Roselit Bone at Alberta Street Pub
Roselit Bone just finished another whirlwind tour. They do not mess around. I think they hit about 8 states in a little over 3 weeks. I was envious of their itinerary. They played almost daily at venues in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California.
If I were younger I would have pitched them on the idea of having a tour photographer tag along. It's definitely a project I'd like to do. It's safe to say that most of us are never going to hit the open road with bandmates for a grueling tour. I think that's why that sort of music photography - the documentary side of it - appeals to me. Bands need the glamorous rock star stage shots, but I think the behind the scenes moments are ultimately more compelling and interesting.
Unfortunately, with their pace and schedule, they probably would have lost me by Idaho. If any younger photographers read this and want to document a very cool band that plays fantastic music and looks great doing it, you might want to hit them up.
I missed their Seattle show at The Central Saloon, so I hoped I'd be able to catch their final show of the tour at Portland's Alberta Street Pub on 15 April 2018. The stars aligned. I had a camera refurbished at Blue Moon Camera and Machine. It was ready sooner than I expected, so I headed down to Portland, caught the show, picked up the camera the next morning, and returned to Seattle.
I've written about Roselit Bone a few times now. I haven't got anything new to add really. I love their music. I've seen it referred to as Country and Western. I wouldn't call that inaccurate, but that label falls short. Dark, haunting, big band sounds. Marty Robbins meets Johnny Cash in a saloon in the twilight years of Roland Deschain's Gilead (from The Dark Tower books, not the movie). Townes Van Zandt and Elvis might be somewhere in the crowd, drinking with the other gunslingers.
I wanted to shoot photos at this show, but I wish I'd just shot the first few songs. It was a homecoming show for them after what must have been an exhausting trip. I would have liked to listen to the music with a cold beer and get a better sense of how the miles, late nights, road food, and nightly performances would affect the final show. Were they happy to be home? Were their hearts still in New Mexico? Was it energizing to finish the tour in front of the home crowd? I know what you're thinking - I should have been looking for that with my camera. You're right, I should have been, and normally I do. Maybe I was a little off my game.