Category Archives: Photo Gallery

Parkway Drive 4/29/18, Memphis

Dates: April 29, 2018

Location: New Daisy Theatre, Memphis

Live at the New Daisy Theatre for a crowd ready and willing for a night of metal.


Parkway Drive is out touring for their new album Reverence and played to a packed house at New Daisy Theatre on Sunday night. Formed in Australia in 2003 Parkway Drive had completed and released their first album in 2005 called Killing with a Smile. Parkway Drive is no stranger to touring and has played many big-name Festivals, such as Danny Wimmer Presents festivals Rock on the Range and Louder than life which was my first experience with the powerful voice of Winston McCall. Winston commands the crowd’s attention and pulls them in deeper with every song. From great vocals to piecing screams, tight hard riffs, and pounding drums Parkway Drive is a Metalcore band at its roots, but has just enough rock to win and keep the not so hard rock fans coming back for more.

The crowd at the New Daisy was ready and willing for a night of metal music. It didn’t take long for the seas to part and the mosh pit to be in full effect! One after another crowd surfers made their way to the front like a blow up wavy arm car lot advertisement man. The show had to be stopped twice due to injuries, the first being a security guard who twisted his back trying to catch a crowd surfer. The show was stopped for about 10 minutes while paramedics tended to the guard and waited for an ambulance. Winston came down to the pit and checked on the injured Security Guard, who was later released from the hospital with no serious injuries. The second time the show was stopped was for a girl who hit her head on the front barricade while crowd surfing, this was during the encore. When Winston noticed the injured girl he stopped the show again and announced that this was the end of the show. Safety Tip Kids: Crowd Surfing Can Be And Is Dangerous!!! The band wasn’t upset, it was just near the end of the show and wanted the staff and medical to be able to tend the girl.  Look for Parkway Drive out on tour now starting with a spot on the Carolina Rebellion lineup.


Ghost 5/15/18, Port Chester NY

Dates: May 15, 2018

Location: Capitol Theater, Port Chester NY

Capitol Theater plays host to the Ghost!


Cardinal Copia and the nameless ghouls took over the sold out crowd at the Capitol Theater. Seeing Ghost a few times now I was highly anticipating this show. The band has a highly devoted fan base and tonight was no different. This would turn out to be by far the most theatrical show I have seen at the Capitol. The stage was set up like an altar with stain glass windows and a stair case to the floor. The lighting was amazing and the crowd could not peel their eyes off of it. The band opened with “Ashes” and quickly went into their new single “Rats”. Cardinal Copia had his followers willing to do what the church asked. I found myself being drawn in more to the service.

Introducing a few new songs from their upcoming album and the name of it is called “ Prequelle” and a mix of past material the band finished Act  I of II. Taking a short set break the crowd was just as eager for Act II. The curtains open and the band started with “Spirit” from the album “Meliora” and the night service continued. In between two songs Cardinal Copia had a small sermon about the female orgasm, which was quit entertaining, the crowd seemed to agree.

Again mixing some new and old material, a point of the show that really stood out was the cover of the Roky Erickson song “ If You Have Ghosts,” a great original that the band made their own. The band finished with the highly entrancing “Monstrance Clock” the evening was incredible both sonically and visually. If you have a chance to join the congregation, I advise you do. Amen!




The Cheer’ly Men, 1916 & CRAIC 4/14/18, Pittsburgh

Dates: April 14, 2018

Location: Pittsburgh

Bringing A Bit Of Irish Influence To Pittsburgh


1916, a band from Rochester, New York, brought their Irish punk music to Hard Rock Pittsburgh. This was a great show from beginning to end. When I think of Irish punk automatically Dropkick Murphy’s come to my mind, but what people do not realize is that there is a more than one band that does this style of music. No matter what you want to call the music itself, it is a great music scene to see. What 1916 does is very different than today’s pop music or even punk for that matter. It is actually in my opinion, completely undefinable, and that is what makes it great. Any way you want to explain the music style or genre is fine, it is just uplifting good music.

