Commercial and Editorial Photographer Dennis Keim, Huntsville, Alabama Postcards of My Miss-Adventures Vol.1 blog links bio contact  

Smooth Sounds Under the Stars

July 21st, 2014

Good morning to you all!! I hope yours was a wonderful weekend.

One of the things I really enjoy about Huntsville during this time of the year is that there are so many events being held outdoors and a majority of those events include music. I could be just slightly biased, having been on the board for six years, but I do not think there is any better outdoor venue then the Land Trust of North Alabama’s Three Caves. You just know there is something magical about to happen when walking down the gravel road in the bowl and spotting the caves for the first time. As the evening progresses and darkness sets upon the venue, lights illuminate the caves and the surrounding walls. If that is not enough to captivate you, then the sweet sounds of jazz begin to emanate from the stage. As you settle into your chair you just know that you are in for a treat and so it is best that you just sit back and enjoy the ride.

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Since the inception of “concerts at the caves” the Land Trust has done well to nurture and grow the event into 3 extremely exciting and highly entertaining concerts each year. Their primary music focus has been Jazz and once you have attended an event you will realize just how much it is the perfect fit. I was one of the original board members that helped in turning the music vision into a reality and they have done well since to turn that vision into a highly anticipated series of jazz concerts engaging national acts. It never ceases to amaze me, with the venue sitting just a few minutes from the city, how many people have never been to the caves. The Land Trust now offers good reason to visit and once you have, it is something that you will never forget.

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I was elated to hear that Canadian born saxophonist Warren Hill was going to play the venue. I was introduced to his music in the early 90’s and have been a huge fan every since. He was actually on my bucket list of jazz personalities that I suggested the Land Trust look at. Much to my surprise he was on a few others bucket lists. Like most other entertainers, Warren’s very first comment was to compliment the venue by saying, “ it was the most unique venue he had ever played!” Coming from someone that has traveled the world playing jazz, I would have to say that is high praise.

Warren did not disappoint the crowd with his stories and music playing over 2 ½ hours. I tend to use words like mystical and magical but when referring to the venue of 3 Caves, you just have to experience it for yourself to walk away knowing exactly what I mean. Kudos to Marita Durham and her volunteers for all of the hard work they put into the concerts in making the dream a huge reality and to the Land Trust for allowing us to share this amazing venue. It truly is a Mystical and Magical place …. Enjoy!!!!!!!

To find out more about the Land Trust, the concert series or how you can get involved – www.landtrust-hav.org

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Best regards ……On the Road Again ….
dK

The Boys of Summer

July 14th, 2014

For those of us living in the south it was another absolutely stellar but warm weekend!! With the weatherman’s predictions for a few cooler days ahead, I will be truly grateful!

Huntsville has been home to minor league baseball for over 30 years. The Huntsville Stars came here in 1985 by way of Evansville, IN and Nashville, TN. The Evansville Triplets (Triple A) were bought in 1984 and moved to Nashville where they became the Nashville Sounds. The Sounds inherited a Double-A franchise, moved to Huntsville, began play in 1985 and won the Southern League Championship in their very first season as an Oakland A’s affiliate. In 1998 they left the Oakland A’s and became a Milwaukee Brewers affiliate. Through out the years many Major League standouts have played in Huntsville including Mark McGuire, Jose Canseco, Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz, Miguel Tejada and Jason Gambi just to name a few.

If you have been watching the news of late, the Stars are rumored to be playing their last season at Joe Davis Stadium. News reports of sparse attendance and baseball apathy are cited as reasons for the departure. Like a number of residents in the city, I have attended my fair share of games either as a news photographer or a fan but have not been a strong supporter of the team over the years. I was fortunate enough to cover one of the games where they played the Oakland A’s with future Hall of Famer, Ricky Henderson, still stealing base.

With this being the possibility of being the last season, I decided to accept an invitation to go see a Stars game and as reported there was a very small but very loyal fan base in attendance. In all fairness, it was a weekday night game and many people were out of town for the holiday. The Stars won the game, in hardy fashion, beating their opponents 7-2. With “Beer and Hot Dog” in hand I was once again transformed into an ardent minor league baseball fan.

