Sure they gave us gelato, pizza, DaVinci, Venice, Florence, old Roma and Napoli, but what has Italy done for us lately? Above, their latest gift to the world, the seven-member womens chorus The Sessions Voices. http://www.thesessionsvoices.com/
Welcome Back To The Hootenanny Power Pages, Folk and Roots Music Playlist, and Coming Events in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas. The Hootenanny Power radio show, since 1981 on WRKF Public Radio Baton Rouge. The live audio stream may be heard via computer, Saturday nights, 9 pm to midnight central time, at www.wrkf.org, or on the airwaves at 89.3
Hootenanny Power Live Streaming Only! Broadcast regulations and licensing make podcasting or archiving rights for music programs murky murky murky. Unless and until these matters are cleared up, Hootenanny Power will be live streaming only, 9 pm to midnight central time, Saturday nights http://www.wrkf.org
At Red Dragon- Greg Jacobs 25 July, and then things get Kinky...
This coming Friday, July 25 we are pleased to be hosting our Okie buddy GREG JACOBS at the Dragon. Greg writes the most incredible story/songs you will ever hear. Many years ago Greg had retired from performing. We spend about six years trying to get him here for a show. Three years ago the performing bug bit him again and he brought his protégée (JOHN FULLBRIGHT!) down for a visit. Greg has returned every year since then. He may be the busiest man in all of music.......singer, songwriter, cattle rancher, gifted teacher and blogger. Jacobs brings a pocket full of stories and a bus load of reality. Take my word, y'all.......GREG JACOBS is the real deal! WILL CALLOWAY will open the show. Regular seats are $20 and VIP couch seats are $30.
Just one week later (Fri, Aug 1) we welcome our Texas friend KINKY FRIEDMAN. Famed musician, author, TV pundit, politician, businessman (tequila, salsa & cigars!) and legendary Jewish cowboy......Kinky is one of the funniest and most irreverent people on earth. Just a couple of song titles will confirm that......"They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore", "Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed", "Asshole From El Paso".....do I really need to go on! If a night of great music and laughter is up your alley, drop me a note to reserve. Kinky fills the place every year and we are over half full at the time of this note. Regular seats are $50 and VIP seats are $60. Our buddy DENNIS LEDBETTER (backed by the BEDLAMVILLE TRIFLERS!) will open the show.
Next up at the Manship......
As many of you know, we are also doing THE RED DRAGON SONGWRITERS SERIES at the Manship Theatre. This is where we host bigger shows that are beyond our little building. Thursday we had the great KEITH SYKES & RICHARD LEIGH for a spectacular night of music. Big thanks to TRITON INDUSTRIES for sponsoring the show and making it happen. On Friday, August 8 we welcome CHRIS HILLMAN & HERB PEDERSEN to the Manship stage. Yes, 2/3 of the DESERT ROSE BAND. Yes, one of the founders of THE BYRDS, the SOUTHER-HILLMAN-FURRAY BAND, the FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS.....this is one of the biggest shows we have ever pulled off. Pretty sure we will come close to our first Manship sellout on this one. And it is completely due to our show sponsors KEAN MILLER, LLC. Folks, these kind of shows just don't happen. They take a lot of work and a bit on money. KEAN MILLER stepped up to make this event happen. I mention this because we have five more events in the season and we have run out of sponsors. I'm just a poor boy these days.....got pushed into early retirement by a system that wants young, younger and youngest! So if you own a company and can step up for a show, it would be a HUGE help. Our remaining shows are:
Fri, Aug 22 DON MCLEAN Fri, Sept 5 BILL KIRCHEN & REDD VOLKAERT Fri, Oct 10 RAY WYLIE HUBBARD Fri, Nov 14 DARRELL SCOTT Thur, Dec 4 SHAWN CAMP Tickets for our Aug 8 HILLMAN & PEDERSON show and for the rest of the Manship Series are available at www.ManshipTheatre.org. Seats for DON MCLEAN are at www.TicketMaster.com
Thank you to everyone who came out last night to hear music of the 70's. We had a great time and hope you all did too. My thanks to Bailey and John for being on board with our 70's concert and putting lots of time and energy into it. I forgot to send out a thanks to Allen Calmes, our sound man for the evening.Thanks also for everyone who brought food. It was plentiful and delicious. It was nice seeing familiar faces as well as new ones in the audience. We hope to see all of you at our upcoming concerts.
