Tag Archives: Luther Dickinson

Supper time! Southern Soul Assembly at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts

Southern Soul Assembly
The Sandler Center for the Performing Arts
Virginia Beach, VA
March 15, 2017
Photographer/Writer: Mark Robbins

In 2014 Southern root greats, Luther Dickinson, JJ Grey, Marc Broussard and Anders Osborne came together to form the side project Southern Soul Assembly. The sound was a colossal joining with Broussard’s “Bayou Soul”, Grey’s Florida blue collar funk, Osborne’s rugged blues from New Orleans and Dickinson’s smooth casual Beale St storytelling.

Once in a blue moon audiences have the opportunity to see collaboration projects like that of the Southern Soul Assembly. The Sandler Center for the Performing Arts in Virginia Beach, VA, provided such an opportunity on March 15th when the southern quartet, SSA, cascaded on to the stage. Continue reading Supper time! Southern Soul Assembly at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts

Karl Denson’s 60th Birthday Bash

Karl Denson’s 60th Birthday Bash
December 27, 2016
The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA
Photographer/Writer: Susan Weiand

With: Tiny Universe, Luther Dickinson, Jackie Greene, Mike Dillon, Ivan Neville, Slightly Stoopid

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Setlist:
One set: New Ammo, Boogaloo, Down Down Down, Just Got Paid, Sway, Viola Lee Blues, Drop Down Mama, Here Comes Sunshine, Let A Woman Be A Woman, Nobody Wants You, Speedometer, Devil’s Door, This Version, Express Yourself, Po Black Maddie, Funky On My Back, Some Skunk Funk, So Real

Encore: Show Biz Kids

NMO: Freedom & Dreams

NMOWhen veterans of the music industry get together in the studio you know that something special is going to occur. Growing up with a deep appreciation for the delta blues and rock, Anders Osborne and The North Mississippi All-Stars (Luther and Cody Dickinson) are the perfect fit to work together and create an album.  Freedom & Dreams is a powerful statement from the Osborne/ All-Stars collaboration (NMO – North Mississippi Osborne) and brings out a wealth of emotions that listeners can relate to in their lives.  With decades of live performances and studio releases under their belts this is the first time that Anders Osborne and The North Mississippi All-Stars have had the opportunity to come together as one on an album.

 

Opening with “Away for Too Long,” Osborne’s soulful voice rings through brightly, as Luther Dickinson’s recognizable guitar and his Brother Cody’s drums provide a steady juke-joint style swing.  “Back Together,” the second track follows with a nice slow groove that is an emotional journey as Osborne sings of a long-lost love that has been rekindled.  Guitarist Dickinson adds an absolutely flawless solo that highlights Osborne’s heartfelt lyrics and reminds why Dickinson is quite simply one of the most inventive guitarists around today.

 

On “Shining (Spacedust)” the inter-play between the three musicians is at the forefront and it is easy to hear how the trio compliments each other so well.  With Osborne’s lead vocals on this slowed down tune you can hear the Swedish born singer/songwriter speak from his heart with the lyrics, “You’re shining and you’re beautiful today/ You’re radiant right now in every way.”  The Dickinson brothers accentuate Osborne’s heartfelt lyrics with a subtle taste of guitar and shimmering dose of tambourine and brushes on the drums.

 

The addition of the classic Osborne track “Katrina,” is the definition of the blues.  Ten years ago Hurricane Katrina swept through New Orleans and the surrounding area bringing sorrow to millions. Many musicians at the time, including Osborne and the Dickinson’s, came together to lend a helping hand by playing benefits to help people get back on their feet. With the lyrics “You pushed me and you pulled me/ You tore my heart apart,” the powerful lyrics are near and dear to trio who saw so much of the destruction up close in their New Orleans and Mississippi homes.

 

Freedom & Dreams shows the wide-range of this multi-talented trio.  One of the many highlights is “Many Wise Men,” an acoustically-driven tune that finds the band switching gears to a slower-mellow paced groove that is like floating on a cloud. Multi-instrumentalist Cody Dickinson, on washboard and drums, leads the way, while Osborne and Luther trade sweet, lilting guitar licks back and forth.

 

The album concludes with the long-time blues and New Orleans staple “Junco Pardna,” which proves the perfect capstone to this collaboration of southern-blues-rockers.

The Southern Soul Assembly Tour Featuring JJ Grey, Anders Osborne, and Luther Dickinson on Tour this Fall

Southern Soul Assembly—an artist-in-the-round performance series featuring JJ Grey, Marc Broussard, Anders Osborne and Luther Dickinson—recently announced its highly anticipated follow-up tour, set to hit west coast venues this November. The tour, which launches November 11 in Sandpoint, Idaho, hits 11 cities including Seattle, Washington, Portland and Eugene, Oregon, San Francisco and Los Angeles, CA, Denver and Boulder CO and others.

