concert

Bill Lauf tuning before concert

Bill Lauf tuning before concert

Milton, Connecticut. My good friend Bill Lauf did a concert last night at Milton Hall and as always, it was a great time. Bill has a full time job and is on the road for work quite a bit yet he manages to write and record a lot of great music in his (little) spare time. He plays tenor guitar and he has a large collection of them, all present at the show last night. He has them tuned differently and he uses them selectively on different songs.

I missed having a DSLR in the low light of Milton Hall at night. The G15 did fine at 1600 ISO and my old 5D would have choked on it but the newer bodies can easily handle 1600 and above with little problem.

Bill Lauf and Gordon Titcomb Play Milton Hall, 2008

Bill Lauf and Gordon Titcomb

Bill Lauf and Gordon Titcomb

Milton Hall, Milton, Connecticut. Bill and Gordon warming up before the show. Bill is a part time song writer and folk musician and a neighbor of ours here in Warren. Gordon is a professional studio musician who plays sessions and on tour with the big boys who’s been a friend of Bill’s for years. He’s also local (when he’s not touring).

Anne and I have been going to hear Bill at Milton Hall for twenty years (Anne for another ten) and this was the second time Gordon joined him.

Milton Hall holds about 75 people comfortably and this show had close to 100 packed in. The audience energy was fantastic and many of us were long time attendees. It was quite an evening and the guys played their hearts out, mostly their own music as well as some covers: Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Randy Newman, Paul McCartney and more.

Both Bill and Gordon are solid musicians with depth and breadth and humor and energy and many in the audience thought it was one of the best concerts ever. That’s saying something.

The photography was tougher for me this time: more people, tough lighting, two musicians, more microphones, and I got pinned in a corner up front once the music started. I decided to take fewer shots and enjoy the music more. I’m glad I did.

Bill Lauf on four string tenor guitar

Bill Lauf

Bill Lauf, in his groove playing his own music. I consider Bill a good friend and I have to say, it’s wonderful to see someone you know perform well.

He told a story about this small four sting tenor guitar but I can’t remember it. I think the instrument came down to him from his father. It has a great, warm sound.

Gordon Titcomb on banjo

Gordon Titcomb

Gordon picking out Auld Lang Syne. You haven’t heard this song until you’ve heard it on a bluegrass banjo. Fantastic. He retuned the banjo multiple times on the fly. Incredible picking.

Gordon Titcomb on pedal steel guitar

Gordon Titcomb

Gordon really knows how to make the pedal steel guitar sing.

Chris Brown, sound engineer

Chris Brown

No good concert can happen without good engineering and Chris Brown, a jazz musician (trumpet) and sound engineer filled the space with great sound, not too hot, perfectly balanced, and just enough so we heard all the string and fret sounds. Note the Mac Mini and small board he takes to gigs with him.

I’ve known Chris for twenty years as well, as an engineer for Paul Winter and David Darling and a fellow Mac user.

We’re hoping that he got enough tracks between both evenings Bill and Gordon played to make a live CD. Maybe they’ll use one of my images on the cover.

Battery Park, July 19, 2001

David at Battery Park

I was a “roady” for David Darling at an open air, free concert he did at Battery Park just prior to 9-11. The concert went quite well and in taking these pictures I wasn’t even trying to get the World Trade Center in them, just the musicians.

Paul at Battery Park

My friend Paul Briggs played keyboards as well as sitar in this concert.

Battery Park at Night

Our friend T. Fliesher (in white shirt) played lead electric guitar in the concert. T. is also a landscape architect involved with the grounds around Battery Park and he and his family live in Battery Park. They experienced 9-11 at ground 0: they were at the foot of the South Tower when the second plane hit. They got out safely and even went home to rescue their dog later that day after both buildings collapsed.