This night is especially cool because I had never seen them live. This was exciting for me. The night began with The Cheer’ly Men (pictured above) and there is a theme of modern Irish influenced music throughout this line-up tonight. They are a local band in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Cheer’ly Men formed in 2015 and continue to play throughout the area and other parts. They are a talented and fun band to see live. They are a shanty band and play rowdy and bawdy bar songs that anyone will know an enjoy. Their music is inviting to the audience to participate in the fun of the music and song. I liked them. Anyone can tell that there is a lot of talented musicians in this band. A good way to start this night of music.

1916 took to the stage with an enthusiasm that is electrifying. Anybody in the audience could tell this is going to be special. The passionate way these musicians play their instruments is electrifying to say the least. They are genuinely having a good time on stage performing their music. This is refreshing to see. This is not saying other bands don’t enjoy themselves on stage, it is just a difference on how an audience can perceive a performance. The band is energetic and has a good way of composing music. This band has performed with some notable names which includes The Street Dogs, Flogging Molly, and New Politics. The interesting diverse of the band is made up of Bill Herring, Steve Ladue, Jon Kane, and Ryan Hurley. They are 1916.

Ordinary Man is a song that had the audience roaring. This Celtic modern punk band is one of the best punk bands to see a live performance from. The Hard Rock Café Pittsburgh is a good setting for the band. The bands addictive hooks and all around good playing of their instruments is what makes this band unique. Their bass player is interesting with the standup bass which has spider webs on it. The crowd was into it and once the song For Whiskey was played you could tell how much love for music was in the room. A great performance by 1916.

The last band of the night was CRAIC. The term CRAIC is Gaelic and it means interesting banter and good company including music. This is just what seeing them perform live is. It was a good show all the way around. The audience had fun, the bands had fun and I had fun. This is what good modern Irish punk rock is all about. If you are looking for a good live show go check out this show. Until next time rock on!


Shaky Knees Festival 5/4/18-5/6/18, Atlanta

Dates: May 4, 5, and 6, 2018

Location: Atlanta, GA


Above: Courtney Barnett kicks out the jams. All photos copyright 2018 by John Boydston; many more photos of each band up on his website. /

Day 1 – Friday May 4th, 2018

This year’s Shaky Knees Fest was located on 4 stages in Atlanta’s Central Park area – with an amazing array of musical performers from the two large Stages (Peachtree and Piedmont) and 3 days of generally more indie-rockers on two smaller stages (Ponce de Leon, and Criminal Records, both of which provided for shade, the former with a tent and the latter with trees, so these were a ‘cool’ place to be always.)  Photos in no particular order except by performer, and no day is an all-inclusive photo collection – couldn’t get to all stages.  People were forced to make tough choices, which is probably a good problem to have at a festival, but you could generally see some of anyone you wanted if you were up for the walk.


David Byrne – Peachtree Stage

Courtney Barnett – Peachtree Stage

Brian Jonestown Massacre – Criminal Records Stage

Japandroids – Ponce de Leon Stage

Waxahatchee – Ponce De Leon Stage

Ghost of Paul Revere – Criminal Records Stage

LA Witch – Criminal Records Stage

The Frights – Ponce de Leon Stage



Day 2 -Saturday May 5th, 2018

Greta Van Fleet –  Peachtree Stage
Prediction – Jimmy Page sues this band to prove paternity, panicked GVF attorney settles out of court, band agrees to tour with Page as often as he wants as part of the settlement. Page could do a lot worse. All Zep issues aside, this band rocks and it was fun to hear such a young group cranking out such a big-sounding and joyous thunder. Huge mid-day main stage crowd. Heard several people say this band made their weekend.

Broncho – Piedmont Stage.
A newish indie-rock band many people were excited about and Broncho did not disappoint after getting a late main stage upgrade. They are original and quirky enough to be be huge.

Bully – Peachtree Stage
Nashville melodic pop-rockers carried the big stage like they were born to be there.

Andrew W.K Ponce de Leon Stage

Circa Survive – Ponce de Leon Stage.
The fans were ready.

The Distillers – Peachtree Stage.
Crowd digging ‘em before the band started.