Next up on August 23rd, is Sweet Olive Band - an old time string band from New Orleans. We'll be sending info about the concert soon. Thanks Robert and Dianne Calmes
This years Kerrville Fall Music Festival will be held on August 29 - 31 and is a great way to spend 3 days camping and looking at the stars. The full line-up is posted and tickets are on sale at a discount at www.kerrvillefolkfestival.org until August 28th.
We are having the VIP party again!!!! It was so well received last year that everyone who participated said they would do it again and recommend it to friends. The packages, and what you get, are on the tickets page. We are adding a pancake breakfast this year and the cooks are our foundation board members. It will be at the Threadgill Theater on Saturday at 11:30AM, a very reasonable time I think. It is included in the VIP package but you can also purchase tickets to it for $10. The breakfast leads into a concert from 1 - 3PM featuring our MUSIC CAMP FOR TEENS and sponsoring organizations SHOULDER TO THE STONE and MUSIC DOING GOOD. The plan is to have some of the Boys & Girls Club kids with us to sing several songs they have been working on with Ken Gaines and Paul Pearcy.
Ken Gaines and Bill Ward from Shoulder to the Stone, Jena Kirkpatrick our poetry faculty for Music Camp for Teens and Ray Younkin from Music Doing Good will be performing at the concert. Come and have breakfast and stay for the concert to support the camp and the artists working with the kids.
Anyone that is willing to put out brochures and posters email us at email@example.com with BROCHURES as the subject. We will send them to you ASAP.
Southwest Regional Folk Alliance (SWRFA) Songwriters! If you were planning to submit for the Official Showcases you still have until July 14. You may send your submission by mail or on Sonicbids. The Conference is in Austin September 25 - 28. For the forms and information go to www.swfolkalliance.org
POCHE PLANTATION ARTS AND CRAFTS SHOW ACOUSTIC JAM
6554 Louisiana State Highway 44, PO Box 397, Convent, Louisiana 70723
Poche' Plantation Arts and Crafts Show has opened up it's grounds and porches to Acoustic Musicians to come and jam and share the joy of music on Sunday, October 26th, 2014, 9 am to 5 pm.
If you play an Acoustic Instrument or Sing, come and join us for this inaugural String Jam. Musicians will be provided with free admission, an event T-Shirt and Food. There will be a staging area where you may store your cases.
No amplification is allowed.
Won't you join us? This is sure to be memorable and fun!
Saturday, August 23rd Saenger Theatre Tickets on sale Friday, June 27th
Crosby, Stills and Nash tickets will go on sale Friday, June 27th. They will perform songs from their extensive catalogue, as well as new material from each member. More than four decades since CSN first harmonized in Laurel Canyon, and played its first-ever concert as a trio at the legendary Woodstock festival, its members continue a creative partnership that is one of the most influential and enduring in music.
The Healthier Air for All Campaign, an initiative of The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL), has partnered with WWOZ, a non-profit community-supported radio station in New Orleans, to host a statewide concert tour. The "Join the Movement" Tour is a six-city tour to promote the importance of healthy, smoke-free environments for Louisiana musicians and fans of live music.
The Tour kicked off on Tuesday, May 20th in New Orleans at the Blue Nile, for a special smoke-free night for the Open Ears Concert in celebration of Sun Ra's 100th Anniversary. Performances include Jeff Albert, James Singleton, Brad Walker, Ray Moore, Rick Trolson, Jimbo Walsh and more. The tour will also visit Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Hammond, Lake Charles and Shreveport.
"Musicians, patrons and employees in smoky venues are exposed to the high levels of secondhand smoke– often at levels 300-600% higher than other employees exposed to secondhand smoke on the job," said Tonia Moore, Associate Director for TFL. "The 'Join the Movement' Tour gives these groups the opportunity to work, play and enjoy the music they love in a smoke-free venue."
This concert tour is part of the larger Healthier Air for All media campaign launched earlier this year by TFL. The campaign showcases the many smoke-free events and venues across the state in hopes of getting increased support for those businesses and increase the number of businesses who choose to voluntarily go smoke-free, and illustrate the growing movement towards a smoke-free Louisiana.
"As the Guardians of the Groove we must protect the music but also the artists that create the music," stated David Freedman, General Manager of WWOZ. "This partnership with Healthier Air for All protects our musicians and live-music lovers from the health dangers and harmful effects of secondhand smoke."
