Displaying items by tag: community collage

  • Published in Music

Community Collage: Every Chord Counts

EVANSVILLE, IN (10/3/13) – The sound of over 300 guitar and stringed instrument players performing in unison rang out across Evansville, Indiana’s West Franklin Street area this past Saturday, September 28th. 

The event, which was aptly entitled “Every Chord Counts,” was the area’s first annual attempt at breaking the Guinness World Record for “largest guitar ensemble” in history.

While Poland's lofty record of over 6,000 players remains unbroken, as does the US record, the fun-loving crowd of musicians that showed up and played at the gathering helped to set a new guitar ensemble record for the state of Indiana.

And thanks to the affair’s host/organizer, Amy Word, as well as members of the acclaimed Boscoe France Band, Calabash, and Andrea Wirth, the event was a great time for all that attended.

We can’t wait to check it out again next year. 

To read the original Sugg Street Post article about "Every Chord Counts," click here

For now, though, we leave you with a few photos taken by Sugg Street Post photographer, Jessi Smith, during the first annual event.


Sugg Street Post
Written by Luke Short
Photos by Jessi Smith

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  • Published in Music

Community Collage: Sugg Goes to Forecastle

"credit" Jessi SmithHOPKINS COUNTY, KY (7/24/13) - I got the news that I'd be covering the Forecastle Festival in Louisville, KY a week before the three-day event via email from festival "first mate" Holly Weyler. I was barely awake and still had one eye closed, so I didn't fully believe that I was reading it correctly. It had been a long-time goal of mine to cover a major music event and the Forecastle Festival happened to be headlined by one of my favorite bands, The Black Keys. The annual music fest also featured many more bands that I desperately wanted to see. Ranging from talented up and comers to a legendary frontman, Forecastle was expected to draw an estimated 75,000 fans over a three-day weekend.

A visit to the official Forecastle Festival website tells you all about the history of the event:

Founded in 2002 by Louisville native JK McKnight, Forecastle has grown from a community event to one of the country’s most anticipated summer festivals, which now draws tens of thousands of fans from across the world to Louisville’s scenic 85-acre Waterfront Park. In addition to featuring a who’s who of musical acts such as The Black Keys, Widespread Panic, My Morning Jacket, Bassnectar, the Flaming Lips, Band of Horses, Sleater-Kinney, and The Avett Brothers, Forecastle has consistently promoted local artists as well as focusing on environmental activism and outdoor recreation. Past Forecastles have featured prominent organizations, industry leaders, and distinguished speakers, such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (Riverkeepers), Rob Caughlan (Surfrider Foundation) and Christopher Childs (Greenpeace International). Forecastle is co-produced by Knoxville-based AC Entertainment, one of the country’s premiere independent concert promoters, putting on more than 750 concerts throughout the Southeast as well as producing major events such as Bonnaroo, Gentlemen of the Road and Mountain Oasis.

The big day arrived. With my media bracelet on my wrist, the gates opened and an incredibly entertaining weekend commenced. I'm not a music critic or a writer, I don't have the gift of being able to tell you why I love a performance or what makes a song good, and, honestly, I went to the festival to document it with my camera. That being said, here you'll find in no particular order, my top memories of the weekend, as well as a few photos of the sights and sounds of Forecastle 2013.

"credit" Jessi SmithRobert Plant:
Before he started the first song, Plant promised a day of 1970's nostalgia, he waved puffs of incense over the crowd, and entertained us with witty banter between songs. With a set that included old Zeppelin favorites, as well as his new material with the Sensational Space Shifters, he proved that the pipes were still strong and the Golden God could still let loose. In putting the mic to the crowd to help sing “Black Dog,” Plant also showed he could engage a crowd as good as ever. However, what really made it memorable was when ominous clouds began to roll in and in his English accent he apologized for bringing the "naughty, naughty, clouds" and began a powerful version of “What Is and What Should Never Be.” Not far into the song, the rain began. What was at first a sprinkle, turned quickly into a full-blown downpour and rained onto us like a magic potion turning us into a crowd worthy of Woodstock. All while Plant sang fitting lyrics:

Catch the wind, see us spin, sail away, leave today, way up high in the sky. 
But the wind won't blow, you really shouldn't go, it only goes to show 
That you will be mine, by takin' our time.

With the rain in his face and thunder booming in the background like an extra member of the band, it felt surreal; it's how I imagine being a fan felt back in the day. Security ran around worriedly telling each other, "We gotta get him off the stage!" With coverings breaking loose and flapping in the wind, the crowd went crazy until Plant finished his set (sadly, earlier than planned) and we, soaking wet and muddy, were told to take cover under the overpass for the duration of the storm. It truly was as if Plant somehow conjured us up a 1970's experience.