Day 3 – Sunday May 6th, 2018
Tenacious D – Piedmont Stage.
Gotta start with a few the D –  They could headline festivals like this all summer. Tenacious D’s loyal followers showed up for this fun in the Funday fest. Sorry I didn’t get the full-frontal Jack Black jump. Most of us were heading out of the photo pit when he surprised us with 3 of these classic D moves.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Ponce de Leon Stage
Menzigers – Criminal Records Stage
We’ve got another jumper.
Basement – Criminal Records Stage
Basement crowd – on that well-shaded and breezy Criminal Records stage.


Moose Blood 3/29/18, Dallas

Dates: March 29, 2018

Location: Gas Monkey Bar & Grill, Dallas, TX

Gas Monkey Welcomes Moose Blood!

An Emo band from Canterbury, Kent UK came to Gas Monkey Bar and Grill to play and what a show it was. A cool night at the end of March was the setting for Moose Blood to take over the outside stage at Gas Monkey Bar and Grill in Dallas, Texas. The crowd began to come in early for the show and kept getting larger and larger. I had heard their music but never seen the band live. I was very impressed with the performance. It was nice to be out of town to see my best friend, Nicole, and then to see a good show was even better. No matter what one thinks of emo music, it has a fandom all its own. It is one of the most productive of all music genres. There were all ages at this show, from the very young to the old. All were there enjoying a good band play a good show.

Moose Blood is one of those bands that is emo punk and does it right. The new song is “Talk in Your Sleep” and it has feelings behind it. This is what emo is. The band formed in 2012 and have had a nice career on the emo punk music scene ever since. This night in Dallas they gave a great performance. It was well received by the audience and Moose Blood has a following of fans of all ages.

There is nothing like attending a concert with your best friend. It makes great memories and reminds you of the bond that you have. Attending an emo concert is more of an emotional experience than it is just a concert. No matter what band it is, there is a connection with the audience that the band is playing for. A cool night had many in long sleeves but the feeling was there. The special feeling you get when seeing a good live band. Moose Blood took the stage in hoodies and there was a roar from the crowd from the get go. From the first chord strummed to the last it was a night to remember for many.

Blue, White and purple lights cycling through illuminated the stage throughout their set. The colors complimented the songs that were played. One of the most popular song form Moose Blood is titled “Honey”. This is a song that also received the 2016 Kerrang! Awards nomination for best track. This is the way to begin the set that caught the attention of the audience with them even singing along. There were other songs that were sung along by the audience throughout the show. One of my favorite song is called “Cherry” to see it performed live for the first time was one of those special moments that is a great memory for life.

Moose Blood is a band that can go to any town on any stage and put feeling into their music. There fans are the kind that show up to see just that. An outside stage in Dallas, Texas seeing a good band with my bestie, life is good. Rock On!


Rose Cousins 3/10/18, Toronto

Dates: March 10, 2018

Location: Harbourfront Centre Theatre, Toronto, Ontario

Live at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre Theatre, with opening act Ken Yates. Check out some videos following the review.


You don’t just open for Rose Cousins at the convenience of some promoter. You’re carefully selected and, in essence, become part of her family. One listen to Ken Yates’ 7-song set made complete sense to her fans on this special night as his smart songwriting was evident from the opening chords of “Grey Country Blues”, his exceptional voice and guitar-playing finesse serving up an impressive start to this show.

If the London, Ontario native seemed slightly nervous given the larger-than-usual, acoustically sound room – he had no reason to be, quickly winning over the crowd with two additional ‘new’ songs before leaning into four more from his second release, the award-winning “Huntsville”. The title track was set up with a hilarious tale about proposing on a camping trip while the song itself revealed an innate sensitivity and uncommon storytelling finesse. “Keep Your Head Down” exposed a highly talented finger-picker while his vocal on this more aggressive song revealed a distinctive country edge that might play itself forward at such an early phase in his career. Other highlights included the darker “Roll Me On Home” (bearing a distinct resemblance to a Cousins-calibre composition) and the somewhat offbeat, yet uncommonly satisfying, “Leave Me The Light On”.

