Sunday, September 1, 2019

Griffith Labor Day Weekend

Eric Saylors of The Steepwater Band

As I have written often, NW Indiana is dripping in talent, from the arts to the crafts. Yet we rarely see it being supported. We look too much to the outside which comes and goes, rather than what is in the inside that stays.

This Car and Motorcycle Show, hosted by the Griffith Firefighters Association (who does an excellent job), is one craft. People who have a talent, and who are passionate about it, enjoy showing what they can do. These cars and motorcycles are one of these passionate crafts. At one time I dabbled in it, enjoyed it, however never made it to this level. So I appreciate their hours of labor and skill a whole lot.

The car and motorcycle photos below are not all of the vehicles that attended. I photographed what caught my eye or what I thought I had not seen before. By no means am I detracting from any of the others by not taking a photograph. It was all excellent craftsmanship.


A band not listed on the advertisement. If anyone knows who they are, please let me know.

It was very nice to find "I'm With Frank" playing on stage. I did not see them on the advertisement for this event either, so I was happy to have stumbled into the tent to see them. Kimberley has an amazing voice and stage presence. 

A quick stop to Dynamite Music to say hello . . . please check them out for all of your music needs!

The Griffith "book exchange" (photograph below) being used. This one located next to the Grindhouse Cafe, at the corner of Broad and Columbia. I think I need to place my books I have read in their for others to enjoy!!!

I love this vendor. The best fresh corn dogs and elephant ears around!

My friends "Hot Sauce".

Sound check for "Brass From The Past".

"The Chicago Experience" - Chicago Tribute


I have written and said this many times. Northwest Indiana is dripping in talent in the arts, which I include vehicle restoration. Yet we continue to fail in NW Indiana to acknowledge our artists. This is why I blog about those artists, to give them exposure, to help promote, to get you out to see them, and I do this for free.

Tribute bands have their place. People enjoy the music they heard on the radio, and the bands who created that music. There are tribute bands outside our 219 area that I would go see. However, if I had to pick I would probably choose the tribute bands that are in our back yard, like Echoes of Pompeii (Pink Floyd tribute), Marrakesh Express (Crosby Stills Nash and Young tribute), MegaBeattles (Beatles tribute), Bonfire (AC/DC tribute), and others.

Then we have our local bands that are original music, and those that do covers. The Steepwater Band and Nomad Planets being a couple of our original music bands. Then we have Funky MoJo Daddy, Corey Dennison Band, Hessville Star, The Crawpuppies, Flashpoint, The Nick Danger Band, The Muddsharks, and a list of probably 100 or more bands in our 219 area. All ready to entertain us. All not being seen because we as a society choose not to pay them any attention (to some degree).

So this Sunday I spent my free time giving to those artists of NW Indiana who were at the Griffith Rock 'N Rail Festival. I did not see all who were there. Here is the tribute band that I saw that day, Marrakesh Express.

Marrakesh Express ~ a CSNY experience (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young tribute band), is made up of our local talent. Musicians who play for other bands, who get together in this particular group a few times a year to show off their talent. I love these guys, and I am close friends with a couple of them. Pete Calacci, one guitarist of the band, is the first band/musician I ever photographed, and his girlfriend Rene who I call "Sis" is who pushed me back into photography and to photograph Pete. Here are some photographs of the Sunday experience for you to enjoy.


I made it late to the Highnoon show (above photograph). They had a very happy crowd there to see them.

The next set of photographs are of The Steepwater Band. They hail from this region and are one of the most revered original local music bands by the musicians and fans in the area. They played on the side stage this evening, which is a bit of a shock. No matter. Musicians and friends found them and rocked out the evening. The first photograph is of the band members autographing a guitar for a fan.

This young lady was having fun dancing to the music. She cranked herself up from the vibe and began running around the people dancing.

Friends Kenny Kinsey (of Funky Mojodaddy, The Kinsey Report, and more), and Jerry Clemens (Nick Danger Band, who knows everyone).

"Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin' out the scenery, breakn' my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?"

The 5 Man Electric Band

So I commented on my towns FB page that I did not care for all of the tribute bands taking up main stage, and for placing The Steepwater Band on the side stage. Comments were mostly split either way, with anger as to why I did not want all of those tribute bands. I will tell you why.

Northwest Indiana is dripping with talent. Yet our society is out to make a buck rather than support musicians who are around us, and to boost the economy for all of 219. There are too many communities in the region not celebrating what we have. They go outside to fill their musical lineup. So how does this benefit the region? It doesn't. It only locally benefits for what in the long run is small change. Why not develop our artists and craftsman, so that the outside comes to us? Why do you think some of us leave the region to spend our money?

Yes, I like tribute bands, cover bands, however most of all I like original music from local musicians. This is who I choose to support, and I do it for free on the side while I work a full time job. I care about the arts and the crafts. I do like the "name" bands and those who play their music. I do not care if the tribute bands are coming to us for free (no charge to see). I care about the health of 219.

I listened to some of the other tribute bands this weekend. Some are good, some I could do better sitting back with friends and listening on vinyl while we reminisce of times past when those songs were on the radio or we played them on vinyl.

Yes, some people would never be able to afford to see the real band, or to even go listen to a tribute band or cover band because of cost. So yes, this event makes sense for those people. What about the rest of us?

The 5 Man Electric Band, from my era. As I was dressed down by my community for my opinion while handed a press pass the very last day, I was told I could not go behind or on stage to photograph. I had done that in the past with the permission of the band, and had some more exciting photographs the bands could use for promotion. Oh, you did not know? Yes, I give all my photographs away for free to the bands who want them. Yet, during the Marrakesh Express show I saw a person go onto the stage taking a video when I was told to go away. Yes, probably for the town. Still, double standards. I am from the town too.

Shop local. Support local artists and the crafts. Invest in 219 for a better life for all in 219. Yes, do indulge in what comes your way too, even when it comes in from the outside. That is how you enjoy life. Never forget we are a mix of color, religion, race, sexuality, and needs. We are not all white tribute bands. We are a mix of all voices.

Thank you to all my friends who support me, even when you have a different view. You know we respect each other for that. I may need your support from the backlash I will most likely get from this post. Stay cool, stay real.

You can see a categorized thumbnail of all my blogs by going to StreetPhoto.ME.

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The "219 Music" and "219 Artare owned trademarks of Wes Bushby.

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