Chubby Knuckle Choir at Texas Beer Co.

The Chubby Knuckle Choir plays regularly at Texas Beer Co. in Taylor but in spite of my being a frequent patron here, I caught their set for the first time last weekend. This is a fun group and they totally killed it on stage. I enjoyed their unique takes on some familiar songs. Lots of smiles and energy - a truly positive experience. I'll definitely be looking forward to seeing them again.

All photos were taken with my Fujifilm X100F and conversion lenses with raw conversion in Lightroom CC. You can see more images from the show on my gallery site.

Swamp Bats at Texas Beer

My good friends in The Swamp Bats played a show at Texas Beer Company this past Saturday night. The house was packed for a Mardi Gras party and the Swamp Bats put on a sizzling show. I was happy to have helped booked the band here and I knew they would be a hit in Taylor. There is a bit of a Cajun influence in the Swamp Bats' original version of the Blues that was a perfect fit for the evening festivities.

I grabbed a few photos with my trusty Fujifilm X100F and its conversion lenses. Using the two conversion lenses gave me a three focal length setup that I alternated through for a few songs. While I tend to love the 50mm equivalent focal length for music, I've been experimenting with the 35mm and 28mm focal lengths in smaller, more intimate venues like this one.  I do love my black and whites but have found myself shooting more color shots at Texas Beer. There isn't a lot of contrasty light like I prefer for black and white work there and the color helps things pop a little in the images I think. 

So here's a funny story. I swear, I hadn't even had a beer yet and somehow I managed to attach my wide converter lens on backwards on the X100F. I was using the optical viewfinder so I didn't notice and I thought my camera was having issues when it was refusing to focus. I snapped a couple of frames and looked at the images and wondered what was going on when I saw the blurry and heavily vignetted images. I had to laugh at myself when I looked at the lens and saw what I'd done. You know, the images weren't too bad actually. They have an artsy quality. Maybe I'll try that again on purpose sometime. Here's what it looked like:

More photos from the show can be found on my gallery page.

George DeVore at Texas Beer Company

This past weekend was a real treat for me. After seeing Sister 7 in Austin on Friday night, I got to see George DeVore perform the next night at my favorite watering hole, Texas Beer Company in Taylor. I think it has been about 10 years since I last saw George play. It was so great to catch his acoustic set in front of a small crowd in the little town of Taylor.

The music venues in Taylor are really kicking things up a notch lately and I love being able to enjoy top shelf artists like George without having to drive into downtown Austin. Someday, I suppose that Taylor may get swept up in the frantic urban sprawl outside of Austin and lose its small town character. I hope not but Austin is bursting at the seams and the suburbs are expanding like wild fire. For now, it's a laid back scene in Taylor with no parking hassles, friendly people, and great artists playing in intimate settings. 

Check out more photos from the show on my gallery site.

Johnny Hootrock at Texas Beer Co.

Last night Johnny Hootrock was in Taylor, TX rocking the house at Texas Beer Co. I've been wanting to catch these guys for a long time and things finally worked out for me to see them not far from home. I love that Taylor is developing a great nightlife scene that includes bands I'd normally have to drive into downtown Austin to see - something I am loathe to do these days between the traffic and crowds of people. 

True to their name, these guys were a hoot to see live. They have a kind of rockabilly influenced sound with a hard edge, driven by an energetic stand-up drummer. It was louder than usual at Texas Beer but I didn't mind. A fun band and great craft beer - what's not to like?

Check out more photos from the show on my gallery site. All shots were taken with a Fujifilm X100F using the Acros film simulation.

Rian C at Texas Beer

The Texas Beer Co. in Taylor, TX has become a favorite watering hole of mine. It's a friendly place in a small Texas town with a nice selection of craft beers including their own brews. Last night Rian C was rocking the house with a hard rocking Honky Tonk kind of sound. The guy is very talented and put on a great show. 

I love photographing at live music shows and I tend to enjoy smaller and less crowded venues. Being mashed up against a stage with hundreds of people packed in shoulder to shoulder around me isn't my idea of a good time. It's nice to be in a place with a more modest crowd and be able to casually step up to the stage for a few photos of the musicians. This time out I was carrying a Fujifilm X100F that I acquired only a few hours before. I was getting acclimated to it while snapping photos of Rian and his band.

Getting good shots of live music is hard enough when you know the camera so it maybe wasn't the best place for a first time out. The X100 series is a quirky camera (I owned the original X100 a few years back) and it takes some time to get accustomed the style of shooting it demands. It's not designed to be optimal in the conditions that live music presents, i.e. dim lighting and lots of movement. However, I enjoy the challenge of working with a few limitations in the gear department. It helps keep my brain focused on the art rather than the tech. If you follow my blog you know that I'm the same guy who ditched all his DSLR gear and shoots pro hockey with the Fujifilm X-T2 - something a lot of people say can't be done. Pressing the Fujifilm camera to their limits has been more liberating than limiting in my experience.

All images taken with Fujifilm X100F, Acros film simulation. Full image set and information available on my gallery site.