As Rose Cousins took to the stage, the fact that something special was about to happen had already been communicated – without the need of words. The stage, arranged in a semi-circle with multiple music stands, chairs and microphones for eight or more, suggested that we were about to be presented with even more than expected. Armed with little more than her acoustic guitar, Cousins took no time in warming the crowd, asking whether we were first-timers and where we were from, launching into her amiable Atlantic Canada patois as her audience erupted into intense laughter. This is a big part of Rose Cousins’ personality – she can pack a week’s worth of Netflix comedy specials into her stage presence as clearly as she can draw tears of emotion with her original compositions of love lost, tragic disappointment and inner strife. She’s well aware of her darker side and perhaps it’s a way to compensate – letting us know she’s anything but the person her music might seem to project. With so much of her introspective material cloaked in raw shades of black and grey, her more comedic side delivers a welcome, cauterizing antidote. “Let’s see now… we’ve covered devastation, betrayal, heartbreak, added a touch of encouragement and some torment….what else can we do?”

Accompanied herself on guitar for the opener, “Dreams” (which included a hilarious variation on a patented, Pete Townshend-type ending), Cousins is joined by her band (Asa Brosius – Pedal Steel; Zachariah Hickman – Bass; Joshua Van Tassel – Drums) and they fit like a well-worn garden glove. The upbeat “Freedom” (from her Grammy and Juno-nominated Natural Conclusion) becomes putty in their hands as the seasoned foursome blend elements of Indian music into its gospel core.

Calmly referring to the obvious innuendo of “Lock & Key”, the frisky foursome quickly steered it into jazz territory, Cousins moving over to piano, the song warmly bathed in Hickman’s rich acoustic bass. Cue the wings as four additional players took to the stage to support a fresh arrangement (compliments, Drew Jureka) of “White Flag“: Rebecca Wolkstein and Praime Lam (both on violin), Kathleen Kajioka (viola) and Lydia Munchinsky (cello). (OMG, it’s The Rose Cousins Orchestra!) This lush instrumentation only served to lift “White Flag”’s piano-driven excursion further into full-on, Wuthering Heights territory, freeing Cousins’ dynamic vocals to soar in heavenly proportions above the full, goosebump-inducing tapestry created by her eight talented musicians.


Introducing “Tender Is the Man” with a half-chuckle (“it’s okay, guys…”), the strings seemed to afford each composition added gravitas, as the subtle weeping of Brosius’ pedal steel and Cousins’ beautiful piano bolstered the intensity of each lyric. “Go First”, from We Have Made A Spark, mines Cousins’ ability to pen strong elements of pop artistry, breathing added life into each gut-wrenching exposé. Here, the string section helped plunge the knife of a spent relationship even deeper – with stirring results. Followed by the equally disastrous loss realized in “My Friend” – Brosius’ pedal steel shared centre stage with its equally poignant lyric. (“Sad songs – yeah [catcall]!”).

As the string quartet retreated from the stage (no doubt in tears), Cousins & band took a funky detour with the upbeat “Chains” (Natural Conclusion) – a showcase for the rhythm section (a buoyant blend of Van Tassel’s uncommon drum patterns and Hickman’s tight, uptown sound) and a natural gear-shift towards Cousins’ strong R&B leanings. Cue The Send Off’s “White Daisies” – her self-admitted “Emmylou song” (and one of her best) – as Cousins returned to guitar, reminding all of her uncanny ability to imbue her less-than-subtle sense of melody with indelible hooks. Back on piano (as her beleaguered sound man struggled to keep up), the stunning highlight of “Farmer’s Wife” (from ‘’2014’s Stray Birds) – an ode to her mother and sister and the farm life left behind –– revealed vocal pyrotechnics reminiscent of, at times, Laura Nyro, as Cousins’ deft piano-playing skills were on full parade.

