Eyebrows is that we’re all friends. We don’t always see eye to eye, but there’s a mutual respect among us. As long as that exists, I think we will make an excellent rock band.

Tangents: You seem to be having more fun with this band.

Garrigan: I’m trying to focus on writing songs that have an odd retro dance vibe, and I think fun is an essential element of this type of creativity and music. I see bands like B52s, Talking Heads and Pylon having a lot of fun, and I’d like to carry on that sort of thing. 

We do still play some of my singer-songwriter muck, but I think that’s because I have a back catalog of these types of songs, and I still like to write a good mopey downer of a song. But, I’m trying to evolve away from that… habit.

And how can you not have fun playing your own songs? It's a dream come true, and I'm lucky to get to experience just that.

Tangents: Describe the new single that you just recorded, and the forthcoming album.

Garrigan: The other day I was listening to one of my favorite records, “Murmur” by REM, which was recorded by Mitch Easter here in Charlotte at the former Reflection studio, and mastered by Greg Calbi up at Sterling Sound in NYC. It kind of hit me just kind of funny, staring at this marvelous record cover, listening to the tones and thinking that The Eyebrows also worked with both of these legends on the upcoming single. It’s something that I always thought was out of reach, and I kick myself for not doing something like this sooner.

We recorded two songs, “It Comes Down Hard” and “The Sun”. We spent a few days recording with Mitch Easter and assistant John Pfiftner at Fidelatorium, and the 45/7” was mastered by Greg Calbi up at Sterling Sound in NYC. We actually recorded and mixed ten songs, which should all go on our full-length record once we can afford it. But, we gotta work to pay for the mastering and production, and that’s no easy task for a new band that doesn’t believe in crowdsourcing. We believe in working and partnerships with labels.

Tangents: How do you balance this group, and playing with Temperance League.

Garrigan: Personally, I like staying out of balance. It keeps me on my toes. I can find a center, or balance, for a brief period of time, but I always get bored and screw that all up. It’s either a blank canvas or total chaos for me… that’s how I roll. 

Sometimes it’s hard to fit everything in my head when both bands are playing during the week, plus I have a serious day job that leaves most people winded. With Temperance League, I’ve learned how to play a support role rather than a leading front man. It takes a certain comfort in yourself to play a support role, and honestly I struggle with that more than anything between the bands.

I also play in Amigo sometimes (usually studio work - see their latest EP where I play guitar and keys) and there’s a few other bands I side in from time to time. I try to do less one-offs unless it’s Amigo, because I love them so much. 

I’m most proud of The Eyebrows because these are my songs, and I have an awesome group of people who are following what I’m putting out there. There’s no greater honor really than to have pals who are willing to do that. The Eyebrows is something I believe in, even when things are hard or unclear. I’m OK with that too, because the ride along the way is sometimes more interesting than the destination. 

Tangents: Talk about the two albums that you recorded as Garrigan for Spectra Records, and how that project led to the Eyebrows?

Garrigan: I think I have to say something to the effect of, what I’m about to say here are my own opinions. I don’t like saying anything negative about anyone, but signing to a label for three years that never paid me a cent for record sales, streaming or publishing was disappointing. Perhaps I’m most disappointed in myself, because I really believed in what the label told me regarding film and T.V. placement, radio play and retail distribution. I totally believed they were going to deliver what they sold me and what I signed for. I treated it as a professional relationship, and I got thrown one cool live show, but unfortunately this scenario does fall into the songwriter held hostage category. I couldn’t release anything new, and the band didn’t understand why we weren’t making any money.  

The 2nd record with Garrigan, “Kiss This Broken Star”, never got published. The label dangled a carrot, saying they would put this record out if I signed for three more years. The band at that time was also having personnel challenges, and one lineup had such a bad show, it was probably the worst show of my entire career. I told our then bass player, “Just lay on the floor and play dead. It will sound much better.” I decided to take a break from perfomring live, and didn’t play a show for about a year until Temperance League invited me into their fold to play bass guitar. I never stoped writing songs though.

During this time, I was also suffering from chronic, painful corneal erosion, brought on by botched Lasik surgery, and I had an insane neighbor who is the subject of “It Comes Down Hard.” Sometimes The Eyebrows calls it “the angry neighbor song” which in retrospect, is a better title. So anyway, something had to go, as I was doing everything I could to keep my job with failing eyesight and dealing several times a day with a stalking psycho who had nothing better to do than make my life and my wife’s life miserable. 

