Sunday, May 22, 2011

Some Rockin' Country

That festival I mentioned in Friday's post starred some of the hottest acts in country music right now: Jason Aldean, Eric Church, the JaneDear Girls, Steel Magnolia, Sunny Sweeney and Eden's Edge. All six put on awesome performances and for this event each set aside some time to sign autographs for numerous fans. Each has at least one hit song to their name; Aldean and Church have many each.

Jason Aldean


the JaneDear Girls


Funny insider note: every music artist's management sets the rules on things like meet-n-greets, media interviews and photographer access. Country artists are by far the friendliest and easiest to work with of any popular music genre, but sometimes their "people" act like the artists are in the superstar league, even when they are not there yet. And they seem to forget that radio stations play a big role in the performer's success, even in the digital age. So there are restrictions on photography, even when the photographer (in this case me) works for the radio station and is willing to promise to NOT sell the shots and to not get in the way of the artists. The good news for this show: I was allowed to shoot with my "almost pro" camera that would otherwise not be allowed in the venue. The bad news: my shooting spot for the two biggest headliners was behind the mixing board, halfway back in the venue. I was up close for the 1st of the 3 main stage acts, as you can see from these pictures. The learning op for me: any time I have any access, bring EVERY piece of photo gear I own rather than leaving my long lenses home because I thought I'd be up close for every act. Whine, whine, whine, I know.

I should also point out that even though it really is necessary to control access to artists, for the safety and sanity of the artist, the ones who remember where they came from are the ones most likely to have long careers. My best examples include some I have met at my radio station numerous times, even though they are already superstars and don't really have to do this stuff any more: Kenny Chesney, Brooks & Dunn, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Montgomery Gentry.

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