2001

Chuchito Valdes @ Boulder Theater

Born in Havana Cuba, Chuchito Valdes comes from one of the most distinguished musical families in Cuba. He has recorded and performed piano with the world renown Cuban band, Irakere, which he led for 2 years.

Robert Minkin Photography (July 2001)

waitingRobert's photographed rock-n-roll since the mid-seventies. Covering such music genres as "punk" rock typified by the Clash and Talking Heads, the Blues of Muddy Waters and B.B. King, Jazz artists and the San Francisco sounds of the Grateful Dead, Robert continues to pursue his love of music and photography.

 

Robert is available for assignment for live events, trade shows, and band promotion. Equally adept at traditional and digital media, he can offer creative solutions for your photo and design needs. Please contact him to discuss your needs.

 

Raised in Brooklyn, NY, Robert eventually settled with his family in Marin County, California. He is a partner in Minkin Design, a full-service web design and graphic studio.

 

Stock photographs are available for editorial, multimedia and other usage. Please check the stock list for available artists. Bob's work has appeared in many publications and book titles.

 

Many of photographs shown here are available for purchase. These are hand-printed using the finest materials. Please contact Robert for more information regarding purchasing a photograph.

Download our complete stock photo list:
Text file (word)
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Hippie Things (February 2001)

- for the Grateful Web
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Yamagata (June 2001)

Yamagata- for the Grateful Web
- for the Grateful Web

The band Yamagata is rising quickly on the horizon of improvisation music.  The thunderous Memphis rock has spread coast-to-coast, building strong fan bases in large national markets. They have been touring constantly in support of their debut release "Eveland". Their second release "Connect" has just been completed and was released July 16th, 2002.

 

Formed in '97, Yamagata consists of Jim Britt on drums, Matt Kirby on bass, Joe Austin on vocals and guitar, and Jeff Waldon on sax. With many influences from jazz to heavy rock, Yamagata has been trying to create their own sound with success. Memphis funk has been twisted to produce an original sound that is undeniable. Along with the development of their original material, Yamagata covers a vast array of artists from the Beastie Boys, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Steely Dan to Miles Davis and Wes Montgomery.

 

The band was nominated last year for a "jammy" for best new band. As they continue to tour extensively, be on the lookout for their live show, for this is the best way to reach true Yamagata.

 

Meet the band:

Joe Austin, Vocals and Guitar:

I am a native of the Memphis area and have been greatly influenced by the music and culture of the mid-south. I have played guitar since I was 10 and have been singing since I can remember. My influences are many, but especially Santana, David Gilmore, Alex Lifeson, Angus, Zappa, and Trey. I have played with Yamagata now for 4 years. It has been a learning experience in both song writing and improvisation. I enjoy attempting to make the guitar sound like other things such as keyboards or laser beams and never tire of the toys that help in this quest. I still drive a station wagon, laugh at TV programming, and hold a place dear for Old Charter.

 

 

Matt Kirby, Bass:

The best part of playing in a band that is heavy on improvisation is the freedom. We create new music in front of people and that is such an incredible feeling. My role as the bass player is to try to hold everything together. I have been playing bass for about eight years now, and I am always trying to learn all that I can. That is another great aspect of music; you can always learn more. I am very thankful that I am able to play music as a profession. I love the bass... and bourbon... and the Red Sox. Peace.

 

 

Jim Britt, Drums:

Jim Britt was born on September 10, 1970 in Galveston, Texas to James & Cassandra Britt. He attended McCullough High School in The Woodlands, Texas where he started his musical training. After graduation Jim spent a few years honing his rudimental drumming skills in several drum and bugle corps including; The Cavaliers (Rosemont, Ill.), The Colts (Dubuque, IA), and The Santa Clara Vanguard (Santa Clara, CA.).

 

 

While attending Memphis State University Jim's focus shifted from rudimental drumming to orchestral percussion and solo marimba under Dr. Frank Shaffer, principal tympanist for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. After college, Jim was teaching many private students as well as instructing the percussion departments of some high schools in the Memphis area.

Then in 1997 the band Yamagata was formed. Since then he has been touring with the group from coast to coast. A year after the release of their debut album "Eveland," Jim was awarded a nomination for "Drummer of the Year" by the Memphis chapter of the Academy for the Recording Arts & Sciences.

 

 

Jeff Waldon, Sax:

Growing up in Seattle wasn't as wet as most people think. Sure it rained a lot, but it always seemed the right way to get wet. Now that I'm in Memphis, it seems the rain stopped falling, and just hangs thick in the air like an enormous transparent cloud. And the heat... My apartment has central air for the first time ever. A modest, cool place to get my groove on.