On one hand, I think the band Garrigan sounded a bit forced (something I agree with Shawn Lynch on). We had a great opportunity and we tried to make the best of it. The songs were overwrought, overthought and perhaps over arranged. But, I’m proud of the work although I don’t play a lot of those songs anymore, and I don’t shed a tear or lose sleep over that batch of lost songs. I’ve moved on.

I started writing a song about you for this batch, that went something like... "Daniel is the man! He takes pictures of my band! And sometimes, he takes ones just of me..." Maybe it's best these songs never saw the light. :)

Tangents: Where do the songs come from? And do they come from different places than they did ten years ago? Twenty years ago?

Garrigan: Writing music is a way I deal with abuse and betrayal, enticement and excitability, mania and depression. It’s just where I always go, and music just happens for me, usually when I’m not in the conscious act of writing it. 

Writing songs helped me figure out my feelings, who I am, and often gave me something to feel good about when I had little to nothing else. I was often called an asshole for being creative and trying express yourself as a child. Maybe that’s why I’m such a dramatic performer, because the child in me is terrified. Maybe that’s also why I often feel confrontational when I’m performing. I’m not smiling because I’m dealing with a lot of conflicting feelings, and reliving those every time I get onstage.

Ten and twenty years ago, I wrote a lot of songs about relationships, which were fuel to my songwriting fires. I had a habit of growing toxic relationships, perhaps conditioned by my upbringing. I guess I had a lot to write about in a confessional type of way.

As for the newest batch of songs, I’ve been lyrically challenging myself to go outside of the relationship paradigm. Often I just make up stupid sounding shit. It’s a lot of fun to sing about Avocados and Cows, because life’s enough… love’s too much… but hell, Avocado is kind of a relationship song too. I guess you could say that I'm open to whatever I feel or hear, and have enough skills to capture what's going on in my head. I don't try to judge it. I just try to ride the wave and see where it goes, as the ride often surprises me.

Tangents: Talk about playing with Shawn Lynch. Going back to Poprocket, you’ve played with him now for over 15 years.

That’s 16 years starting in 2000 with Poprocket. He’s one of my best friends and vital to my musical expression. I get to be in two bands with him now, so I’m just very lucky to have a talented and kind friend like him. 

Although, people confuse us all the time, which perplexes me as we look nothing alike. It’s like when people confused Kermit the Frog and Fozzie Bear… it’s just weird. They just hang out a lot, like us I suppose.

Tangents: What does writing and playing music mean to you, 20-plus years into your career?

Garrigan: I wish I were better at writing music. I wish I could make a sustainable living with my songs. Throughout my songwriting career, I’ve always gotten one bit of feedback: “Your songs have something fresh and special, but I’m not sure what it is.” Maybe that’s the biggest compliment in itself that I don’t fit in anywhere. 

Also, it’s true what Hunter S. Thompson once said, “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.” Most of the people I’ve met in the music industry are either completely out of it, or are dead at 50/50% ratio. But, there are a few of us who have stuck it out, and they are some of my closest allies and friends. 

I’ve never really understood the business side of music. No one really does. I mean, I know how it works logistically, but I’m just not motivated by sales. Sometimes I think just creating enough songs for a release and having it on my hard drive is enough for me, as I have several of those. With The Eyebrows, I’d like to be a part of making it a minor commercial success. It’s a challenge because sales is something I’m very ill-suited for. And, it seems uncool to publicly say something like this, but it’s an Everest I’d like to climb at last once.

Tangents: You love playing the baritone guitar. What kind of songs work best with that guitar?

Garrigan: I like playing all kinds of different instruments as they get my head out of a traditional mode of expression. I fell in love with the Baritone guitar on first strum - it just had this beautiful tone in a key I have not used before (B for those keeping up). The guitar tends to weird bass players out, but Jon Lock saw it as an opportunity to bring in his homemade 3/4 bass guitar. I think playing different instruments in different ways is key to getting somewhere different, and The Eyebrows tries things like this for the sake of trying them, which makes me very happy.

Tangents: Are the Eyebrows a lover, or a fighter?

Garrigan: I’m not one to agree with black/white statements, but I think we love hard like a Jeff Buckley song, and fight hard like four people trying to figure it out together. And it’s getting better, all the time. We'd all fight to love, but we don't love to fight.

Time Sawyer Interview

Time Sawyer: Time To Keep Moving
by Daniel Coston
from the October 2016 issue of Tangents Magazine

More touring. A new album on the way. A recent cover story by Creative Loafing. The past several months have been busy ones for Time Sawyer, who have been building towards this moment since 2010. After Elkin, NC natives Sam Tayloe and Kurt Layell recorded an acoustic EP that year, the group quickly expanded to a four-piece with the addition of Houston Norris and Clay Stirewalt. The band’s sound pulls from many influences in the Americana genre, including Ryan Adams, Wilco, and a certain band from the Concord, NC area. After repeated touring throughout the Southeast, the band recently expanded again into a six-piece lineup, all while working on a new album that could cement their status as the next breakout band to emerge from the Charlotte area.