Known for her spirit of collaboration, Cousins leans toward co-creating and exploring the art of writing and performing with an impressive cast of talented others. As if to offer a break from – let’s call it Part One, Cousins introduced us to Ria Mae – a well-decorated, fellow Haligonian (and co-comedienne). Sharing the piano stool, they embarked upon the uplifting “All The Time It Takes To Wait” which, in turn, merged into Mae’s own, rap-hued “Bend” from last year’s My Love. Next up, another friend and collaborator, Donovan Woods – a burly, yet surprisingly soft-spoken bear of singer-songwriter who simultaneously taps folk and country to support his rich storytelling. Cousins’ duets on “I Ain’t Ever Loved No One” from his upcoming Both Ways, debuting it here.

As Woods remains, Mae returns, together with opener Ken Yates and singer-songwriter Charlotte Cornfield, to join Cousins in an elegant version of the bittersweet “Grace” (its enlarged chorus succeeds in making inner anguish sound appealing), followed by Sparks’ “What I See”. As her guests file out, the string quartet returns, resulting in a riveting, if not jaw-altering, epic version of “The Grate” – one of Natural Conclusion’s brightest….err….darkest gems. At the same time, as the music swells behind her, Cousins’ unleashes the power of her voice (and piano accompaniment), flying high above the room with other-worldly power. Back to guitar and, with the support of the strings, Spark’s “All The Stars” offers its ever-hopeful reprieve. The relatively hushed, if not somber, “This Light” shows Cousins at her best – accompanying herself on piano, her tender yet robust voice winging skywards, propelled by another sympathetic string arrangement. Following this and back on guitar, “Chosen” – her poster child for self-doubt, gets a similarly sumptuous read.

As the show approaches its natural conclusion, the final song is, appropriately enough, “Coda” – a fitting close to a lovely night that has married gut-wrenching introspection to musical bliss, adding significant colour to the black and white rawness of her highly emotional fare.

The rousing ovation from the house was successful in its bid for more. Always the showman, Cousins returned to the stage decked out in a pair of dark sunglasses as she sat behind her piano to do her best Corey Hart impersonation. What better to follow the main course if not a little dessert as she lit into Hart’s deliciously camp “Never Surrender”? With its defiant message of never giving up on yourself, we’re reminded that such a takeaway is all too apt. Winston Churchill couldn’t have said it any better.

All-in-all, Cousins is a powerhouse of a singer-songwriter. Her talents on piano – alone – could still any room while her pure, distinctive vocals serve to reveal each layer of an emotional landscape few others could begin to fathom, let alone share. At the same time, like a musical prism, she mines light from life’s darkest of corners, refracting it forward in a show of strength over frailty. Hope over despair. The way she appears to leave the door open on her vulnerability is never asking for more trouble. Only by taking such risks does she earn the richest rewards. It’s life – and she’s living it more honestly than most. Such accounts for her monumental appeal.

Escondido/Kolars/Sammy Brue 3/21/18, Denver

Dates: March 21, 2018

Location: Globe Hall, Denver CO

Live at Globe Hall!


It had been a few years since Nashville’s Escondido was in town. That was  fabulous gig at the Lost Lake Lounge on a magical evening. They came back with a few openers that I hadn’t heard of.

I only caught the last few songs by Sammy Brue , a very young (maybe 17) but amiable chap with an acoustic guitar, long hair and a heart full of longing that needs to get out. It was he on stage with an acoustic guitar and a lovely lady that had a violin and I like what I’d heard, even though it was only a song and a half. Wanna catch this guy next time (and make sure to check out his 2017 release on the New West label, I Am Nice).

I hadn’t heard of Kolars (above) but I know this much. They’re a duo, man/woman who call Los Angeles home and used to be in a band called He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister, but decided on a better name. The dude (Rob Kolars) is on guitar and vocals and the gal (Lauren Brown) is well, I think it’s a bass drum that she stands on and does sort of a tap dance on it while smacking the other drums with sticks. It’s quite a sight to see. They had a cool rock n’ roll vibe, with as dash of rockabilly and I’m guessing some Cramps influence in there, too (some dream pop in there as well).  Not even sure if they have any records out but they’re well worth your precious time (they didn’t even do their Neutral Milk Hotel cover and were still righteous).

