Sister Hazels New E.P | Pre-order your copy!

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NASHVILLE, TN (August 17, 2018) Platinum-selling band, Sister Hazel, is set to release their new EP, Wind, on September 7, 2018. The six-track EP is the follow-up to their Billboard chart-topping EP, Water. The newest EP is Volume II of a collectible compilation series titled, “Elements,” and includes a bonus seventh track that will continue throughout the series. Fans can pre-order the EP HERE and get the instant grat tracks, "Small Town Living," and "Whirlwind Girl," that premiered on Digital Journal today HERE. "Whirlwind Girl" is also available on all streaming services. In addition to the digital download and CD, this release offers exclusive limited-edition merchandise bundles available HERE. 

"Whirlwind Girl" was co-written by Sister Hazel band members Andrew Copeland and Ryan Newell, as well as Barry Dean, who has written chart-topping singles for Little Big Town and Michael Ray. It is the third track featured on their Wind EP. Markos Papadatos of Digital Journalpraised the new song saying, "Overall, Sister Hazel delights with their new track "Whirlwind Girl." It is refreshing and a great deal of fun. This song is custom-made for the airwaves and it deserves to be a single someday. It shows Sister Hazel's ability to reinvent themselves and stay current and relevant in the ever-changing music industry. Their harmonies on "Whirlwind Girl" are as delectable as ever. Fans and listeners that enjoyed their classic hit "All For You," will certainly find "Whirlwind Girl" to be a real treat. If this song is any indication of how their new EP will sound, then their audience will be in for a true musical experience. "Whirlwind Girl" garners an A rating."


You can expect to be emotionally attached to this EP.
— Roots Music Magazine
Hazelnuts get ready to enjoy this ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT piece of artistry. I can honestly say this EP hits every ounce of emotions. There is something so pure about this album. Production = FANTASTIC … Lyrically = SUPERB … Instrumentally = STELLAR.
— 695 The Rock Radio
Doing any job for 25 years is pretty impressive; maintaining a successful band in a fickle music industry for that long is near-miraculous. The band has managed to flourish as an independent act without a major label, releasing albums on its own Croakin’ Poets label and making waves on the country charts with its newest EP’s, without significantly changing its sound to fit a format. 
— Greenville Journal
Sister Hazel’s second of four EP’s, Wind, captures the bands adventurous spirit. There’s a song for every emotion or experience. One of the band’s strongest skills is the ability to pull you into their story and make it yours, too. Sister Hazel surpasses the expectations on this EP.
— Music Update Central
Sister Hazel has always been a band that has written and created their music with heart and soul. This new E.P continues that tradition but with a country feel to it. With songs such as “Small Town Living” it tells a story but gives you that back country sound. You can hear the growth and natural progression in this E.P.
— Chris Sturk | f28studio.com
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Wind Track List:
1. "Come A Day"
2. "Small Town Living" 
3. "Whirlwind Girl" 
4. "In Two"  
5. "You'll be Safe Here" 
6. "Midnight Again" 
7. "Elements II" (I'm Free)

Add @SisterHazelBand "Small Town Living" and "Whirlwind Girl"  to your Spotify and Apple Music Playlists! 

About Sister Hazel:

Originating from Gainesville, FL, Sister Hazel is comprised of five gifted, seasoned musicians whose well-spring of natural talent has been called "one of the Top 100 Most Influential Independent Performers of the last 15 years" by Performing Songwriter Magazine. Song "All for You," topped the adult alternative charts during the summer of 1997 and the success propelled their album to platinum status. In their first showing on the country music charts they made a strong debut with “Lighter In The Dark” at #4 onBillboard’s Top Country Albums chart, #6 on Billboard’s Independent Albums chart, #30 onBillboard's Top Current Albums chart and #79 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The band landed on Billboard’s Top Country Albums Chart again in 2016 with “Unplugged From Daryl's House Club” at #75. In February 2018, “Water,” Volume I of a collectible compilation series titled, “Elements,” landed on the Billboard Country Albums chart at #9 and at #2 on Billboard’s Independent Albums chart along with making their debut on the most revered stage in country music, the Grand Ole Opry. Living up to their fan-centered reputation, the band was a pioneer in the themed cruise industry by co-founding "The Rock Boat" and annually hosts events like the “Hazelnut Hang,” and "Camp Hazelnut" that focuses on creating unique experiences and interacting with the fans. Sister Hazel has been equally attentive to connecting with their audience through social media having amassed over a million social followers. In addition to the events and touring, the band also gives back with “Lyrics For Life.” Founded by singer Ken Block, the charity unites musicians and celebrities for concerts and auctions to benefit cancer research and patient-care charities.