"credit" Jessi SmithThe Black Keys (and crowd):
If you take a band that can fill an arena and stick them on a river bank, you can expect a bit of a crowd. As the headliners, I knew I'd see the biggest crowd at the Keys’ show, but I didn't fully realize how big until I was in that massive hoard. Forecastle tweeted an aerial shot of the crowd and it speaks for itself.
"credit" ForecastleThe guys from Akron gave an energetic set for their last stop of the 129-show-long El Camino tour. I was lucky enough to attend the opener in Cincinnati as well, and comparing the two shows, it was clear The Black Keys didn't lose any enthusiasm during their grueling schedule. Keeping the setlist mostly the same, minus the popular disco ball-lit performance of “Everlasting Light,” they finished strong with the classic “I Got Mine” that only reinforced for me that my favorite Black Keys performances only have two people on the stage.
"credit" Jessi SmithThe People:
Seriously, all of them—the crowd, the staff, security, photographers, media…everyone. I don't know whether I should chalk it up to southern hospitality or the general lighthearted vibe of Forecastle, but I loved everyone I met: the lady who held my spot in the crowd while I was in the photo pit; the guy who shared his water with me after we'd been standing in a crowd for hours and hours; the fellow photog who helped me sneak into a pit I wasn't supposed to be in; the roadie who came out of nowhere and gave me a setlist; the media guy that took me under his wing when I first arrived, fighting a serious case of nerves and feeling out of place; the seasoned photographer who helped me get a tough shot of Jim James and gave me pointers on my camera settings; the security guards that chatted with me while I waited for the shows to start; and even the festival “bigwigs” that treated all the media people the same and answered every question so equally that I still don't know which one of the guys was the one from Rolling Stone magazine.

"credit" Jessi SmithThe Art:
You could see the passion and pride the vendors had for their art in every booth. Artisans peddled jewelry, clothing, hammocks, delicious foods, and t-shirts. The poster alley held the works of many of the best in the gig poster world, most of whom had clients that were performing as you browsed. In the center of the venue, being overlooked by a lifeguard, a solid white boat sat like a blank canvas, which was exactly the intention. A group of artists gathered around to spend the weekend making the "S.S. Freebird" into something amazing. There was also the wall, where graffiti artists spent the duration of the festival tagging and creating a beautiful mural that, at festival close, they cut into pieces that you could buy for $10 a square foot. In fact, the festival itself was a work of art. It isn't easy to blend nautical and Kentucky roots themes successfully, but they did it. The bourbon lounge was a tent where you relaxed on burlap-covered hay bales surrounded by barrels while sampling Kentucky's finest bourbons. Step outside the lounge and you see "waves" that doubled as chairs, which were rarely unoccupied. The motto of Forecastle was, "Music. Art. Activism," and that's exactly what they provided.

"credit" Jessi SmithEverything:
Ok, this is a cop-out, but I mean it. I loved everything. I had to spend two of the three days of the festival without my friends there and I was worried about being bored, but that never happened. Everywhere I looked there was a stage, canvas, booth, or person whose purpose seemed to be to entertain me. People tossed footballs around and hula hooped. There were cornhole tournaments and games of giant Connect Four. The lesser known performers mingled with the crowds, and had such a lack of pretension that the only way you could tell they were going to be on stage was the pale wristband embroidered with 'ARTIST' and the occasional super-fan getting their picture made with them. Everyone shared an enthusiasm for being there, and during nearly every set you could see one of the other bands in the wings watching with as much excitement as the crowd. In most of my pictures of Old Crow Medicine Show, you can see the members of Houndmouth grinning widely behind them. It was a weekend made for laid back, free-spirited fun.

"credit" Jessi SmithWell, there they are, the top things that pop into my head when someone asks, "So how was it?" I'm sure critics and the like have completely different moments to recount, but that's the beauty of music festivals. You get to customize your experience. They take a broad range of musical talents and combine them to expose people to old favorites and new discoveries. You take from it what you want and have as much fun as you let yourself.

Now I'll leave you with the last photo I took at Forecastle. As I walked to the exit with the sound of The Avett Brothers' excellent set finale filling the air, this guy stopped to tell me I’d dropped something, and when he found out I was taking pictures for Sugg Street Post in western Kentucky, he asked me to take his picture because his mom lives in Princeton and might see it. So here you go cute guy on the hay bales, I hope she does.