The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Tobacco Control Program (LTCP) coordinate their efforts in tobacco prevention and control by providing statewide coordination of existing tobacco control initiatives, funding innovative community programs for tobacco control, offering services for people who are ready to quit and developing statewide media campaigns to help reduce the excessive burden of tobacco use on the state's resources and improve the overall health and quality of life in Louisiana. For more information visit http://www.tobaccofreeliving.org. To find out more about the dangers of secondhand smoke and show your support for a 100-percent smoke-free Louisiana, visit http://www.healthierairforall.org.
About the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium (LCRC) The Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium of New Orleans provides a structure in which Tulane University Health Sciences Center and Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center - the state's two leading medical research institutions - will work together and coordinate cancer research development in preparation for recognition as a National Cancer Institute (NCI) - Designated Cancer Center. The consortium is funded through five cents of the tobacco excise tax, three cents to fund infrastructure and cancer research program development for the new Consortium and two cents for tobacco control and prevention programs. Conservative estimates indicate that approximately $10 million per year will be generated from this revenue source. For more information, visit http://www.lcrc.info.
About the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) Founded in 1997, The Louisiana Public Health Institute's mission is to promote and improve the health and quality of life in Louisiana through public-private partnering at the community, parish and state levels. By fostering collaborative endeavors in the areas of health information, public policy, applied research, and community capacity enhancement, LPHI works to develop community-oriented solutions that improve the health of the Louisiana population. For more information, visit http://www.lphi.org.
About WWOZ WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station, a community radio station currently operating out of the French Market Corporation Offices in New Orleans. The governance board is appointed by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Foundation. The station is a listener-supported, volunteer-programmed radio station. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States. The station currently broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually.
JAMES COTTON WINS BLUES MUSIC AWARD FOR TRADITIONAL BLUES MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
On Thursday, May 8, Grammy Award-winning harmonica master James Cotton received the Blues Music Award for Traditional Blues Male Artist Of The Year. The Blues Foundation announced the winners of the 35th Annual Blues Music Awards in a ceremony held at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, Tennessee. Cotton, who was in attendence at the ceremony, is currently celebrating his 70th year as a professional performer, and is hot off the heels of 2013's Grammy-nominated Cotton Mouth Man.
Cotton Mouth Man is an upbeat, warm blues album boasting fine musicianship and Cotton's undeniable spirit. Living Blues says, "James Cotton is one of the great harmonica innovators of his generation. Cotton Mouth Man is a star-studded affair that makes James Cotton's best recording for Alligator. It is an autobiographical narrative of Cotton's eventful life and soul-deep relationship with the blues. He plays with an authority and energy that belies his age." NPR Music declares, "Conjure up a list of all-time great blues harmonica players, and high up on it you'll see the name James Cotton.
TOP ARTISTS OF JUNE 2014 via www.folkradio.org Compiled by Richard Gillmann from FOLKDJ-L radio playlists Based on 14072 airplays from 142 different DJs
1. Red Molly 2. Joe Crookston 3. Mary Gauthier 3. Red June 5. Tumbling Bones 6. T Sisters 7. John Gorka 8. The Duhks 9. Eliza Gilkyson 10. Bob Dylan 10. Linda McRae 10. Lucy Billings 10. Paul Sachs 10. Runa 15. John Malcolm Penn 15. Willie Watson 17. John Flynn 18. Ernest Troost 19. Rod MacDonald 20. The Howlin' Brothers 20. Rodney Crowell 22. Laurie Lewis 22. Molly Tuttle And John Mailander 22. True North 25. Craig Bickhardt 25. Willie Nelson 27. Seldom Scene 27. Still On The Hill 29. John McCutcheon 30. Carrie Elkin And Danny Schmidt 30. Pete Seeger 30. The Stray Birds 30. Sweet Potatoes 34. Bronwynne Brent 34. Catie Curtis 34. Tom Paxton 37. Balsam Range 37. Carrie Newcomer 37. Jen Starsinic 37. John Prine 37. Johnny Cash 37. Tim Grimm ===================================================================
The Fabulous Bagasse Boyz
=================================================================== Highlights of Graham Nash at Folk Alliance in Kansas City 2014
LSU Press Publishes First Biography of Huey “Piano” Smith
“I credit Huey with opening the door for funk, basically as we know it, in some ridiculously hip way, and putting it in the mainstream of the world’s music.” –Dr. John, 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee
Baton Rouge— Huey “Piano” Smith’s musical legacy stands alongside fellow New Orleans legends like Dr. John, Fats Domino, Ernie K-Doe, and Allen Toussaint. His 1957 classic, “Rocking Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu,” made Billboard’s top R&B singles chart, and hundreds of artists have recorded his songs, including Aerosmith, the Grateful Dead, the Beach Boys, Johnny Rivers, and Chubby Checker.