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Little did I know that the individual I was attending the game with was possibly one of the most recognized and loyal Huntsville Stars Fans in attendance that evening. It seems that my good friend, Dave Gallaher (Microwave Dave) has been attending the Stars games since their arrival in Huntsville. With glove in hand Dave finds his way to just behind the third base dugout, not so much in hopes of catching a ball but more so to avert a medical emergency. It is hard to go anywhere with Dave without some extremely fervent music fan coming up to tell him how much they enjoy his music but on this night, he was Dave the Stars baseball fan.

You see Dave could very well be perceived as Huntsville Stars royalty. In 2009, one of the games was hosted in his honor and for those lucky enough to attend, they received something that pretty much will immortalize a human being. On this night in 2009 they were giving out Microwave Dave Bobble heads. I just have to believe that is one honor few us will ever receive. I felt very privileged on this 2014 summer evening to get to sit next to “Da Man!” my good friend Bobble Head Dave!!!!!! This could very well be the last season for Dave to claim the honor as an Official Stars fan. After 30 years of Stars baseball, the last night could be an extremely tough one for all in attendance when they hear, “Play Ball” for the very final time but I am sure that the Bobble Head will keep on bobbing!! ENJOY!!!

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Keep us in mind for any of your upcoming photographic adventures.     Have Camera – Will Travel … Corporate, Advertising, Editorial and Art.

Best Regards …..
~ dK ~

 

Happy Birthday America

July 7th, 2014

Happy Birthday America!!! What an absolutely stellar weekend it was to get outdoors and do what we do best, throwing a huge party all across America. I hope you were able to be with family and friends to celebrate the birth of our Nation!!

In 1776 there was an estimated 2.5 million people residing in America on the 4th of July while the estimate for our 2014 birthday will be upwards of 318 million. Over 35 million Americans are blood relatives to the pilgrims that came over on the Mayflower in 1620. The 4th of July has to be the most celebrated U.S. holiday of the year! To commemorate our birthday we will spend over $300 million in patriotic merchandise, $600 million in fireworks and over $800 million on food and libation consumption!!!

Given all the consumption, excitement and festivities of the day, I am pretty sure the one thing we all can agree on is that it is the fireworks we look forward to the most. It is the magic that puts the crescendo and exclamation on the day’s celebration. It is estimated that there are over 14,000 official firework displays hosted across the nation. There is nothing more gratifying and heart warming then to see the anticipation and excitement in the eyes of children when they hear the “boom” and look skyward while the rockets burst into magnificent colors and displays. I can think of nothing that takes me back to my childhood memories faster than the sights and sounds of fireworks. It is the one bond and connection that we all share as Americans on this very special day. “The rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air!”

There are so many iconic backdrops throughout the U.S. where fireworks displays occur on the 4th, Mount Rushmore, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Washington Monument, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Statue of Liberty to name just the a few. As a Huntsville resident I can think of no better venue to host a fireworks extravaganza then the backdrop of America’s space program at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. It is a spectacular setting and this year’s fireworks display at the center left nothing on the table. It was an exceptional visual plethora of sights and sound. Mentally, as I watched the fireworks burst in to colors, the music rang out in my head and I am sure it was Ray Charles signing America the beautiful followed by Whitney Houston signing the Star Spangled Banner. Guess I am just wired that way!

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I was fortunate enough to have a bird’s eye view of not only the Space and Rocket Center event but of all of the cities fireworks displays (official and not so official) that seemed to start simultaneously at 9 PM. I had a 360 degree view from my captains perch high above the city at the Marriott Hotel – 5 Tranquility Base. I was looking for a different photographic perspective to showcase this year’s fireworks surrounding our American space artifacts and I had no idea just how majestic the view would be. Prior to the start at the Rocket Center, the fireworks shot skyward at Bridge Street and then a few minutes after that, the fireworks kicked off the Stars Baseball field. As I looked around the skyline of the city there were fireworks exploding everywhere. It was a very fitting celebration for the Nations birthday, for a city so entrenched in the history and success of America’s space program and for the U.S. Space Rocket Center. I am very grateful to the Marriott and staff for providing such an exceptional photographic opportunity.

Happy Birthday America!!!

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Keep us in mind for any of your upcoming photographic adventures.     Have Camera – Will Travel … Corporate, Advertising, Editorial and Art.