"credit" Jessi SmithScroll below to see more photos taken at Forecastle Festival 2013.
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Written by Jessi Smith
Photos by Jessi Smith

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Contributor Collage: Mad Flavor Fest in Retrospect, Part 3

"credit" Casey PiscitelliHOPKINS COUNTY, KY (6/25/13) – Scroll below to see a Contributor Collage, provided by Madisonville resident Casey Piscitelli, full of photos from the first year of the Mad Flavor Arts & Music Festival.

See previously posted photos by clicking the links below:
Community Collage: Mad Flavor Fest in Retrospect, Part 1
Community Collage: Mad Flavor Fest in Retrospect, Part 2

Thanks again to all of you who helped make the inaugural year such an overwhelming success!
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Written by Jessica Dockrey
Photos by Casey Piscitelli

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Community Collage: Mad Flavor Fest in Retrospect, Part 2

"credit" Jessi SmithHOPKINS COUNTY, KY (6/25/13) – Scroll below to see another Community Collage full of photos from the first year of the Mad Flavor Arts & Music Festival.

If you haven't already seen the first Community Collage from the fest, click this link.

Included, are a few shots of the Sugg Street Post promoting the Mad Flavor Fest at the first Friday Night Live of the summer.

Thanks again to all of you who helped make the inaugural year such an overwhelming success!

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Written by Jessica Dockrey
Photos by Jessi Smith

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Community Collage: Mad Flavor Fest in Retrospect, Part 1

"credit" Jessi SmithHOPKINS COUNTY, KY (6/21/13) – We wanted art and we wanted music. We wanted kids running around barefoot in the grass, filling the air with laughter. We wanted to bring the community together like a family, everyone joining collectively in their appreciation for the wide-range of local talent we had amassed in one place. We wanted to create electric synergy. Guess what? We pulled it off.

An idea that started with one man grew into a collaborative art/music piece that was woven together by over 250 people from the community and surrounding areas. It took a village to make it happen—that, hard work, and a lot of dedication.

Upwards of approximately 70 individual musicians, 12 independently made films by separate groups of filmmakers, over 20 local artists and crafts makers, multiple local food vendors, the Madisonville Fire Department, the Hopkins County Humane Society, the Ballard Convention Center crew, a group of over 20 local Red Cross volunteers, sound and light technicians, a group of kid-friendly entertainers, and a large crew of local Mad Flavor Fest volunteers—thus was the rallied team. We were an organized family of like-minded folks with a common goal: sharing art, love, and music in the hopes that money could be made for the Mid-West Kentucky Chapter of the American Red Cross.

"credit" Jessi SmithBut why the Red Cross?

The Red Cross seeks to prevent and relieve suffering both here at home and around the world. Yet, the American Red Cross relies solely on the generosity of the people. So, we decided to bring the people.

Only a few stood at the core of festival planning, but excitement is addictive and dreams are inspiring. The spark was thrown and a fire ensued. At the end of the day, with exhaustion taking hold, we were all filled with a sense of triumph. Over a year worth of planning had come to a head and we were left to put the final pieces back in their places. It was time to clean up and roll out of the Ballard Convention Center grounds. And, at the festival’s conclusion, once the music had stopped, only a few stood barefoot in the grass to reflect on the adventure.

In total, $7,325.31 was raised for the Mid-West Kentucky Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Good job. Well done. Tearing down the outdoor stage while tossing around a few jokes—laughter.

With festival planning already in the works for 2014, I leave you with a community collage of photos taken by Sugg Street photographer Jessi Smith. Keep an eye out for more photos that will be posted soon.

Thanks to the community for their overwhelming support and thanks to those who helped make the festival possible. At the end of the day, it takes more than just a few men and women to make things happen. It takes a mass of people to create change. It takes a group of dreamers to usher in a new way of thinking. It takes a loving family to make it work. And I consider all those who participated—from the big jobs to the small—my brothers and sisters in this strange and confusing world we share together.

See you next year!

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Written by Jessica Dockrey
Photos by Jessi Smith

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Community Collage: Downtown Derby

"credit" Jessi SmithHOPKINS COUNTY, KY (6/4/13) - The annual Soapbox Derby Race in Madisonville, KY celebrated its fifth year this past Sunday, June 2nd.  Though the race was postponed on Saturday, June 1st, due to heavy rainfall, that didn’t keep anyone from taking part the following day when the race was rescheduled.