The first biography of the artist responsible for hits “Don’t You Just Know It,” “High Blood Pressure,” and “Sea Cruise,” Huey “Piano” Smith and the Rocking Pneumonia Blues follows the musician from his Depression-era childhood to his years as a pianist for blues star Guitar Slim to his mainstream success in the 1950s and ’60s. Drawing from extensive interviews and court records, author and journalist John Wirt also provides new insights on Smith’s professional disappointments and financial struggles of the 1980s and ’90s as he battled for legal ownership of his most successful and profitable work.
An enigmatic and guarded personality in a profession of extroverted performers, Smith made far-reaching contributions to the New Orleans music scene as a songwriter, pianist, and producer. Wirt reveals that Smith’s numerous collaborative ventures—including the Clowns, the Pitter Pats, the Hueys and Shin-Dig Smith, and the Soul Shakers—were vehicles for his creative vision rather than anonymous backup for a leading front man.
Throughout this intimate account, Wirt details Smith’s significant impact on rock and roll history and underscores both the longevity of his music—which has entertained and inspired for over five decades—and the musician’s personal endurance in the face of hardship and opposition.
John Wirt has covered music, film, and entertainment for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Daytona Beach News-Journal, and The Advocate’s Baton Rouge and New Orleans editions.
March 2014 / 312 pages, 6 x 9, 9 halftones 978-0-8071-5295-9 Paper $25.95, ebook available LSU Press Paperback Original
Okey dokey artichokies, The Boyz have a few up coming events for you to peruse and hopefully attend. And yet, even bigger news. Van Glynn, fiddler and mandolinist extraordinaire, has shown a complete lack of good judgement and common sense and has joined The Fabulous Bagasse Boyz as a full partner in this mayhem. His family and friends are aghast at this lack of discretion on his part but we are delighted. We hope he doesn't have second thoughts when the drugs wear off. He's already catching flack from little old ladies at his church . . . "You're playing with who . . . ? Well I never . . . How do you pronounce that? What does that mean?"
And for all of ya'll interested in our videos, here is a link to a site where you can see some of Randy Walsh's other work. Click on the "Stray Films Montage". We're in very rarefied company.
Clarence Recommends: Every Friday - Coobie Joe cajun band every Friday at Boutin's Cajun restaurant 7pm-10pm at 8322 Bluebonnet Boulevard Baton Rouge, LA 70810 (225) 819-9862 www.boutins.com
Cajun Fiddle Lessons by Ann Vidrine: Clarence's friend Ann Vidrine gives cajun fiddle lessons. If you are interested in playing the cajun fiddle, she would be a good person to learn from. For lessons, call 225-343-7398 or email: annvidrine [type the at sign] cox.net
Les Kerr has a new blog about the musical connection between Nashville and New Orleans. From Louis Armstrong’s collaboration with Jimmie Rodgers to Del McCoury playing with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, the connection continues at:
San Francisco's Tompkins Square Label Releases 'Live At Caffè Lena: Music From America's Legendary Coffeehouse, 1967-2013'. 3-CD Box Set Available Worldwide September 24, 2013
Unreleased performances by Dave Van Ronk, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Kate McGarrigle, Rick Danko, Anais Mitchell, Sleepy John Estes, Arlo Guthrie, Sarah Lee Guthrie, and more.
Nestled in the quaint upstate town of Saratoga Springs, New York is Caffè Lena, the oldest continuously operating folk music coffeehouse in the US. Opened by Lena Spencer in 1960, this tiny room has played host to influential artists across diverse genres of music; traditional folk, blues, singer-songwriters, jazz and bluegrass. Luckily, many performances were caught on tape through the years, offering the listener a thrilling seat inside this hallowed venue. ‘Live At Caffè Lena’, a 3-CD box set, the result of years of investigative research, contains 47 tracks, all released for the very first time, alongside previously unpublished photographs. Images include selections from the archive of esteemed photographer Joe Alper, who captured many iconic, intimate portraits from the folk era of the 1960s.