 

 

I've been playing sax since it was first made available for school band in the sixth grade. And things haven't changed too much since then; save the rhythm section. 7 years of public school and a lot of jazz festivals around the states got me an audition with the US Navy Band, and that got me to Memphis where I met Yamagata.

 

 

It's been an adventure playing with these guys each night. Being the only member of the band not affiliated with the rhythm section has given me mountains of melodic freedom. Each and every show I get to explore new harmonies, and tensions. Using Joe's thick guitar tones as a springboard, I'm able to cause as much or as little saxophone mayhem as I want. And somewhere between Jim's kit and the Jock's bass, is a pocket where it seems every note works. Playing the sax has never been this much fun.

Uncle Sammy (July 2001)

- for the Grateful Web
Uncle Sammy @ Wetlands preserve- for the Grateful Web

EDITOR NOTE MAY 2006: BAND MAY BE IN THE BAND GRAVEYARD? Let us know.

Combining the grooves of funk, rock, latin, drum and bass, reggae, swing and afro-beat with the harmonic languages of jazz, pop sensibilities, progressive composition and full on improvisation, Uncle Sammy has been turning heads and opening ears on the east coast U.S. and around the world for over four years. They have shared the bill with such acts as Steve Kimock, Percy Hill, Moon Boot Lover, Jiggle, The Slip, ulu, The Miracle Orchestra, Sector 9, Psychedelic Breakfast, The Disco Biscuits, Soulive, Foxtrot Zulu, Brothers Past, Ancient Harmony, Blueground Undergrass, JGB, Deep Banana Blackout, The Heavy Metal Horns, Two Ton Shoe, moe. side project Ha Ha the Moose, and many others.

Uncle Sammy finds its beginnings in the halls of the legendary Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. In the fall of 1996, Tom Arey (drums/vocals) and Brian O'Connell (bass, chapman stick and vocals) met in a jazz ensemble class. Simultaneously, Tom and Max Delaney (guitar/vocals) met in Ear Training. While all this was going on Brian and Max met at a late night jam session. Meanwhile, Brian and Beau Sasser (keyboards, vocals) had been jamming jazz standards and funk regularly with a group known as Gabe Turner and the Jazz Explosion. All these paths would eventually cross.

The real start of the band happened when Max's friend Jeff Waful (then an intern at Gamelan Productions) got a gig for a band to open up on a Thursday night concert series put on by Gamelan at the Wellfleet Beachcomber in Cape Cod. So Max secured the talents of Tom and Brian to play every Thursday during the summer of 97 at this beautiful ocean side club. With the addition of Jay Mallory on vocals and rhythm guitar, they played originals and covers to a packed house at every show.

After the summer the boys went back to Boston to continue college. Jay stayed on the Cape and they picked up the talents of Beau Sasser. Rehearsals followed and a few gigs in Boston during the fall of 97. 1998 found the band playing more around the New England area and gaining a stronger fan base in Boston. By 1999, Uncle Sammy had become a regular at the famed Wetlands Preserve club in Manhattan, recognized as the capital of the jamband world. That year also found them performing on the Berkshire Mountain Music Festival as well as branching out farther into New York State and increasing it's gigs across New England. Also that year they independently released their first CD, "Live at Broadway Joe's", that has since gone on to sell thousands of copies.

In 2000, "Naturally Preserved", their second disk was released on Phoenix Presents to critical and popular praise. Another milestone in 2000 was the 5-week tour with Addison Groove Project, another Boston area band. The tour stretched across New England, the East Coast and New York State. In 2001, Uncle Sammy continued to play to bigger and bigger crowds in the Northeast as well as making a 3-week tour East Coast tour that went from Bar Harbor, ME to Key West, FL. They received an incredible response from people who had been waiting years to see them.

In the summer of 2001 they played many festivals including the Berkshire Mountain Music Festival in Massachusetts (for the third year in a row), Livestock in Pennsylvania and Scottypaluza in New York. One of their most historic sets occurred after their early afternoon set was rained out at the Gathering of the Vibes in upstate New York. The band proceeded to set up in a barn by the entrance to the festival and play a three and a half hour set to thousands of festival goers who had been frustrated by massive band cancellations all weekend. This set was released as "In the Barn" in early 2002 on the Live Discs label. The group continues to play in and around its home base of New England and will be touring ever farther into the western states and the south.

Uncle Sammy had increased its fan base considerably with a buzz growing across the country and an increasingly active tape and CD trading community that records and trades copies of their shows. The tapers have pushed the band ahead on its musical journey. "Knowing that a show is being taped makes you want to play even better because anyone will be able to hear it at any time", says Brian O'Connell. The band also has an active internet discussion group on which O'Connell comments, "the discussion group keeps us in constant contact with our fans, many of which are our close friends. It's a real community."