Band vocalist, guitarist and leader Sam Tayloe emailed us from the band’s van on the way to a gig in Virginia to answer our questions.

Tangents Magazine: Talk about the new album. Recording it, the studio, the producer, etc..
Kurt Layell: Definitely having Mike Ashworth (producer) helped in shaping a song. You could get a biased feeling about something you've written and not be able to see a change that may be needed. And Echo mountain is just a historic place. It's hard to find a want to leave that place.
Sam Tyloe: The experience of it all was so warm. Mike, Jim Georgeson (recording/mixing), and just working at Echo was what we wanted for this batch of songs. We feel very strongly about the new material. As you always hope to. The band as a whole has worked hard to continue to progress.
Tangents: Did you find any themes emerged in the writing of this record? 
Layell: I'd say we have a "genuine" feel as a theme.
Tyloe: Yea, all the songs are coming from a place of feeling. Looking for a connection or moving forward. I think a lot of what we write looks for the depth in human interaction.

Tangents: How has recording changed for you and Time Sawyer since the first album?
Tyloe: it's definitely become a more in-depth process the more we learn. Every record hopes to show you something you didn't see before.

Tangents: After years of being a four-piece, you’re now a six-piece band. Where did the new guys come from, and what do they bring to the band? 
Tyloe: Bob (Barone) came through the great Chris Garges at old house studios. We wanted to experiment with Pedal steel on a sonf while working on our record "Come on in". Bob came in and thought we all were assholes because we cracked up almost the whole time because of how phenomenal it was. You know when something about music is so good all you can do is laugh about it? Joel Woodson is new to the group and brings our low end. And he's fitting right in with the laughter as well.

Tangents: Is it very different touring as a six-piece, as opposed to a four-piece? 
Tyloe: We've gotta get two hotel rooms now so that's a bummer, haha. Three to a bed is tight.

Tangents: It sounds like the band is committed to touring nearly full-time, at this point. Has that been the goal for some time? 
Tyloe: Definitely what we are shooting for. To continue progressing in a life of music. Creating some stability. Hopefully finding some comfort as we progress.

Tangents: Favorite gigs so far, or best gig stories. Do tell. 
Tyloe: I have some fond memories of our 2012 Bristol Rhythm and Roots set. It was one of our first shows with Bob sitting in on Pedal Steel (before he decided to put up with us more regularly). One of my guitar strings broke during our last song and I decided to just go out in the crowd with the mic to dance and finish the song. Still surprised. Definitely not something I thought I would do at the time. Our first show at neighborhood last October was one too. A good stepping stone and comforting to see your crowd grow. This last one at the muse for the Sawyer Soirée was great too. It was after two weeks of no shows, which is long for us, so really nice to get back on the wagon.
Layell: Floydfest '15 weekend was a great experience. As was Reevestock with the Dirty Guvs in 2013.

Tangents: What bands did you hear growing up, made you want to play music? Any specific shows?
Layell: Incubus is what got me into music. Collecting guitar pedals. Making crazy sounds. But my dad kept me groomed on Neil Young and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Tyloe: I saw the Avett Brothers in the earlier 2000s and it really struck a chord. Pun intended. It was always easy for me to connect to a lot of music but beginning to write threw me down the rabbit hole. I can't stop climbing down. So many great artists saying so much.

Tangents: Has your process for writing songs for Time Sawyer changed since the first album? 
Layell: Not for me, I don't think. Lyrically yes, maybe more adventurous. The process still pretty much the same. 
Tyloe: I'm searching for different ways to write lately. I feel more pressure now, correlated with our busyness and feeling the need to "force" writing when there is time. Trying to glean out the good when time permits! But in reality I'll need to make more time as we continue work for our following record to clear some headspace for new material.
Tangents: Finish this sentence. Time Sawyer is……
Layell: A comfort food substitute.
Tyloe: Necessary.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Zakir Hussain And Nilardi Kumar Photo, October 9, 2016

Zakir Hussain And Nilardi Kumar
Halton Theater at CPCC
Charlotte, NC
October 9, 2016
Photo copyright 2016 Daniel Coston

Double Door Inn Stories And Memories

I'm putting together a collection of stories and thoughts about the Double Door Inn. Favorite stories, most memorable shows, anything you would like to say about the Double Door. Post here, spread the word, or email me at Thank you. And go.
October 16, 2016

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The End Of Scene & Heard

For the last 16 years, I have contributed photos to the Charlotte Observer's Scene & Heard section. The first event I shot for the column? An Aaron Carter show in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Yes, really. Ah, how far this city has come. I have been S&H's main photographer for the past several years, showing off the best and the brightest of events and people that this city has to offer. And it all has meant the world to me. It made me a better photographer, and introduced me to so many of you that follow these posts.