Sister Hazel | Lincoln Theater Raleigh NC | Photograph by Chris Sturk

Sister Hazel | Lincoln Theater Raleigh NC | Photograph by Chris Sturk

Photographing Pennywise

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Pennywise

Pennywise is probably one of the most influential punk bands of my genre. I remember hearing the song “Home Sick” from their record “Unknown Road” while watching a skate boarding video. My friends and I were big skaters at the time and would watch some of our favorite skaters VHS tapes and try to emulate their tricks. During one of those video watching sessions Pennywise was playing in the background of one of the videos. I had to then watch the end of the VHS to find out what band it was. The rest was history after that. One of my favorite songs to this day is still is “Peaceful Day”. Their style of punk music felt hard with deep guitar riffs and strong bass lines. Some of the punk bands of that era had an overall higher pitched tone to it and pennywise seemed to have gone the opposite way in that regard. Pennywise is still playing strong and even played the last Van’s Warp Tour this year with a somber goodbye to an iconic music festival. They played at the Lincoln theater in Raleigh NC and came out strong as the crowd pushed against the barricade trying to get a pit started. They sounded just as I remembered them with the same power, angst, lyrical and vocal domination of Jim Lindberg. Even as the group gets older with Jim himself reaching 54 years old they still are undoubtedly one of the greatest punk bands to have ever come out of California and are still a band you need to see live.
— Chris Sturk | f28studio.com | f28MP Magazine

Pennywise is an American punk rock band from Hermosa Beach, California, formed in 1988. The band took its name from the evil clown monster from the Stephen King horror novel It.

Between their 1991 self-titled debut and 2005's The Fuse, Pennywise has released an album every two years on Epitaph Records, a label owned by Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz. To date, the band has released twelve full-length studio albums (the latest being 2018's Never Gonna Die), one live album, two EPs and one DVD. Although their first two studio albums were critically acclaimed, Pennywise would not experience worldwide commercial success until the 1995 release of their third studio album, About Time, which peaked at number ninety-six on the Billboard 200, and number fifty-five on Australia's ARIA Charts. The band's mainstream success was signified by a growing interest in punk rock during the 1990s, along with fellow California bands NOFX, Rancid, Blink-182, Bad Religion, Green Day, The Offspring, Lagwagon and Sublime. By 2007, the band had independently sold over three million records worldwide, making them one of the most successful independent punk acts of all time. 
Pennywise's current line-up consists of Jim Lindberg (vocals), Fletcher Dragge (guitars), Randy Bradbury (bass) and Byron McMackin (drums). They had kept their original line-up together until bassist Jason Thirsk died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1996, due to issues with his alcoholism, after which Bradbury joined as his replacement. In August 2009, Lindberg decided to leave the band; he was replaced in February 2010 by Ignite singer Zoli Téglás. With Téglás, the band recorded their tenth studio album All or Nothing, which was released on May 1, 2012.  Lindberg rejoined the band later that year after Téglás was sidelined by a back injury.

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Pennywise has released a new album with some amazing tracks that still prove they kick ass.  You can check out the information below to pick up your copy! 

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You can pick up their new records from Amazon.com, iTunes, Google Play and your local music stores.  Links are provided below. 

https://pennywisdom.com/

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Photographing Charlie Puth

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Charlie Puth

Charles Otto Puth Jr. is an American singer, songwriter and record producer. His initial exposure came through the viral success of his song videos uploaded to YouTube.