For bookings contact Phil Simon by email or phone: 413-772-8686

Solomon Grundy (April 2001)

- for the Grateful Web

In the wake of eclectic improvisational rock bands, Solomon Grundy stands out with with near virtuosic playing and high-energy antics to produce a truly entertaining and spellbinding live show. The danceable grooves, energetic performances, upbeat messages, and hummable melodies make for a memorable experience to say the least. Classified as 'Eclectic Rock', the band's unique sound borrows from various musical styles around the world including Jazz, Funk, Latin, Progressive, hip-hop, and Calypso. "We have a distinct signature sound that has been the result of mixing a lot of different genres into our own musical margarita" states vocalist and guitarist Mark Hamrock. The strength of the band lies in well crafted songs with catchy hooks that are stretched into full out improvisations during live performances without boring the audience or going over their heads musically. "It's all about balance between spontaneity and structure.

Solomon Grundy is currently promoting themselves by touring clubs, colleges, and festivals nationally to expose their latest four song EP titled Unraveled , as well as their 1999 full-length release, Follow the Tide. The band is planning on releasing a live CD captured from their tour in the near future, as well as returning to the studio to record another full-length album. Sales of both CDs and merchandise have spread the band's name and notoriety throughout the country and into Europe. "This is just the beginning of an all-out barrage of promotion. We hope to get Solomon Grundy's music and message out to as many people as possible in an efficient manner through radio, touring, press, etc" the band announces. And what is the "message" that Solomon Grundy wants to share with so many people? "That there is a happy medium between being spontaneously funky and improvisational, yet also having good, solid songwriting". Hamrock answers...truely something for everyone.

Formed in the spring of 1992, Solomon Grundy built a loyal fan base from the beginning by playing self-promoted parties in the middle of the desert. The band members would hand out self-drawn promotional flyers, rent a power generator, and haul their equipment 150 miles to El Mirage, a dry, desolate lake bed located in the southern California desert. Away from the city and beneath the stars, the band would host a night of spontaneous music with sometimes chaotic results. "I look back and think about how amazing it was that we would play for five hours straight with only about an hour of rehearsed material" Hamrock smiles. "That people loved it is even more amazing". The early fans did love it and word spread like wild fire through local colleges and word of mouth. "We had about five people at the first party, one hundred at the second, and five hundred at the third…. they just kept growing and growing until they were too big for us to handle" remembers keyboardist Brent Brandon. Solomon Grundy then graduated to the club circuit and was soon playing sold out shows at the House of Blues in Hollywood "They had the place shaking, the whole house was on their feet" says John Morgan, publicist for Jamms.

 

Tonal Vision (May 2001)

Tonal Vision is a Birmingham based band of four like-minded musicians. In the summer of 1997, they met up in the same music theory class at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Jason Bailey, the mandolinist, was studying music at Maryville College in Tennessee. Simply for the fun of it, they put together a bluegrass set of music to be performed at a local pizza parlor.

Over the years, their performances have expanded into two main portions: One is all acoustic, consisting mostly of the bands unique and energetic original acoustic compositions but also contains some bluegrass traditionals. The other is an electrified assault of funk, rock, jazz, fusion and anything else they can get their eager hands on. With the release of their debut CD "Odd Times", and with the addition of their latest album "Time of Calling" Tonal Vision began to expand into other markets including Knoxville, Mobile, Auburn, Greenville, Atlanta and other areas around the Southeast.

Purple Buddah (November 2001)

Purple Buddah- for the Grateful Web
- for the Grateful Web

From the front range of the Rocky Mountains hails one of today's most spirited and invigorating acts.  Purple Buddah is a raising a family of dedicated listeners magnetized by the band's infusion of classic psychedlia, intricate improvisation, engaging songwriting, and soulful vocal harmonies. Purple Buddah is pusihing the boundaries of the modern live-music scene from both directions.  - as much as they harken back to the sound and emotion of their musical influences, they are at the same time fresh and innovative... confident and conhesive, yet curious & defiant.  Through it all, their intention is to share this pursuit of musical nirvana with their audience to induce an experience that is meaningful and unique to the moment.

With roots in Oregon, Wisconsic, Maryland, Florida, and Iowa, the five members of Purple Buddah have mixed a motley blend of backgrounds and influences into the their current sound and approach.  The members are constantly exploring one another's inner-most musical thoughts.  But they are careful not to stray too far from the comfort found in a poignant lyric, enticing melody or addictive hook - an often refreshing reminder that there's nothing like the power of a good song.

Purple Buddah is Michael Caprara on bass, Michelle Caponigro on voclas, Jake Wolf on drums, Ted Tilton on keyboards/vocals and Issac Gunther on guitar/vocals.