Rod Melancon | Photo Shoot

Had the opportunity to do a photo shoot with south Louisiana native Americana musician Rod Melancon for his upcoming album release. 

His debut album, My Family Name, came out last year is amazing. Produced by Dave Cobb, (he also produced Jason Isbell, Stirgull Simpson, and Jamey Johnson ) captures the country singer-songwriter styles of John Cash and Merle Haggard.

"At 25, he has written a series of songs that reflect the life and culture of his roots in a similar way we heard in Cash's early work in Memphis.  From the opening track, the outlaw influenced, "Living Like My Heroes," to the eerie, haunting ballad, "Lord Knows," he is renewing the landscape once cultivated by the best of the best in country music-where story meets poetry. It's the purity of sound and song that most of today's mainstream country singer-songwriters have long abandoned in favor of songs about a more modern and cliched country culture. It would be easy for many critics and A&R people to pass Melancon off as a retro-fluke who will soon fade. But Rod Melancon is not retro, he is real. It's that reality and lack of posturing supported by some stunningly classic-based original country songs, that give Melancon his edge.  It takes no effort for him to call up Elvis or James Dean in image. It's who he really he is. It seems he may have been born in the wrong time. But, perhaps, it would be better said, he was born in just the right time to revitalize country music to its original glory." Terry Roland - No Depression Magazine

I had a lot of fun shooting and getting to know Rod - he is a quality down-to-earth guy.  

By far my favorite images are the ones shot with the 1965 Polaroid 220 sheet film - his look matched the era and was just perfect.  

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Kansas Film Commission Photos

There is something completely intriguing about these old school panoramic photos from pretty much every place in Kansas, produced from the Kansas Film Commission from 1990 - 2001. Clearly NOT digital, instead, a strange warmth and humanness. It took may folks a good amount of time. Manila folder, scotch tape, typewriter, all signs of human. Maybe these poorly-shot photos conjure a visual sincerity a truism before hyper produced digital images. Maybe they bring back memories of family road trips or my own country upbringing; although rural California looks nothing like Kansas, the images are closer to the way my brain remembers them than how it really was. The images also remind me of scenes of so many authors I love and read; McCarthy, Wendle Berry, Faulkner, Sherwood Anderson... 

Whatever it is they are kind of fun to get lost in.

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