"See You Again" was released as Puth's debut single in 2015, which he co-wrote, co-produced, and performed with Wiz Khalifa for the Furious 7 soundtrack as a tribute to Paul Walker. It peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 for 12 non-consecutive weeks. After the success of "See You Again", he gained worldwide recognition for multiple subsequent releases, including his debut single "Marvin Gaye", which featured vocals from Meghan Trainor. The song topped charts in New Zealand, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

Puth's debut studio album, Nine Track Mind, was released in January 2016, and was preceded by the singles "One Call Away" and "We Don't Talk Anymore", which peaked at number 12 and number nine, respectively on the US Billboard Hot 100. In 2017, he released two songs, "Attention" and "How Long" from his second studio album, Voicenotes, with the former peaking at number five on Billboard Hot 100.

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Photographs taken and copyrighted by Chris Sturk & f28studio.com

Photographing Hailee Steinfeld

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Hailee Steinfeld

Hailee Steinfeld is an American actress and singer. She made her breakthrough as Mattie Ross in True Grit (2010), for which she was nominated for numerous accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Thereafter, Steinfeld gained prominence for roles in Ender's Game (2013), Romeo & Juliet (2013), Begin Again (2013), and 3 Days to Kill (2014). She appeared as Emily Junk in Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) and Pitch Perfect 3 (2017), and received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical for her portrayal of Nadine Franklin in The Edge of Seventeen (2016).

After performing "Flashlight" in Pitch Perfect 2, Steinfeld released a cover version of the song and then signed with Republic Records. She released her debut single, "Love Myself", which has been certified platinum in several countries, followed by her debut extended play, Haiz (2015). She has since released a series of standalone singles, including "Starving" (a collaboration with both Grey and Zedd), which peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States, and "Let Me Go" (a collaboration with Alesso, Florida Georgia Line and Watt), which reached number 14 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart in the United States.

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Images are copyrighted by Chris Sturk, f28studio & f28MP Magazine.  We do not permit copying and sharing of images.  If you would like to share this blog that is permitted.  Do not copy and paste the images or modify them.  Penilty by copyright law will be enforced.  

Photographing Weezer

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Weezer

Weezer is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1992, consisting of Rivers Cuomo (lead vocals, lead guitar, keyboards), Patrick Wilson (drums), Brian Bell (rhythm guitar, backing vocals, keyboards), and Matt Sharp (bass, backing vocals).  After signing to Geffen Records in 1993, Weezer released their debut self-titled album, also known as the "Blue Album", in 1994. Backed by successful music videos for the singles "Buddy Holly", "Undone – The Sweater Song" and "Say It Ain't So", the Blue Album became a quadruple-platinum success. Their second album, Pinkerton (1996), featuring a darker, more abrasive sound, was a commercial failure and initially received mixed reviews, but went on to achieve cult status and critical acclaim years later. Both the Blue Album and Pinkerton are now frequently cited among the best albums of the 1990s. Following the tour for Pinkerton, bassist Matt Sharp left the band and Weezer went on hiatus.

In 2001, Weezer returned with another self-titled album, also known as the "Green Album", with new bassist Mikey Welsh. With a more pop sound, and promoted by singles "Hash Pipe" and "Island in the Sun", the album was a commercial success and received mostly positive reviews. After the Green Album tour, Welsh left the band and was replaced by current bassist Scott Shriner. Weezer's fourth album, Maladroit (2002), achieved mostly positive reviews but weaker sales. Make Believe (2005) received mixed reviews, but its single "Beverly Hills" became Weezer's first single to top the US Modern Rock Tracks chart and the first to reach the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 2008, Weezer released a third self-titled album, also known as the "Red Album", featuring "TR-808s, synths, Southern rap, and baroque counterpoint," to mixed reviews. Its lead single, "Pork and Beans", became the band's third song to top the Modern Rock Tracks chart, backed by a successful YouTube music video. Raditude (2009) and Hurley (2010) featured more "modern pop production" and songs co-written with other artists, achieved further mixed reviews and moderate sales. The band's ninth and tenth albums, Everything Will Be Alright in the End (2014) and the band’s fourth self-titled album, also known as the "White Album" (2016), returned to a rock style and achieved more positive reviews. Their eleventh album, Pacific Daydream (2017), featured a more mainstream pop sound. Weezer has sold 9.2 million albums in the US and over 17 million worldwide.