Best Regards …..
~ dK ~

Water Lilies

June 30th, 2014

A Happy soon to be 4th of July to you all. I am sure that you are looking forward to a short week at work and then the weekend independence celebration. Be safe and take a moment to pause and give thanks to all of our service men and women for their service to our country.

I have spent more then my fair share of driving the roads of north Alabama over the last couple of months. A lot of that travel has taken me through Scottsboro, AL and on to Mentone, AL. Mentone is becoming my home away from home, a day destination for photography and for hanging out at Kamama Art Gallery where I am one of the many-featured artists.

While traveling back and forth I come across many photo opportunities worth pulling off on the side of the road. During this time of year, the water lilies on the lakes around Scottsboro are in full bloom and if you do not mind dodging 18-wheelers on Hwy 72 it is well worth stopping to capture the beauty.

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Through the ages water lilies have been a very worthwhile subject of artists worldwide. The famous French impressionist, Claude Monet, painted over 250 painting of water lilies over the last thirty years of his life. The paintings depicted Monet’s flower garden Giverny. I am not quite sure that my photographs will live up to the legacy of Monet’s paintings that have sold for millions. But having said that, I have to think I am in pretty good company!!! ENJOY!!!!!!

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Keep us in mind for any of your upcoming photographic adventures.     Have Camera – Will Travel … Corporate, Advertising, Editorial and Art.

Best Regards …..
Happy 4th of JULY!
~ dennis keim ~

 

 

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Nashville Cats

June 23rd, 2014

A very good Monday morning to you all! Here’s wishing your survival from a balmy and sunny week ahead.

It should come as no surprise, given my background, that I am a big fan of live music and there is no better place to catch the best of the best then Nashville, TN. Getting out takes me back to my college days when my love of music and my passion for photography merged and set me on a path that I have never veered far from. It seems that I have found my fair share of live concerts so far this year.

A couple of weekends back I had the absolute pleasure of seeing one of my favorite artists, Ms. Jonell Mosser, play at one of my favorite Nashville haunts, 3rd and Lindsley. A good friend of mine, Steve Lowery, introduced me to Jonell and her soulful voice at the outdoor concert series, Summer Lights many years ago. That evening we chased her down at 12th and Porter signing backup for Gary Nicolson and power house musicians, Kenny Greenberg and Michael Rhodes. I was hooked! Jonell does not play in the city too often so when she does it is a must see! So tickets were bought early assuring that I was to be in attendance.

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For those that have never seen or heard Jonell, she is one of those exceptional songstresses that has been around the Nashville scene for a number of years. She has a resemblance (some say) and her vocals have been compared to another female great, Janis Joplin, but at the end of the day there is no mistaking that Jonell is her own talent. She always puts on a heartfelt and musically diverse performance. Her newest release, “Fortunes Lost, Fortunes Told” could be a chronicle for her music career. Once you hear Jonell it is impossible not to fall in love with her and become a life long fan. (http://www.jambase.com/Artists/88865/Jonell-Mosser/Bio)

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I had flown in to Nashville from St. Louis and decided to pretty much hang out with my ex-roommate, Rick Duvall until the weekend show and for the most part was looking forward to getting out in the streets after her early scheduled performance. In Nashville many of the venues do an early show and a late show generally showcasing two different talents. We came to realize we were in for a real treat when we learned of the 2nd act, former Allman Brothers guitarist Jack Pearson. It just happened to be Jack’s birthday and he was throwing a “party!” I actually got to see Jack for the first time when he was with the Greg Allman and Friends band prior to his tenure with the Allman Brothers (1997-1999). I was extremely excited about the opportunity to once again see him up close and personal and as the headliner. I just knew if was going to be the icing on the “birthday” cake after seeing Jonells’ show. Jack, you see, is a “monster” guitar player who exerts a minimal amount of kinetic energy when he is blowing the roof off. Jack is an A-List blues and rock slide guitarist and with every lick that evening he proved it! (http://www.jackpearson.com/) Happy Birthday JACK!

If the opportunity to see either one of these exceptional and talented musicians comes your way, I would say it is a “must ticket”.
ENJOY!!!!

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Keep us in mind for any of your upcoming photographic adventures.     Have Camera – Will Travel … Corporate, Advertising, Editorial and Art.

Best Regards …..
~ dennis keim ~