Album Covers

1st Dave 'Baby' Cortez LP in 40 years on Norton, Cover Photo

Dave Baby Cortez Album cover photo Jacob Blickenstaff Greasy Rock n' Roll connoisseurs Billy Miller and Miriam Linna of Norton Records will be releasing a new LP by R&B instrumental organ great Dave 'Baby' Cortez this month, his first since 1972's 'Soul Vibration' album. Effectively retired from showbiz for 40 years, Miriam Linna had tracked down Dave through his son David Clowney, a professional football player who recently played for the N.Y. Jets. With the help of veteran soul saxophonist Lonnie Youngblood and production Mick Collins (The Dirtbombs, The Gories), D.B.C is set to release a back-to-the-gritty-basics organ album that I am really excited to spin on the turntable.

Photo by Jacob Blickenstaff, design by Pat Broderick. LP and CD available from Norton Records on 11/22.

Bonus: Here's a photo we shot in the stairwell of the recording studio, NY-HED, that I liked a lot.

dave baby cortez portrait

Laura Cantrell: Kitty Wells Dresses - Album Art

I was fortunate to work with Laura Cantrell on the album artwork for her new release, Kitty Wells Dresses: Songs of the Queen of Country Music.  It's a beautiful album, a tribute to and exploration of the music of Kitty Wells, the first female country singer and songwriter to reach no. 1 on the country music charts.  I'd highly recommend picking up a copy HERE. Laura had her CD release party at Hill Country in NYC last night. Below are images of the album artwork and a few images from the performance. Congrats Laura and good luck!

Kitty Wells Dresses album cover

Behind the Scenes: Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

This past November I was honored to shoot the album cover for Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings for their upcoming fourth LP "I Learned the Hard Way" (out April 6, 2010). I had slowly gotten to know the good people at Daptone from shooting some of their shows in NYC and making several visits to the studio to document the recording in progress. (One of those photos was used in the recently released Daptone Gold compilation.) I really feel spoiled to be able to work with an all-in-the-family independent label who makes honest and uncompromising music.

We used the back yard of the studio and the adjacent fire escape to make a photo that was in keeping with the look and feel of urban group shot covers that were seen a lot in the late 60's and early 70's (The Impressions 'This is My Country', The Supremes 'Love Child', etc.) We went with the square format Hasselblad with negative film to get the same look and feel from the period.

Although we had some strobes on set and a Nikon D3x for digital back-up, the shots chosen for the cover were made with natural light on film.

Behind the scenes photos are courtesy Matt Rogers, a writer, photographer and filmmaker who has been documenting Daptone and the soul/funk scene for many years.