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Photographing Sleighbells

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Sleighbells

Sleigh Bells is an American noise pop musical duo based in Brooklyn, New York, formed in 2008. The duo consists of vocalist Alexis Krauss and guitarist Derek Edward Miller. After signing to N.E.E.T. Recordings and Mom + Pop Music, Sleigh Bells released their debut album, Treats, in May 2010. Their follow-up album, Reign of Terror, was released in February 2012. In October 2013, the band released their third album, Bitter Rivals while their fourth album, Jessica Rabbit, was released in November 2016.

The two members of Sleigh Bells—Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss—had previous experience performing and touring in a musical ensemble. From age 17 to 22, Miller was a guitarist in the hardcore punk band Poison the Well. He played on the band's first three albums, but left in 2004, citing creative differences with the other band members as a key factor for his departure.  Krauss meanwhile has a background in theater and television. As a child she appeared in a Nickelodeon Magazine commercial, and starred in a community production of the musical Annie.  From age 12 to 16, Krauss performed in the teen pop group RubyBlue. After RubyBlue broke up, Krauss went to college (majoring in political science), taught Spanish at an elementary school in The Bronx, and performed at weddings on the side for fun.  In March 2008, Miller moved to New York City expressly to find a female vocalist for some song demos he was working on. "I'm just obsessed with female vocalists. I don't want to say I was really determined, but I was really determined" said Miller.  He began working at a Brazilian bistro in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and in July, Krauss and her mother dined at the restaurant. Miller expressed his interest in finding a female vocalist for his new project and Krauss was volunteered by her mother. The two met in a park, where she listened to Miller's demos. In a 2012 interview, Krauss recalled her first impressions, saying: "Derek's music sounded like a really interesting challenge, but I wasn't thinking he was somebody I wanted to develop a creative relationship with." Krauss was pursuing a Rhodes Scholarship at the time, but decided to pair up with Miller instead. The band name Sleigh Bells comes from the phrase Miller used to delineate CD-Rs with demos he had worked on.

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Coming soon! Raye Zaragoza

Picture was not taken by f2.8. 

Picture was not taken by f2.8. 

I was contacted by Raye Zaragoza’s team about interviewing and photographing her during her tour stop in Raleigh NC. I asked for some samples of her music and they sent the video for American Dream. I started listening to it and literally stopped what I was doing. It was not just beautifully written, it was expressing the feelings of millions but also creating an almost anthem like song for a generation. With the cultural and political climate, we as a country are currently in, her words and the way she is able to express it in musical form really does give a voice to the voiceless.
— Chris Sturk | f2.8 Lead Photographer & Editor

Raye Zaragoza

Raye Zaragoza is an award-winning singer-songwriter who carries an acoustic guitar and a message. Her quiet yet powerful song “In the River,” written in response to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota, resonated strongly with listeners and went viral in late 2016, garnering half a million views on the video, national media coverage, and a Global Music Award and Honesty Oscar. 

Raye’s debut album, Fight For You (independent, 2017), displays her compassion, dedication to justice and equality for all, and keen eye for the seemingly small daily moments that become our most meaningful memories. About the record, Raye says, “This album is about finding yourself and finding your voice. It’s about maturing and realizing that you can make a difference if you so choose.”   Writing about social issues comes naturally to Raye. "As a woman of color in America, social issues are things you deal with and see every day of your life," she says. "I write about my experience and oftentimes my existence has been laced with injustice."