The folks of Escondido, Jessica Maros on acoustic guitar and vocals and Tyler James on guitar and occasional trumpet (plus a solid, entertaining rhythm section) hit the stage a little after 10 pm and proceeded to play a superb set. I know it was a Wednesday night, but there really should’ve been a lot more people here. This is Escondido, people! Off the first record, 2012’s The Ghost of Escondido, we heard “Cold October,’ “Black Roses, “Rodeo Queen” and while on their sophomore effort, 2016’s Walking with a Stranger, they pulled out “Heart is Black,” “Try” and  few others and rthey also played out a few new cuts that sounded terrific (especially “You’re Not Like Anybody Else”).

I can’t wait for the new record and you guys need to give this band a serious listen if you’ve never heard ‘em before. The songs are  lovely (a little Mazzy Star with lots of twang) with plenty of heart and Ms. Maros has a voice from the gods.

In addition to great songs the band are truly appreciative of their audience (always a plus) amd just loved to play. The next time they hit Denver I’ll be there again (and again and again and again).

JD Bamford Photography:



6 String Drag 3/9/18, Raleigh NC

Dates: March 9, 2018

Location: The Pour House, Raleigh NC

6 String Drag

N.C. Americana legends hosted an album release (and re-release!) party at the capitol city’s Pour House venue—and packed that House.


String Drag held a party in Raleigh on Friday night, March 9, celebrating the release of their outstanding new record Top Of The World as well as the re-release of 1997’s Steve Earle-produced High Hat. Helping out Kenny, Rob, Luis, and Dan were Scott McCall on guitar and Matt Douglass on saxophone, who sat in on a few songs each. Celebrating over 20 years of making music, they put on a life affirming rock and roll show for the faithful fans who packed the Pour House spending the night dancing and singing along.

Go HERE to read the recent BLURT interview with 6 String Drag and HERE to listen to our premiere of Top Of The World track “Waste Of Time.” (Full disclosure: The new album and reissue are both on BLURT’s sister business Schoolkids Records, and our editor also helped craft the group’s official bio for Schoolkids.)

6 String Drag

6 String Drag

6 String Drag

6 String Drag

6 String Drag

6 String Drag

6 String Drag

6 String Drag

6 String Drag

6 String Drag

6 String Drag

6 String Drag

Scott McCaughey Benefit 2/12/18, Chicago

Live at Chicago’s HideOut venue, the show was officially billed as “The Concert for The Emperor of the Bathroom: A Benefit for Scott McCaughey. Singing the praises of the beloved Minus 5/Filthy Friends/Young Fresh Fellows/R.E.M./Baseball Project musician were The Thirsty Birds:  Jon Langford, Nora O’Connor, Kelly Hogan, Dag Juhlin, Max Crawford, Susan Voelz, Jason Narducy, Rick Rizzo and others. According to the organizers, “the Chicago music community sends its love and support to their friend, Scott (who suffered a stroke last November). Assembled are friends who have played with Scott over the years and have survived their fair share of after-show drinks with the man. This show will be a celebration of Scott’s songbook, and proceeds will go towards the medical fund set up by his wife, Mary Winzig, to help cover his medical expenses as he recovers.”


Portland show’d the love for Scott McCaughey back in January, so Feb. 12, 2018 was Chicago’s turn to embrace the man who some call “Sled”.

The HideOut hosted this gala, which featured the creme de la creme of Chicago’s music society, playing under the one night only moniker: The Thirsty Birds. An exemplary evening of talent was shown and given.

Two real standouts were Jason Narducy’s take on R.E.M.’s “Finest Work Song”, which really had one asking, whatever happen to the passion from the song’s creators? The second, wha tha fuc moment was had during the evening’s closer of “Dear Employer”, sung by two angels—Nora O’Conner & Kelly Hogan—with the passion and reasoning of angels who just might know what it is like to up and quit on the big boss and flip him the bird while on the way out of them pearly gates. It left this reviewer blubbering and quivering in goosebumps, until the room emptied and it was safe to wipe away the tears and take a hit off the inhaler.

Cash was raised and thee good vibes shared was palpable and true. All glad tidings are going towards helping Scott’s safe, speedy, and thorough recovery.

Now, namaste that mutherfucker….



































(note the matching shades…)