By: Chris Rider
Happy New Year! As I sit here listening to Robert Plant ramble on about rambling on, I’m struck by the lyrics and how a lot of them fit my life, and perhaps the lives of many….other than that bit about Gollum LOL. Good riddance to 2021…but if we’re being honest with ourselves, the year had a lot of high points if we look for them. Some highlights of 2021, at least photographically, for me include but aren’t limited to: photographing my personal favorite musician for the third time, and meeting him for my first time. I was able to photograph shows for a number of national acts that I’ve followed for quite a while. I was able to photograph the performances of a lot of local musicians that I’ve known for a while, and a number of them that I got to meet for the first time. Winning “Best Photographer 2020” from Central Pennsylvania Music Hall Of Fame is a pretty huge highlight for me – once again thank you to everyone that took the time to give me a vote! Completing promotional photoshoots for a number of fantastic local bands to help them promote themselves as the local music scene rebounds from the last two years. I can’t lie…I’m pretty excited to see what 2022 brings.
First up for the month, I headed over to Sherman’s Creek Inn to see Shea Quinn and Logan Bedard play for a great crowd. Covering songs from Tom Petty, Tommy Tutone, Violent Femmes, and even a few Shark’s tunes…everyone in attendance had a great time. SCI has music pretty much every weekend, they’ve got a great staff whipping up original drinks and great food…I can’t recommend this place enough. It’s definitely worth stopping in for a visit!
Next up, I was invited down to The Englewood to photograph the CPMHOF’s Youth Showcase. 10 local youth musicians and bands were selected to come to The Englewood and showcase their music with one song of their choosing. Performing covers from Jimi Hendrix to Violent Femmes, and an original or two, all of these young acts brought their incredible music to the stage and did such an awesome job. Each of the acts were also presented with a something to help them further their careers: from recording time in a studio, to personalized merch for them to sell and promote themselves further. I’d like to once again congratulate Carsyn Kinneman for being presented with a complementary promotional photoshoot donated by Chris Rider Photography. I loved her performance and really can’t wait to work with her!
Later in the day, I came back to The Englewood to catch the Alt-Country Christmas show with Holly Serio and Cold Spring Union. The evening started off with solo artist Holl Serio, playing keyboard and sometimes ukele while performing a number of Christmas songs including All I Want For Christmas, Santa Baby and others including an original song that I really enjoyed called “Epiphany”. Cold Spring Union then came on stage with their rock/souther rock covers as well as a number of originals. Holly came back up on stage and joined them for a few Christmas songs including a great version of “Christmas Sarajevo”.
A few days later, I headed down to HMAC for a night of funky, psychedelic jams. There were some last minute line-up changes that included two bands that I was not familiar with, but was looking forward to hearing. First up was The Scouts. I’m still not sure the last time I had a parfait, but they made me consider this very important question. Playing a variety of psychedelic jams with good energy, strong tones and rhythms, as well as some very melancholy passages…these guys had a great feel to their very balanced sound which I enjoyed a lot. Next up was Denny Zinger. This 5 piece band brought a funk/rock/classic rock feel that was very reminiscent of Iron Butterfly. They had an amazing energy to them, ending the set with an Ozzy cover that blew the crowd away. Headlining the evening was The Stonewall Vessels. Describing their music is almost impossible as they don’t fit any one (or even several) genre…but the ones that come immediately to mind would be funk/blues/jam/rock. Playing a slew of original music and a few covers including Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams”. They brought a crowd that loved them and clearly follows them from show to show…and those that didn’t know them before the show
were surely fans afterwards.
My final trip out was down to The Grotto in Enola to see Nate Myers and Chris Purcell play a set (along with drummer Jimmy!). Playing a number of great covers including Ain’t No Sunshine, Wagon Wheel, and Rod Stewart’s “Ooh La La” (I wish that I new what I know now when I was younger – words a lot of us can relate to I’m sure LOL), as well as a number of Nate Myers originals including my personal favorite – “Beauty All Around”. The place was packed, the beer and food was delicious, and the music was great…it was the perfect bookend for the month and the year.
So there it is, my month of music through my eyes and ears. Just a reminder: if you’ve got a show coming up that I should see, make sure to send me an invite, shoot me an email or a message, let me know about it. Venues: please don’t hesitate to reach out to me as well. The majority of the shows that I go and shoot I find out about through invites from all of you or your friends. Hit me up on facebook: @chrisriderphotography or email: firstname.lastname@example.org, stop me if you see me out & around and say hi. Until next month…go find some live music and give them and the venue your support, they truly need it more now than they ever did.