Raye performs her music all over the United States as well as across Europe, where she spent five weeks touring in summer 2017. Her music has been featured on Democracy Now! and on numerous lists of the best modern-day protest songs, including those by Paste Magazine, What Culture, and Overblown. She has also performed live sessions for Paste and Daytrotter.  At SXSW 2018, Raye spoke about her loyal fanbase and maintaining an independent career on a panel entitled "Serving the Sacred Bond" hosted by PledgeMusic. This summer, she will be joining Dispatch and Nahko and Medicine for the People on their Summer Tour, which includes dates at Red Rocks and two nights at Central Park Summerstage. 

Current Tour

Photographing Imagine Dragons

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Imagine Dragons

Imagine Dragons is an American pop rock band from Las Vegas, Nevada, consisting of lead vocalist Dan Reynolds, lead guitarist Wayne Sermon, bassist Ben McKee, and drummer Daniel Platzman.  The band first gained exposure with the release of single "It's Time", followed by their award-winning debut studio album Night Visions (2012), which resulted in the chart-topping singles "Radioactive" and "Demons". Billboard placed them at the top of their "Year In Rock" rankings for 2013 and 2017 and named them their "Breakthrough Band of 2013". and "Biggest Band of 2017."  Rolling Stone named "Radioactive", which holds the record for most weeks charted on the Billboard Hot 100, the "biggest rock hit of the year", and MTV called them "the year's biggest breakout band".

The band's second studio album Smoke + Mirrors (2015) reached number one in the US, Canada and the UK.  The album was preceded by the top 40 single "I Bet My Life", and second and third singles, "Gold" and "Shots". The band then embarked on a ten month long world tour, which led to a brief hiatus in 2016, with occasional performances and soundtrack contributions throughout the remainder of the year. 
The band released their third studio album, Evolve (2017) which resulted in the chart-topping singles, "Believer", "Thunder", and "Whatever It Takes". The album reached the top five in most countries. While all three albums were commercially successful, critical reception was mixed.

Imagine Dragons has won three American Music Awards, nine Billboard Music Awards, one Grammy Award, and one World Music Award. In May 2014, the band was nominated for fourteen Billboard Music Awards, including Top Artist of the Year and a Milestone Award, which recognizes innovation and creativity of artists across different genres. Imagine Dragons have sold 12 million albums and 35 million singles worldwide. In April 2018, the band was nominated eleven more times for Billboard Music Awards.

  • Dan Reynolds – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, piano, keyboards, drums, percussion (2008–present)

  • Wayne Sermon – lead guitar, backing vocals, mandolin (2009–present)

  • Ben McKee – bass, piano, keyboards, synthesizers, backing vocals, guitar (2009–present)

  • Daniel Platzman – drums, percussion, backing vocals, rhythm guitar, viola, keyboards (2011–present)

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Band information provided by Wikipiedia.  All photographs taken by Chris Sturk

Photographing Arcade Fire

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Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire is a Canadian indie rock band, consisting of husband and wife Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, along with Win's younger brother William Butler, Richard Reed Parry, Tim Kingsbury and Jeremy Gara. The band's current touring line-up also includes former core member Sarah Neufeld, percussionist Tiwill Duprate and saxophonist Stuart Bogie.

Founded in 2000 by friends and classmates Win Butler and Josh Deu, the band came to prominence in 2004 with the release of their critically acclaimed debut album Funeral. Their second studio album, Neon Bible, won them the 2008 Meteor Music Award for Best International Album and the 2008 Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year. Their third studio album, The Suburbs, was released in 2010 to critical acclaim and commercial success.  It received many accolades, including the 2011 Grammy for Album of the Year, the 2011 Juno Award for Album of the Year and the 2011 Brit Award for Best International Album. In 2013, Arcade Fire released their fourth album, Reflektor, and scored the feature film Her, for which band members William Butler and Owen Pallett were nominated in the Best Original Score category at the 86th Academy Awards. In 2017, the band released their fifth studio album Everything Now
All the band's studio albums have received nominations for Best Alternative Music Album at the Grammys. Funeral is widely considered by music critics to be one of the greatest albums of the 2000s. The band's work has also been named three times as a shortlist nominee for the Polaris Music Prize: in 2007 for Neon Bible, in 2011 for The Suburbs and in 2014 for Reflektor.

