Tennessee State of the State 2018

As is annual tradition, I attended and photographed the governor’s State of the State speech at the state capitol for WPLN.org – aka photos for the radio. Here are a few shots from the night and a link to the story:

Governor Bill Haslam addressing state lawmakers during his final State of the State address before his term ends:

First lady Crissy Haslam:


A controversial statue inside the State Capitol:

King of the Wild Frontier:


Wayne Reed Christian Child Care Center / Youth Encouragement Services

I was honored to be asked to do some photos of the work going on at the Wayne Reed Christian Childcare Center and Y.E.S. for their respective websites and fundraising materials. I have volunteered with the WRCCC for for a number of years and had some experiences with YES as well – both are worthy organizations, so please keep them in mind when you consider causes to financially support.

The Secret Sisters / Album Shoot

I was lucky enough to get a call from my friends and harmony-heroes The Secret Sisters who were in need of album artwork and press materials for their excellent, Brandi Carlisle-produced album (listen to album here). In an attempt to get something a little more personal, we went on-location at the sisters’ grandparents farm (now home to Laura) and in a couple of hours that afternoon, I think we got some work to be proud of. No budget for hair, makeup or design – just the three of us. Below are a few personal favorites.

Food Project

I can’t get specific about the project right now, but please enjoy these photographs I took of some lovely dishes created by a few talented, stay-at-home chefs. I’m not a food photographer per se, but I’m improving.


Meethi Keema (above)
Beef mincemeat cooked in ethnic spices & tomato sauce masala with fenugreek leaves served with wheat chappati/bread.


Sake miso sea bass on soybean puree topped with roasted pepitos:


L: Matar paneer (Indian) R: Vegan lasagna


VegYellow Curry Broccolini
Yellow curry cooked with gram-flour, yogurt and a blend of aromatic spices, fresh steamed broccolini and sprinkled with paprika served with a side of salad and naan.


Seafood Boils (seasonal offerings):




Anda-Kebab Bun (Pakistani’s street food novelty):
Egg white batter fry kebab served ontop of lettuce, banana pepper, cucumber, red onion with mint green chili chutney and sriracha ketchup – all placed on a butter toasted bun.


Boozy watermelon, chia seeds and lime zest:


L: Red Beans & Rice / R: Italian French-a-letta


Pasta Jambalaya:



Philly cheese steak with garlic parmesan fries:


Chicken Tikka:


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Bill Monroe Estate Sale / For NPR

Bill Monroe, the man who invented bluegrass music, finally had an estate sale almost 20 years after his death. I joined WPLN/NPR reporter Blake Farmer and photographed the morning of the event. Read/listen on NPR or read/listen on WPLN, with a few photo gallery extras.

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Canceled checks signed by Bill Monroe… electric bills, the IRS, Master Card and the like.

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Carly Turner of New Orleans and her purchase – a picture that once hung in Bill Monroe’s den:

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Recording Session – Muscle Shoals, AL

I had the chance to photograph a recording session recently in Sheffield, AL and witness David Hood in his natural habitat. Mr. Hood is a charter member of The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section / The Swampers, he co-founded the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studio and fathered a human named Patterson Hood (The Drive By Truckers). He has also played on albums with Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, Percy Sledge, James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Willie Nelson, Simon & Garfunkel, Lynyrd Skynyrd, James Taylor, Cher, Merle Haggard, Jimmy Buffett, Levon Helm, Boz Scaggs, Clarence Carter, Linda Rondstadt, Steve Cropper, Klaus Voorman, Albert King, Cat Stevens, Rod Stewart, Duane Allman, Glenn Frey, Julian Lennon, Frank Black, Jason Isbell and many others. He’s clearly good at what he does and yes, I’m bragging a little that I got to watch him work in North Alabama… you would, too.

Here are but a few recordings on which David Hood plays bass:

Tell Mama – ETTA JAMES (1967)
I’m Your Puppet – JAMES & BOBBY PURIFY (1967)
I’ll Take You There – THE STAPLES SINGERS (1972)
Kodachrome – PAUL SIMON (1973)
Loves Me Like a Rock – PAUL SIMON (1973)
Thank God For Kids – THE OAK RIDGE BOYS (1982) (a persona fave)
Old Time Rock n’ Roll – BOB SEGAR (1984)

Also in on the session was the talented Dylan LeBlanc, recording a few tracks of his country songwriter-father James LeBlanc.

Here’s what I got:

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Dylan LeBlanc (below)

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The visually pleasing studio bathroom sink:

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Around downtown Sheffield, AL:

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James LeBlanc:

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David Hood:

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Family Session – Normandy, TN

If you live in Middle Tennessee and haven’t yet traveled the back roads of Bedford County, do the right thing and pack some Lunchables™ for an afternoon drive. Your Instagram feed with thank you.

Here’s a rather great Normandy, TN (Bedford County) family who’s living the dream in a charming, restored 19th-century farm house.















Family Portraits – Memphis, TN

I was in Memphis this month and while there, I set up a few family shoots (i.e. the locals). Featured here are two families, perfectly content to take some portraits in my parents’ back yard, which also happens to be the back yard of my childhood. As far as locations go, you could do way worse.

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WSM Turns 90

If you live in Nashville, then you know that traffic is bonkers. And while I’m no historian, I do believe the blame can be squarely laid on 650AM WSM radio.

WSM’s first transmission was on October 5th, 1925 and a few years later, the station constructed their massive radio tower (actually two towers stacked on each other, bottom one inverted… seen below) which allowed a larger audience for it’s radio show ‘The Grand Ole Opry’. As the program’s popularity snowballed, so did the city’s population of musicians and singers. From there, an industry was born and the subsequent 80-something years of musical success in the city is the reason why I’m in standstill traffic in Green Hills at 10:30am on a Tuesday.

I don’t resent them for it, though, and it was a privilege to be invited as the official event photographer for their 90th birthday party. Happy birthday, dear WSM.

A selection from their party/live broadcast/open house at the base of the historic radio tower:

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