One of the artistic endeavors that both pays my bills and enriches my soul, is working with the many talented musicians that come to me to help create vibrant packaging for their CD and album covers, as well as promotional portraits and images for their websites and press kits. 2014 was a constructive and varied year for these projects, and 2015 looks to be one of many creative collaborations as well. From jazz, to bluegrass and country, from Irish to early classical, a musician’s visual presentation should always tell the story of his or her musical soul. Here are a few of the projects that I both photographed and designed last year. I’m looking forward to reaching out to some different areas of the musical spectrum this year & creating some truly memorable covers- Maybe for YOU!
Springfield Exit on the Patuxent Music label
Frank Wakefield & Red Allen
Good Morning, Devoted Followers! You have probably been wondering what has become of the Dreamer, but fear not, I have merely been busy with travel and …. believe it or not….. work! It has been a productive summer for CD photography and design, in every genre and musical style! Feast your eyes, and tune up your ears! The latest crop of Michael G. Stewart designed musical packages will be arriving soon.
From Patuxent Music, some wonderful traditional blues
A little bit of everything from super guitarists Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo
Just in time for your Holiday Gift-giving, some Christmas Jazz from guitarists Steve Abshire and Vince Lewis
Some more fine jazz from Ambient Records with trumpeter Clay Jenkins, guitarist Gene Bertoncini and bassist Ike Sturm, coming soon!
A whole barrel of fine mandolin pickin’ from legend Frank Wakefield, joined by Taylor Baker and Tom Mindte & friends on the Patuxent Music label
Fifty years ago, in 1963, the world was a decidely different place. The Cold War was hot. Viet Nam was a little known part of French Indochina, Marilyn Monroe had only been dead for a year, and our charismatic young president, John F. Kennedy, was soon to be assassinated. The Beatles had not yet appeared on Ed Sullivan, and the British Invasion was something that was taught in American history classes. Onto this stage, a small, low powered AM radio station in Wheaton, Maryland ushered in the sound of country and bluegrass music, giving voice to a string band known as The Kentuckians. Featuring Red Allen on vocals and guitar, Frank Wakefield on mandolin, Pete Kuykendal on banjo and Tom Morgan on bass, these bluegrass virtuosos were captured live on tape during their many radio performances and now, fifty years later, the fabulous music these talented musicians created a half century ago will again be heard on a new release on the Patuxent Music label, based in Rockville, Maryland. The surviving members of the band recently got together for a roundtable interview and reunion to share stories and memories in the Patuxent studios.
Tom Morgan, Frank Wakefield, Red Allen and Pete Kuykendal in 1963- ( photo by Keith )
Tom Morgan, Frank Wakefield & Pete Kuykendal today ( photo copyright Michael G. Stewart)
Stay tuned for the new CD release on Patuxent Music