The band has been described as "indie rock, art rock, dance-rock, and baroque pop." They play guitar, drums, bass guitar, piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass, xylophone, glockenspiel, keyboard, synthesizer, French horn, accordion, harp, mandolin and hurdy-gurdy, and take most of these instruments on tour; the multi-instrumentalist band members switch duties throughout shows.

  • Régine Chassagne – lead and backing vocals, accordion, drums, percussion, piano, keyboards, hurdy gurdy, recorders
  • Richard Reed Parry – guitar, bass guitar, double bass, piano, keyboards, synthesizers, organ, celesta, accordion, drums, percussion, backing vocals
  • Win Butler – lead and backing vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards, bass guitar, mandolin
  • Tim Kingsbury – bass guitar, guitar, double bass, keyboards, backing vocals
  • William Butler – synthesizers, bass guitar, guitar, percussion, sitar, panpipes, trombone, omnichord, musical saw, double bass, concertina, clarinet, gadulka, backing vocals
  • Jeremy Gara – drums, percussion, guitar, keyboards
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Bands history provided by Wikipeida.  All photographs taken by Chris Sturk

Photographing Lynyd Skynyrd

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Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd colloquially shortened to Skynyrd, is an American rock band best known for having popularized the Southern rock genre during the 1970s. Originally formed in 1964 as My Backyard in Jacksonville, Florida, the band was also known by names such as The Noble Five and One Percent, before finally deciding on "Lynyrd Skynyrd" in 1969. The band gained worldwide recognition for its live performances and signature songs "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Free Bird". At the peak of their success, band members Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines, and backup singer Cassie Gaines, died in an airplane crash in 1977, putting an abrupt end to the 1970s era of the band.

The surviving band members re-formed in 1987 for a reunion tour with lead vocalist Johnny Van Zant, the younger brother of Ronnie Van Zant. Lynyrd Skynyrd continues to tour and record with co-founder Gary Rossington, Johnny Van Zant, and Rickey Medlocke, who first wrote and recorded with the band from 1971 to 1972 before his return in 1996. Fellow founding member Larry Junstrom, along with 1970s members Ed King and Artimus Pyle, remain active in music but no longer tour or record with the band. Michael Cartellone has recorded and toured with the band since 1999.  Lynyrd Skynyrd has sold 28 million records in the United States. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 13, 2006. In January 2018, Lynyrd Skynyrd announced their farewell tour.

  • Gary Rossington – guitars (1964–1977, 1979, 1987–present)
  • Rickey Medlocke – vocals, drums, mandolin (1971–1972), guitars, backing vocals, mandolin (1996–present)
  • Johnny Van Zant – lead vocals (1987–present)
  • Michael Cartellone – drums (1999–present)
  • Mark Matejka – guitars, backing vocals (2006–present)
  • Peter Keys – keyboards (2009–present)
  • Keith Christopher – bass (2017–present)
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Bands history provided by Wikipedia pictures by Chris Sturk

Photographing Whitesnake

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Whitesnake

Whitesnake are an English hard rock band formed in 1978 by David Coverdale, after his departure from his previous band Deep Purple. Their early material has been compared by critics to the blues rock of Deep Purple, but they slowly began moving toward a more commercially accessible rock style.  By the turn of the decade, the band's commercial fortunes changed and they released a string of UK top 10 albums, Ready an' Willing (1980), Come an' Get It (1981), Saints & Sinners (1982) and Slide It In (1984), the last of which was their first to chart in the US and is certified 2x platinum.