'Live At Caffè Lena' documents an important folk universe that was and is still happening in upstate New York, a story heretofore largely untold. The release of this collection comes at an auspicious time in light of renewed interest in the New York folk scene of the 60s as depicted in the forthcoming Coen Brothers film, 'Inside Llewyn Davis.' The film is loosely based on Dave Van Ronk's 2005 memoir 'The Mayor of Macdougal Street.' Van Ronk, a Caffè Lena regular, served as a mentor to many artists, some who would go on to eclipse his fame. His 1974 recording of "Gaslight Rag" featured on the box set references the Gaslight Café, a famed Greenwich Village venue that along with Caffè Lena was a catalyst for the folk music revival.
Caffè Lena embodied the spirit of the folk boom, the era and its artistry, building a reputation as a hotbed of creativity and connection. It was also a safe haven and nurturing space for artists, its atmosphere cultivated personally by Lena Spencer herself. She would graciously house wayward artists, sometimes for months at a time. But she was not merely a host. She championed artists, from Bob Dylan as early as 1961 all the way through the 80s until her passing. Her passion for identifying and promoting talent is evident throughout this 3-CD set. That Caffè Lena is still open for business tonight is a testament to her legacy.
"Though it's impossible to pinpoint a particular moment when immigrants began inventing American music, a dramatic turning point surely occurred in 1804, the year a young nation made the Louisiana Purchase. President Thomas Jefferson sought to buy from the French just the city of New Orleans, because of its crucial value as a port. But a cash-strapped Napoleon sold the entire, still-uncharted Louisiana Territory for $15 million — roughly 4 cents an acre. In a single stroke, America became a thrilling, noisy eruption of sound."
I host a local BG / folk/gospel radio show that airs on several country stations on Sunday morning. If you have a recent recording that would reflect this format, please send along. I would be glad to air. Please let me know what song that you are trying to push.
I do this only as a labor of love for this kind of music and to promote local artist.
My name is Rebecca Sharky. I am the GM of Cafe Des Amis in Breaux Bridge, LA. I'd like for Cafe Des Amis to be considered as an alternative non-smoking venue to your folk friends. If you have any suggestions, please email me.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BREATHE SECONDHAND SMOKE AT WORK. WHY SHOULD I?
"I have been affected by secondhand smoke. I remember one night I was playing in a club and I went to hit a high note and I almost blacked out on stage. I had to hold the microphone to keep from falling down. There was so much smoke in the place that it had a negative impact on my singing."
Music selections from audio collections at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Southern Folklife Collection are now being streamed online. Visitors can tune in to channels that feature music in five genres: old-time music; country and bluegrass; folk revival; rhythm, blues, and boogie; and the eclectic “SFC Mix.” The purpose of our radio stream is to make our holdings available for educational use.
When the song of the angel is stilled, When the star in the sky is gone, When the kings and princes are home, When the shepherds are back with their flocks, The work of Christmas begins: To find the lost, To heal the broken, To feed the hungry, To release the prisoner, To rebuild the nations, To bring peace among brothers, To make music in the heart.
This website is updated Saturdays, before the Hootenanny Power radio show at 9 pm on WRKF. Please don't wait until Monday or Tuesday after the radio show to send me info on a performance that coming Friday. It definitely won't make the show, and probably won't make the website. tlcaffery at yahoo dot com
Latino music, art and cultural events are listed at www.LaTno.com, described as "A loose Spanglish acronym for 'La. T n.o.' - Lah-TEE-noh, the Louisiana (La.) and New Orleans (n.o.) connection."