“The South is in each of us,” says JJ Grey. “Each night feels like a big ole Southern family reunion.”

 

Tuesday, Nov 11 – Sandpoint, ID Panida Theater
Wednesday, Nov 12 – Seattle, WA The Triple Door
Thursday, Nov 13 – Portland, OR Aladdin Theater
Friday, Nov 14 – Eugene, OR McDonald Theatre
Saturday, Nov 15 – Reno, NV Cargo Reno
Sunday, Nov 16 – San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
Tuesday, Nov 18 – Los Angeles, CA Regent Theater
Wednesday, Nov 19 – Flagstaff, AZ Orpheum Theater
Thursday, Nov 20 – Salt Lake City, UT The State Room
Friday, Nov 21 – Denver, CO Ogden Theatre
Saturday, Nov 22 – Boulder, CO Boulder Theater
www.southernsoulassembly.com

 

 

Southern Soul Assembly tour

bannerThe Southern Soul Assembly—an artist-in-the-round performance series featuring JJ Grey, Marc Broussard, Anders Osborne and Luther Dickinson—heads out on its debut tour this spring, with 17 stops beginning March 18 in Chicago and wrapping up April 12 in Washington D.C. The complete list of tour dates is included below.

Each of the four musicians comes to the SSA with a proven track record in the often-overlapping genres of music most closely associated with the South. “That’s where we all come from,” says Grey, best known as the frontman of Jacksonville, Florida’s JJ Grey & Mofro, whose hybrid mix of soul, funk, blues and gutsy rock is sure to find its way to the Assembly’s gigs as well. “The South is in each of us.”

Indeed, each member brings a strong Southern pedigree to the tour. But as Louisiana’s Broussard explains, “I’d say we all have a different take on what the South really is. I come from the hub of Cajun culture, distinct in many ways even from New Orleans just down the road. From what I can tell, we all seem to approach writing with groove in mind, for the most part. But the physical locales from which we each hail, as well as the accompanying cultural implications, necessarily prompt us all to approach lyric writing differently.”

“Man, each of these guys can play,” says Grey. “It’ll be fun to hand the song off, trade songs and go around the horn. It’ll be like, let’s work our way through the night and see what happens. Of course, the audience always plays the show with you, and I think that will be especially true with this tour. Each night will feel like a big ole Southern family reunion.”

The idea for the band and tour came about, says Grey, because, “Most of us know each other pretty well just from crossing paths on the road. There is a common theme underlying what we each do—it’s the South, the landscape and the culture of our surroundings. That theme is present in each of our song collections. But we all have different perspectives,” he adds, “and the flavors vary. It’s going to be fun, and we’re all really looking forward to it.”

With each artist uniquely inspired by his deep Southern roots, the Southern Soul Assembly tour promises a passionate, authentic and deeply soulful homage to the rich Southern musical spirit.

Stay tuned for news and more details as the tour approaches.

 

The complete list of The Southern Soul Assembly Tour dates is as follows:

 

Tuesday, March 18 S.P.A.C.E. Evantson IL
Wednesday, March 19 Taft Theatre Cincinnati OH
Thursday, March 20 War Memorial Auditorium Nashville TN with Kenny Foster
Friday, March 21 Center Stage Atlanta GA
Saturday, March 22 Savannah Music Festival Savannah GA
Sunday, March 23 Suwannee Springfest Live Oak FL
Tuesday, April 1 Saenger Theatre Mobile AL
Wednesday, April 2 WorkPlay Theatre Birmingham AL
Thursday, April 3 Riley Performing Arts Center Meridian MS
Friday, April 4 Manship Theatre Baton Rouge LA
Saturday, April 5 T-Bois Blues Festival Lacrose LA
Monday, April 7 Texas Union Ballroom Austin TX
Tuesday, April 8 House of Blues – Boston Boston MA
Wednesday, April 9 Norwalk Concert Hall Norwalk CT
Thursday, April 10 Grand Opera House Wilmington DE
Friday, April 11 Carnegie Hall Lewisburg WV
Saturday, April 12 The Howard Theatre Washington DC

 

www.southernsoulassembly.com
www.facebook.com/southernsoulassembly

A Thanksgiving holiday North Mississippi Allstars feast

North Mississippi Allstars
Minglewood Hall
Memphis, TN
November 29, 2013

As the North Mississippi Allstars took the stage the Friday after Thanksgiving, it was clear that this would be a night to remember, a show for the ages.

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The Allstars’ holiday Memphis shows have long been a storied tradition, a recurring page in the book that is their career. But, as the band’s drum line meandered through the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd at Minglewood Hall, one couldn’t help but notice that the vibe in the packed room was different.