The Observer has decided to discontinue Scene & Heard, which has recently been in the Sunday living section, at the end of October. Someone told me last week, "The only reason I keep a subscription is to read your column, and the obits." I've kept my subscription for the first part. But times are changing, and change is not always easy. But it comes, nonetheless.

What will become of me? Scene & Heard now officially moves to Southpark Magazine, as part of their Swirl section. Will I be at as many events? Time will tell. But I look forward to continuing the work with Sarah Crosland that I began with Olivia Fortson 16 years ago. A lot of great photographers contributed to Scene & Heard over the newspaper's storied history, and I was always proud to continue that line of covering the people and places throughout Charlotte. This is not the end of a dream, but more that moment when the dream changes into something else. And hopefully grows into something more.

Thank you to all of you that have been of the Scene & Heard story. I gave it all I had, and it was worth every photo. Safe travels, see you in the magazine, and see you on the road.
October 13, 2016

Lyle Lovett & Robert Earl Keen Photo, Charlotte, NC, October 11, 2016

Lyle Lovett & Robert Earl Keen
Knight Theater
Charlotte, NC
October 11, 2016
Photo copyright 2016 Daniel Coston

October 13, 2016

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

RIP Don Ciccone Of The Critters

RIP Don Ciccone of the Critters, Four Seasons, and others. Thank you from the fan in Newberry, SC that snuck backstage to get you and Jimmy Ryan to sign my Critters record. Safe travels,
October 11, 2016
Photo of Don Ciccone and Jimmy Ryan copyright 2012 Daniel Coston

Here's The Photos From My Recent 1996-2001 Show At C3 Lab 

Check out more photos from my archives, as well. Thanks, 
October 11, 2016

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Update From FB

Sometimes, life can throw at you a jumblefudge of events and emotions that you have to handle. Thursday, one Observer shoot, photos of the Arts Empowerment event, pics of Greg Humphreys, Gary Greene and more at the Visulite Theater, and one visit to the vet (he's okay, folks), and news of the ending of my more prominent and long-running freelance gigs. More on this soon. All on my ninth wedding anniversary, and my cat Milo's 12th birthday.

Friday, photos and camera on Carolina Business Review, photos of the WIE party for the Observer, and stopping by Creative Loafing's Best Of Party to celebrate my win (shared with Donna Bise and Brian BT Twitty) of Best Photographer. The party requested that I come dressed as a superhero, but I came as myself, because life sometimes asks you to do more and keep going, even when part of you wants to fall to the ground.

My thanks to all last night, and on the way to here that continue to help me fly. Is it getting heavy? It already has. Here's to the future. See you in the sky, and see you on the road.
October 8, 2016

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

I Won Again (This Time, With Others)

Congratulations to Brian BT Twitty and Donna Bise, with whom I share the title of Best Photographer in this year's Creative Loafing best-of issue. There are many great photographers, writers and artists in the Charlotte area, and are worth learning more out. And my sincere thanks to all of you that voted for me, and all of the photographers in this year's poll. See you in the winner's circle, and see you on the road.
October 5, 2016

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Zilch/Valerie Venet Photos, Los Angeles, CA, Sept. 16, 2016

Zilch/Valerie Venet Photos
Before Monkees concert
Pantages Theater
Los Angeles, CA
Sept. 16, 2016
All photos 2016 Daniel Coston

Monday, October 3, 2016

Just Four Days Left Of My 1990s Charlotte Music Scene Retrospective

Hi All-

My show at C3 Lab of Charlotte music scene photos from 1996-2001 closes at the end of October 6th, this Thursday. The gallery is open today by appointment, and open 11am to 6pm from Tuesday to Thursday. Call or email if you would like me to give you a tour. Thank you, as always, and see you at the gallery,
October 3, 2016

New Issue Of Tangents Is Out!

Go to to see the new issue, and look for my articles here shortly. Thanks,
October 3, 2016

Breakin' Convention Photos, September 30th and October 1st, 2016

See more photos at the Bluemthal's FB and social media pages.
All photos 2016 Daniel Coston

October 3, 2016