Last year when I was in New Orleans for the roots music festival The Ponderosa Stomp, I had the great fortune to meet both Dave Bartholomew and Cosimo Matassa, two absolute giants and heroes of mine. If you've ever enjoyed a rock 'n roll record...ever... you pretty much have these two remarkable men to thank.
Dave Bartholomew is a prolific band leader, song writer and producer most famous for his symbiotic relationship with Fats Domino but when you start reading the credits on any significant New Orleans R&B record from the 1950's, you will see his name almost every time.
Cosimo Matassa is a humble genius who placed the mics, ran the tapes, and diplomatically managed the personalities of Rock & Roll's early royalty (read: Little Richard, Professor Longhair, Ray Charles, Guitar Slim, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, etc., etc.)
To know them is to love them. Thank you both sharing a bit of your time.
photographs © Jacob Blickenstaff 2010
I had the opportunity to do a quick portrait with Syl Johnson when he was in NY to perform and promote his excellent and exhaustive new box-set on Numero Group, Syl Johnson: Complete Mythology. I met up with him and Michael Slaboch of Numero Group at a bar in Brooklyn where Syl was just finishing a video interview and a long day of press. He was a bit wiped out from all the attention but I managed one good frame of Syl wedged in a dark corner near the window on black and white film.
When he hit the stage that night for Dig Deeper at Southpaw, it was evident that he was saving his energy for the performance. Pictured in the slideshow are the Sweet Divines (backstage and onstage).
Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings, backstage at the Apollo 4/31/10. With Naomi Shelton, portraits shot on b&w film, 2 1/4" negative.Read More