For one, there were video cameras – everywhere. The band was shooting the evening for a concert video, and along with the two hand-held cameras that roamed the stage throughout the show and the platform-mounted steadycam in the photo pit, the band encouraged the audience to shoot with their cell phones and submit the videos.

But, for all the hoopla, the music is always first with the Allstars, and there would be plenty of music – three-plus hours, to be sure. The band took the stage from the back of the room – they had a drumline that started at the back and made their way through the crowd and up to the stage with the traditional “Shimmy She Wobble > My Babe > Station Blues.” From there, they proceeded to do what the Allstars do – take Mississippi Hill Country blues and kick it in the ass.

“Turn Up Satan,” a song from the new World Boogie Is Coming, was one of the few newer songs that made its way into the setlist, and it was a good way to lead up to the always-fun “Shake ‘Em On Down.”

Guitarist/vocalist Luther Dickinson’s stage presence was front and center, and as he unleased note after beautiful note during “Shake ‘Em,”  the smile on his face was infectious. He was clearly in his element, in full command of his hometown crowd. When musicians bring their A game (as Dickinson always does), and do it with a smile, it certainly makes for a more enjoyable show.

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The band was at its finest when it turned the stage into a full-on party, though. “Meet Me In The City” had the first “guest” of the evening, Duwayne Burnside, on backup vocals. These holiday Allstars shows are never just the Allstars, and they’re not meant to be – they’re family celebrations.

“Mean ‘Ol Wind Died Down” was huge as usual, starting slow but building into a monstrous jam. However, it was also one of the songs where it was abundantly clear that the band misses Chris Chew’s immense presence on stage.

Chew’s background vocals leant themselves well to some of the band’s more gospel-blues-sounding tunes, and when the Allstars perform them today, something’s just not there.

There was certainly nothing missing from “Jumper On The Line,” though. By this time, Cody Dickinson had shed a layer of clothing or two, strapped on a Viking helmet, and was running from side to side of the photo pit, washboard in hand. Ever the showman, he climbed onto the rail more than once to play in the crowd.

At this point, there were literally eight people on stage. T-Model Ford’s grandson Stud had taken over on drums, Luther had Lightnin’ Malcolm’s bass, and Malcolm, Kenny Brown, Alvin Youngblood Hart, and Duwayne Burnside were all on guitar. It was probably the jam of the evening, and fortunately caught on video for posterity, because it captured the essence of what the Allstars are about – family.

Burnside left during “Jumper,” only to return in costume – the Red Rooster – for “Snake Drive,” and the band closed their set with “Granny, Does Your Dog Bite.”

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By this point, the band had been on stage for nearly two hours, and the crowd began to thin. When they returned from their encore break, the room had began to empty out, but the band would soldier on for about another hour.

“Po Black Maddie > Skinny Woman” was as phenomenal as ever, and Luther did his best Jimi Hendri impression on “Hear My Train ‘A Comin’ > Goin’ Down South.”

As good as the music was, the band probably played about 30 minutes too long. Sure, they were recording a video and wanted to capture everything, but by the end of the show, the crowd probably about 50% of what it did at the beginning of the show. It’ll sure be interesting to see how they cut the video, because any shots from the stage out onto the crowd from late in the night will show a mostly empty room, which is in sharp contrast to the start of the show.

Either way, the night was chock-full of amazing moments that were fortunately captured on video. The Allstars are a band that always delivers, especially at their traditional holiday show in front of their friends and family. 2013’s event was no different in that respect.

Set:  Shimmy She Wobble > My Babe > Station Blues, Turn Up Satan, Shake ‘Em On Down, Meet Me In The City*, Shake, Goat Meat, Psychedelic Sex Machine > Mystery Train ,  Back Back Train, Boogie**, Hodown, Mississippi Boll Weevil, Mean Ol’ Wind Died Down, World Boogie, Jumper On The Line***, Snake Drive****, Granny, Does Your Dog Bite*****

Encore:  Rollin’ ‘n Tumblin’, Let It Roll, The Meeting, Up Over Yonder, Po’ Black Maddie^ > Skinny Woman^, K.C. Jones, Goin’ To Brownsville, Hear My Train ‘A Comin’ jam > Goin’ Down South > Lord, Have Mercy On Me > Stay All Night outro, All Night Long^^, Goin’ Home

* Chantell and Cherise, Duwayne Burnside and Sharde Thomas on vocals
** Stud on snare drum, Alvin Youngblood Hart on harmonica
*** Duwayne Burnside, Kenny Brown, Alvin Youngblood Hart and Lightnin’ Malcolm on guitars, Luther Dickinson on bass, Stud on drums, Cody Dickinson on washboard
**** Kenny Brown, Alvin Youngblood Hart and Lightnin’ Malcolm on guitars, Duwayne Burnside on vocals and guitar
*****  Sharde Thomas on fife/vocals, Luther on bass drum, Cody Dickinson, Lightnin’ Malcolm and Stud on snare drums
^ R.L. Boyce on bass drum
^^ Lightnin’ Malcolm and Kenny Brown on guitars, Cody Dickinson on guitar/washboard, Stud on drums, Luther Dickinson on bass