“It went very well,” says Assistant Race Director and Vice President of the Pennyrile Soapbox Derby Association Brien Terry. “We finished the racing portion up in record time. A few families from Owensboro [Kentucky] that we rally race with came and helped out. Plus, I think the parents were more involved this year because they had an idea of what to expect. We were really worried with the postponement from Saturday to Sunday that we might lose some drivers. Fortunately, all the drivers ended up coming in and racing the second day which was fantastic.”

Brien says his family started the annual race because his two sons, Alex and Blair Terry, are heavily involved in soapbox derby racing.

This year’s winners are as follows:

Stock Division: Lukas Ramey – Douglas Ramey Law Office
Super Stock Division: Colin Berry – First United Bank and Trust Company
Masters Division: Blair Terry – Patriot Cheverolet

What’s next for those who took home first place in each division? From here, the winners will go directly to the All-American Soapbox Derby in Akron, Ohio.

“The world championships take place in July,” says Terry. “American soapbox derby racing has been going on for 76 years. The home track, where everything is based out of, is in Akron. All the winners advance to Akron, and when they are there these kids are treated like true champions. They always refer to the kids as champs, consistently. They stress that the kids are special. They are special. They had to do something special to get there. They stress sportsmanship. You may have noticed several of the kids shaking hands today when they got through racing. We want everybody to be a good sport and to have fun.”

To see a collection of photos taken by Sugg Street Photographer Jessi Smith, simply scroll down and see these amazing champs in action.

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Sugg Street Post
Written by Jessica Dockrey
Photos by Jessi Smith

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  • Published in Music

Community Collage: Under Green Lights

"credit" Jessi SmithHOPKINS COUNTY, KY (5/20/13) - There is nothing quite like taking in a live musical performance in the city you live in and love, especially when there is a lot of talent and stage presence to back it up.

This past Saturday, May 18, talented local performer and award-winning thumbpicker J.T. Oglesby took to the stage at The Crowded House/Green Dragon Tavern in Madisonville, KY and entertained an enthusiastic group of onlookers. Oglesby was joined onstage by fellow local musicians Johnny Keyz (keyboard/bass/vocals) and Mike Cartwright (fiddle).

"It was one of the best gigs I have ever had in Madisonville," says Oglesby. "The crowd was really attentive and supportive. The vibe was great! Johnny Keyz and Mike Cartwright played with me. I call my constantly shifting band 'The Grooms of Mollie McBride.' The name is a Kentucky history reference that few will get, but I like it."

To learn more about The Crowded House/Green Dragon Tavern, check out their newest website, which was created by the Sugg Street Post, at the following link: http://www.thecrowdedhouse.co

Scroll below to see photos taken at the event.

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Sugg Street Post
Written by Jessica Dockrey
Photos by Jessi Smith

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Community Collage: Breathe Youth Arts Spring Showcase

"credit" Jessi SmithHOPKINS COUNTY, KY (5/15/13) - Art is an escape. Art is beauty. Art is vivid. Art is alive. Art is freeing and exhilarating. So just breathe it in and allow it to cleanse you every once in awhile.

Art was alive and well in Madisonville this past Tuesday, May 14th at the Madisonville City Park. Breathe, a community based youth development program, celebrated their first year of operation by offering up a free Spring showcase for park-goers as the sun was setting brilliantly against the backdrop. The weather was perfect and a responsive crowd gave the atmosphere an electric spark.

Breathe, a program established by Light of Chance, Inc., provides after-school arts sessions, which are free of charge, for grades 5-12. The program foster artistic expression, leadership, and social skills through arts such as visual, music, dance, creative writing, and poetry.

The official Light of Chance website lists the program's goals as follows:

• To offer programming that: focuses on self-expression, artistic engagement, teamwork skills, and concern for others.

• Give youth a constructive outlet for their creative energies, encourage cooperation and teamwork, teach artistic and social skills.

• To engage young people in unique opportunities to explore the arts while developing supportive relationships and connecting with their community.

• Help program participants to establish and achieve personal goals.

• To teach and help youth discover different ways to critically think and solve problems.

• To increase youth’s self-esteem.

A photo recap of this year's Spring Showcase can be viewed below.

If you are interested in learning more about the Breathe program call (270) 875-4332 or visit http://www.lightofchance.org/. The program operates every Tuesday from 3:30-6:00 at the Rosenwald-Smith Multi-Cultural Center at 208 N. Kentucky Ave.

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"credit" Jessi SmithSugg Street Post
Written by Jessica Dockrey
Photos by Jessi Smith

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