Monday, October 17, 2011

Guitar Hero

I have always had a fascination with guitarists, and love shooting them.  From the lead, to the bassist, the strummer on the acoustic to the metal head grinding away till his fingers bleed, these people create audible and visual magic with their instruments.  There's something very sexy about the way guitarists finger their chords, nimbly sliding up and down the scale, stretching way up the frets for that top note, and blazing down the neck for that full on jam, bringing the song, and the audience to a frenzied climax.  Who doesn't recall their teen years in a montage of guitar intros and solos like a continuous greatest hits loop?  In this blog, I've assembled some deft fingers playing all over Nashville from the sublime to the crazed, the iconic to the local spice. Take a load off and enjoy a little jam with defriezframe:
The One and Only Willie Nelson
If this guitar could talk, the stories it could tell...

Keith Urban - I could do an entire blog on Keith and his incredible guitar playing.  I've got some excellent pictures from his recent tour - Get Closer.  Boy did he!  This guy can wail with the wildest and touch your heart with the most tender lyrics and his gentle pluck of the strings.

Jake Owen - Now here's a guy who knows how to have fun!

Some awesome rockers have come through town, and I wish I could say I had pictures of all of them.  Not hardly. But I did manage to score some pics of some pretty well known rockers doing what we pay a boatload of cash to see them do, and that's the payoff, those killer riffs.
Poison's badass bass player C.C. DeVille

Mick Mars (above) and Nikki Sixx (below) - Still rockin' after all these years

                                     Playing guitar doesn't always involve just making music....

Motley Crue


Nashville metal band Harlott - These guys rock so hard their fingers should be bloody stumps!

 These next few shots were taken at a WRLT show that featured TEN for TENN - 10 amazing musicians that all play for other headlining acts for their day jobs.  They've  together to created their own band to showcase their diverse writing and musical styles.  


Vince Gill - does it get any purer?

Dynamic Duo Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles wows the crowd with her band mate Kristian Bush on guitar

Lady Antebellum guitarist Dave Haywood

Lady Antebellum's guitar section jammin' on stage at CMA Music Festival.

Train frontman Patrick Monahan with his long-time guitarist Jimmy Stafford
Piano man Phil Vassar with his guitarist at a WSIX listener party.

One of the most successful and prolific songwriters in Nashville - Rivers Rutherford

Blake Shelton

Ronnie Dunn and his guitarists

 Okay, so this isn't exactly a guitar, but it's one of the sexiest instruments I've heard, and I'm not going to do a blog on electric cellos any time soon.  You've heard this on the cool intro to Secrets, from One Republic.  WRVW had a few listeners over for an intimate meet & greet with the band.

Cellist Brent Kutzle

You can't turn on a pop station in America today without hearing Foster the People.  Below are some candid pics...

Mark Foster - Foster the People

Mark Pontius

Bassist Cubbie Fink


Luke Bryan - if you've never seen this guy live, you are in for a treat!

Steel Magnolia - Think these two enjoy each other?

Taylor Swift 

A little fine tuning at the Bluebird...

Bassist Reid Perry of The Band Perry

Aaron Lewis - You know him as the voice of the rock band Staind

Aaron's guitar gets a workout

 I've got to wrap this with my own guitar hero, Paul McCartney.  I saw him earlier this year at the Bridgestone Arena here in Nashville for the 3rd time (the first was 1976 - I was a tender and impressionable 12 year old with a "lifelong crush" on Paul). It was, as always, a defining experience for me.  He wrote the soundtrack of my life, and as all things that bring a smile to your face and a pang to your stomach, it never gets old. I just wish the pics were better...that's what I get for bringing a point and shoot without superpowers to the nosebleed seats.

Sir Paul with the legendary Hofner Bass

I hope you enjoyed today's little romp through the guitar heaven that is Nashville.  Go crank up your favorite tune with that mind-numbing solo that used to drive your mother nuts and enjoy!  Catch you on the next installment of defriezframe...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Treehouse

When I was a kid, growing up in suburban Maryland, tree climbing was a favorite sport.   If we could reach the limbs to swing our short selves off the ground, it was COOL.  It was almost as thrilling as being in the top of the Rocket Slide at Cabin John Park.  I had a sizeable dogwood in the front yard that was always becoming my ship, or my fort, or base, depending on the game of the day. It was exhilirating to crawl up in the leaves brandishing garbage can lids for shields, plotting strategies and declaring war on the scrawny neighborhood boy who was always pestering us, with an arsenal of crab apples, raisins and pebbles.  Not only that, we could SPY up there!

The old Maple in my friend's front yard, or the wind-blown Pine trees in the cul-de-sac, they were all our imaginary tree houses. I can still smell the sticky sap that clung to my hair, palms and pants as we tried to climb down the 15 or so feet without falling out and breaking an arm.  My kids are the same, up a tree as soon as they spot a decent one.   But to have a REAL TREE HOUSE!   Man, we wanted one of those, with a ladder going up, and a platform to sit on - a place that was meant just for us to do our secret girl stuff.   The closest thing we could get to that ladder/platform idea were the bunk beds in my friend's room.

Fast forward 40 years.  It's Easter weekend. That same friend and I are vacationing with our girls at a lake resort in Tennessee. We're chatting with a mom who's got the skinny on cheap area entertainment for her own vanload of kids.  She mentions a cool treehouse that's "just up the road".   But this isn't just any treehouse, this is the MOTHER of ALL treehouses!  She pulls out her cellphone and proceeds to show me a picture of a Tree Mansion!  We pile the troops into the mom-mobile and head off down the road. After taking a wrong turn down a drive from Little House on the Prairie, meandering through a cow pasture, bottoming out through tractor ruts while listening to the voices of 5 back seat drivers as we spit gravel up a hill, we dead end into someone else's hideaway.  Back down the hill, jostling over the ruts, through the pasture, and out the treeline where we find a farmer who directs us a bit further down the road, which indeed, dead ends into TREEHOUSE NIRVANA!  Blown away is an understatement.

The Treehouse, inspired by a vision that Minister Horace Burgess had in 1993.  It's supported by a live 80 foot tall White Oak, but Burgess says it's foundation is in God.  All the materials are recycled pieces of lumber from various garages, storage sheds and barns.

Artwork is everywhere

The makeshift swing, and the caretaker of the house.

Quotes and signatures are everywhere from visitors over the last 18 years.

Looking out one of the views from the top.

The caretaker's camp

  "The whole message of the thing is, if you come to see the site and climb to the top, you'll see Jesus in the garden, and the preacher didn't have to say a word."  - Horace Burgess

Susan, my lifelong friend and tree climbing buddy. This weekend we found that we're  never too old for treehouse climbing, for discovering new joys, or revisiting old ones.