The band's 1987 self-titled album was their most commercially successful worldwide, and contained two major US hits, "Here I Go Again" and "Is This Love", reaching number one and two on the Billboard Hot 100. The album went 8 times platinum in the US, and the band's success saw them nominated for the 1988 Brit Award for Best British Group.  Slip of the Tongue (1989), was also a success, reaching the top 10 in the UK and the US, and received a platinum US certification.  The band split up shortly after this release, but had a reunion in 1994, and released a one-off studio album, Restless Heart (1997).

Whitesnake officially reformed in 2002 and have been touring together since, releasing three albums, Good to Be Bad (2008), Forevermore (2011) and The Purple Album (2015). In 2005, Whitesnake were named the 85th greatest hard rock band of all time by VH1.

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Band history provided by Wikiapedia photographs by Chris Sturk

Photographing Walk the Moon | Band Together NC Fundraiser

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I photographed Walk the Moon for Band Together NC.  Check out their website at this link https://www.bandtogethernc.org/ 

Walk the Moon

Walk the Moon is an American rock band based in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Lead singer Nicholas Petricca started the band in 2006, while a student at Kenyon College, deriving the band's name from the song "Walking on the Moon" by The Police.  The group independently released their debut studio album, I want! I want!, in November 2010, receiving airplay for the track "Anna Sun" on multiple alternative radio stations.  Along with the success of "Anna Sun", Alt Nation named them a band you need to know for the summer of 2012. Influential music blog Neon Gold helped to break the band in January 2011, calling "Anna Sun", "the kind of stuff British A&R dreams, and major label bidding wars, are made of."

In February 2011, Walk the Moon signed to RCA Records and in June 2012, released their first major label studio album, Walk the Moon.  The album includes a re-recorded version of "Anna Sun", which was song of the summer at least two years in a row.  In December 2014, the band released their second major-label studio album, Talking Is Hard. This album includes the song "Shut Up and Dance", which hit number four on the BillboardHot 100 and reached number one on the Billboard Rock Songs chart and Billboard Alternative Songs chart. Ryan Seed of Billboard gave "Shut Up and Dance" four and a half stars out of five.  Walk the Moon have cited Talking Heads, David Bowie, The Killers, The Police, Tears for Fears, and Phil Collins as influences.  The band's use of 1980s musical mainstays such as keyboard and synthesizer is also notable.

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History provided by Wikipedia and photographs by Chris Sturk

Photographing Faith Hill & Tim McGraw

This picture is from their tour stop in Raleigh NC at the PNC Arena.

This picture is from their tour stop in Raleigh NC at the PNC Arena.

Tim McGraw

Samuel Timothy McGraw is an American country singer, songwriter, and actor. McGraw began singing in a traditional country style, but starting with 1997's Everywhere, he developed a more crossover-friendly, country pop sound, making him one of the first male Country singers of his generation to crossover to Pop.

McGraw has released fourteen studio albums (eleven for Curb Records and three for Big Machine Records). 10 of those albums have reached number 1 on the Top Country Albums charts, with his 1994 breakthrough album Not a Moment Too Soon being the top country album of 1994. All of these albums have produced 65 singles, 25 of which have reached number 1 on the Hot Country Songs or Country Airplay charts. Three of these singles — "It's Your Love", "Just to See You Smile", and "Live Like You Were Dying" — were the top country songs of 1997, 1998, and 2004 according to Billboard Year-End. He has also won three Grammy Awards, 14 Academy of Country Music awards, 11 Country Music Association (CMA) awards, 10 American Music Awards, and three People's Choice Awards. His Soul2Soul II Tour with Faith Hill is one of the highest grossing tours in country music history, and one of the top 5 among all genres of music. He has sold more than 75 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time.

McGraw has ventured into acting, with supporting roles in The Blind Side (with Sandra Bullock), Friday Night LightsThe KingdomTomorrowland, and Four Christmases (with Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon), and The Shack, and lead roles in Flicka (2006) and Country Strong (2010). He was a minority owner of the Arena Football League's Nashville Kats.In acknowledgement of his grandfather's Italian heritage, McGraw was honored by the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) in 2004, receiving the NIAF Special Achievement Award in Music during the Foundation's 29th Anniversary Gala.He has been married to singer Faith Hill since 1996, and is a son of baseball player Tug McGraw.