For fun, traditional country music, check out the Old South Jamboree, Walker LA. (I wish they had a website!) ===========================================================================
For this week's Hootenanny Power show, thanks to Caffery Gallery www.cafferygallery.com ==========================================================================
Write me via e-mail if your upcoming folk music, blues, celtic, world, cajun, or similar event should be here. WRKF's signal covers much of South Central Louisiana, so I'd like to include as much info as I can about events listeners might want to know about throughout the state. --Taylor Caffery, WRKF firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember, The Neutral Ground Coffee House in New Orleans is Louisiana's oldest regular folk venue. There's ALWAYS somebody worth hearing on their schedule, year 'round (an assertion supported by NPR's interview with owner Philip Melancon on Saturday, Aug 2, 2003's Weekend Edition, with Philip playing Roy Rogers songs on accordion!) If you'll be in the Nawlins area, be sure to check the Neutral Ground calendar at www.neutralground.org (Since Katrina, the website has not shown a current schedule, but it has a guestbook for artists and customers to check in)
MORE BATON ROUGE ROOTS RADIO
Rob Payer Rhythm Review WBRH 90.3 FM Saturday / 7am-1pm Tabby Thomas Tabby's Blues Box on WBRH 90.3 FM Saturday / 1pm-2pm Weekly Guest host Blues Buffet WBRH 90.3 FM Saturday / 2pm-3pm Pat McBride, Louisiana Gumbo on WBRH 90.3 Saturday / 3pm-4pm S.J. Montalbano, Roots of Rock & Roll on WBRH 90.3 Saturday / 4pm-7pm Zia Tammami, Spontaneous Combustion & Cat's Corner Sunday KLSU 91.1 10am-2pm WBRH 90.3 3pm-7pm Noel Jackson, The Southern Soul Show on KBRH 1260 AM / Sunday 11am-noon Clarence Moritz Jr., Cajun and Zydeco Radio Show, KBRH 1260 AM / Sunday noon - 2 pm
People do express that sentiment to me oftimes, but the station schedule is guided by all sorts of important considerations, and I'm happy to continue to have the opportunity to bring this alternative music to our area and support the touring performers in whatever way possible. Now, my friend Rich Warren in Chicago on WFMT hosts a show called The Midnight Special, which has been around since the 1950s, when the host was Mike Nichols. Rich loves the late-night hours for folk music, but he knows some folks can't listen to the radio at that time (asleep? out partying?), so he has detailed instructions for taping his show, which can be done on a video recorder (vcr). Recognizing that his station's FM frequency is different, and you'd want to tune to 89.3, here's a link to Rich Warren's "manual" for taping a two-hour radio show on your VCR. Thanks, Rich.
Get an iPhone or Android phone. Download the WRKF app. When the show starts, hit pause on your app. Play it later.
Thomas Mann Design Techno-Romantic Jewelry, at Caffery Gallery, 4016 Government Street at Richland 388-9397
Your basic collector's item: The General Store Hootenanny Power t-shirt
MARY ANN CAFFERY PHOTOGRAPHIC SERIES AT BATON ROUGE GALLERY, AUGUST 2013
Mary Ann Caffery will be exhibiting new photographs along with artists Amy James and Brian Kelly at Baton Rouge Gallery beginning August 4 and running through August 30. The public is invited to a reception for the artists on Wednesday, August 7 from 7 to 9 pm at Baton Rouge Gallery.
Mary Ann Caffery's photographic series titled Vignettes: Out of the Darkness….Into the Light, is a series of photographs taken around the LSU lakes.
In November I began observing the migrating birds arriving at the LSU lakes here in Baton Rouge, as I have for many years. Some years I document what I see in photographs and short videos, some years I just watch them. This year I also took photo trips to the Lafayette, Jefferson Island, and Avery Island area to see the rookeries, as well as going on an annual group photographic expedition to the south Louisiana coast to document areas that are disappearing.
This series of photographs Vignettes: Out of the Darkness…Into the Light is based on what I observed here in Baton Rouge on mornings when I was on walks around the LSU lakes as I had often done in the winter months, primarily to watch the pelicans in their strange feeding rituals. I kept stumbling onto this subplot of egrets in what I observed to be a surreal setting in that it looked like an ancient, choreographed stage production in which the birds were the actors, entering stage left, exiting stage right. They emerged from the fog and from the darkness, then disappeared back into nowhere, as choruses of birds chanted on the sides. There was an element of mystery in what I saw. The scenes were so unusual that they looked like paintings when I looked at the photographs I had taken.
My goal in this series is to convey an atmosphere in my photographs that is mysterious and veiled or that portrays time standing still. Photographs portray a moment in time, and in this case they emphasize that heavy, veiled, mysterious atmosphere of an early morning. Some of the photographs in this series are about coming out of the darkness, some are about emerging into the light. These photographs were taken with my point and shoot camera rather than my more modern DSLR camera. I am not sure I could have captured that feel of old black and white movies and photographs, which I think makes these photographs convey what I want to convey, with the newer camera.
I work in a variety of mediums, the common thread running through all of my work being light—whether it be my work in glass, mosaic, paint, or photography. When I was a student at LSU I took photography classes, and I have steadily photographed over the years. I initially took photographs to use as inspirations for my paintings and glass work, but in this instance photographs best portrayed the stage drama of the family Egretta and their ancient rituals.