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Faith Hill

Audrey Faith McGraw (née Perry; born September 21, 1967), known professionally as Faith Hill, is an American singer and record producer. She is one of the most successful country artists of all time, having sold more than 40 million albums worldwide. Hill is married to American singer Tim McGraw, with whom she has recorded several duets.

Hill's first two albums, Take Me as I Am (1993) and It Matters to Me (1995), were major successes and placed a combined three number ones on Billboard's country charts. She then achieved mainstream and crossover success with her next two albums, Faith (1998) and Breathe (1999). Faith spawned her first international hit in early 1998, "This Kiss", while Breathe became one of the best-selling country albums of all time, led by the huge crossover success of the songs "Breathe" and "The Way You Love Me". It had massive sales worldwide and earned Hill three Grammy Awards.In 2001, she recorded "There You'll Be" for the Pearl Harbor soundtrack and it became an international hit and her best-selling single in Europe. Hill's next two albums, Cry (2002) and Fireflies (2005), were both commercial successes; the former spawned another crossover single, "Cry", which won Hill a Grammy Award, and the latter produced the hit singles "Mississippi Girl" and "Like We Never Loved at All", which earned her another Grammy Award.

Hill has won five Grammy Awards, 15 Academy of Country Music Awards, six American Music Awards, and several other awards. Her Soul2Soul II Tour 2006 with McGraw became the highest-grossing country tour of all time.  In 2001, she was named one of the "30 Most Powerful Women in America" by Ladies Home Journal. In 2009, Billboard named her as the No. 1 Adult Contemporary artist of the 2000 decade and also as the 39th best artist.  From 2007 to 2012, Hill was the voice of NBC Sunday Night Football's intro song.

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Photographing Vertical Horizon

Vertical Horizon live in Greensboro

Vertical Horizon live in Greensboro

I have been a fan of Vertical Horizon for many years.  I remember hearing Vertical Horizon in the late 90's when a friend of mine shared their "there and back again" album.  From what I have read this was a re-release of their freshman independent album from 1992. 

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I did listen to some of the record but when the band was officially signed to RCA records and released "Everything you want" in 1999, that's when it all changed for me.  I loved and still love this record.  It has so many great songs including: 

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  1. "We Are"
  2. "You're a God"
  3. "Everything You Want"
  4. "Best I Ever Had
  5. "You Say"
  6. "Finding Me" 
  7. "Miracle"
  8. "Send It Up"
  9. "Give You Back"
  10. "All of You"
  11. "Shackled"

The album was a huge success for the band and spawned four big hits for them including "Your a God" and "Everything you want".  The band also hit a huge milestone in their careers when there song "Your a God" was put on the soundtrack for the movie "Bruce Almighty".  This was a big deal for the band due to the movie making $242 million domestically and a total $484 million worldwide.  It was the fifth highest-grossing film of 2003.  

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Back Cover (click to enlarge)

Back Cover (click to enlarge)

Since this time Vertical Horizon went through some changes personally and professionally.  The band left RCA records in 2004 and went on to sign with Hybrid Records.  The band also had a lineup change with long time drummer Ed Toth leaving to pursue other opportunities. 

Even though the band has gone through some varying changes they have still been able to create some great music.  There performance at the White Oak Amphitheater in Greensboro proved they still got it.   Matt Scannelli sounded great and the rest of the band played in perfect harmony.  The band now consists of  Matt Scannell, Ron LaVella, Donovan White and Mark Pacificar.   They are currently on tour with Gin Blossoms and Tonic.  They have also released a new record that came out in the beginning of 2018.  Here is the song "I am going to save you" of their new record. 

Check out there website for more details regarding the upcoming tour and more into this bands incredible musical history!  

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