Click the thumbnails to view the photos by Josh Mintz

The Southern Soul Assembly Tour Featuring JJ Grey, Marc Broussard, Anders Osborne, and Luther Dickinson

The Southern Soul Assembly Tour announces its debut run this Spring 2014. Hitting 16 U.S. markets in March and April 2014, this artist-in-the-round performance series features JJ Grey, Marc Broussard, Anders Osborne, and Luther Dickinson.  For The Southern Soul Assembly Tour, these four talented singer/songwriters take the stage for an amazing night of songs and stories.  With each artist uniquely inspired by their deep Southern roots, The Southern Soul Assembly Tour promises a passionate, authentic, and deeply soulful homage to the rich Southern musical spirit.

 

The complete list of The Southern Soul Assembly Tour dates is as follows:
Wednesday, March 19 Taft Theatre Cincinnati OH
Thursday, March 20 War Memorial Auditorium Nashville TN with Kenny Foster
Friday, March 21 Center Stage Atlanta GA
Saturday, March 22 Savannah Music Festival Savannah GA
Sunday, March 23 Suwannee Springfest Live Oak FL
Tuesday, April 1 Saenger Theatre Mobile AL
Wednesday, April 2 WorkPlay Theatre Birmingham AL
Thursday, April 3 Riley Performing Arts Center Meridian MS
Friday, April 4 Manship Theatre  Baton Rouge LA
Saturday, April 5 T-Bois Blues Festival Lacrose LA
Monday, April 7 Texas Union Ballroom Austin TX
Tuesday, April 8 House of Blues – Boston Boston MA
Wednesday, April 9 Norwalk Concert Hall Norwalk CT
Thursday, April 10 Grand Opera House Wilmington DE
Friday, April 11 Carnegie Hall Lewisburg WV
Saturday, April 12 The Howard Theatre Washington DC

Additional dates to be announced.

www.southernsoulassembly.com
www.facebook.com/southernsoulassembly

Sons of Mudboy a family affair

Sons of Mudboy
1884 Lounge
Memphis, Tennessee
May 29, 2013

Luther Dickinson stood at the front of the stage, drenched in sweat, microphone in one hand and the other cocked back to accentuate the lyrics he was delivering like the deftest of MCs. It was towards the end of yet another marathon Wednesday night set by the Sons of Mudboy, and Dickinson had the crowd in the palm of his hand. That’s what the residency has turned into; two months into their weekly gig at 1884 Lounge in Minglewood Hall, the band is ever-changing, but one thing remains the same: the friends, family, and neighbors that faithfully arrive each week know that anything and everything can happen.

_MG_8190-BDickinson is the de facto leader of the band whose line-up is always in flux. Depending on who’s available, on any given night the entire roster can and will change. As May came to a close, the group that kicked off the evening included the actual sons of Mudboy & the Neutrons: Luther and Cody Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars, Black Crowes, etc.), son of Jim Dickinson; Ben Baker, son of Lee Baker, and Steve Selvidge (the Hold Steady, Big Ass Truck), son of Sid Selvidge. The band was joined by original Neutron Jimmy Crosthwait, drummer Robert Barnett (Big Ass Truck), Paul Taylor (the Merry Mobile and others), and George Sluppick (Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Mofro). Seemingly everyone on stage had a connection to one another, be it blood or musically.

It’s been a ride watching the band develop over the past two months. While they have played together for decades, to watch a band literally sprout on stage over the course of time has been a treat. The band can seemingly play anything and everything, and the first set started with the bluesy intro jam, which was followed with by the folksy, shuffling “John Henry > Judge Bouche.”

One of the intriguing features of the band is their versatility – the ability of nearly everyone on stage to swap instruments at any time. So, while Luther is by trade a guitar player – it has always been his instrument of choice be it with the Allstars or while he was with the Black Crowes – he started the show on bass but over the course of the show also played guitar and keyboards. Likewise, Taylor moved from guitar to drums to bass with little to no loss in play quality.

The addition of Sluppick for the night brought an added element to the line-up. One, he’s a damn fine drummer, Chris Robinson wouldn’t have tapped him for his band otherwise. Two it allowed allowed for Taylor to spend a little more time on bass and guitar.

This musical dexterity was on display during the finest moment of the first set, “Codine.” During this Buffy Sainte-Marie tune that Jim Dickinson had in his rotation, Luther laid down a steady bass line while Taylor unleashed a furious guitar solo. Jim Dickinson’s version of the tune had an edge to it, but the Sons’ version is spacey in an Allman-esque way. And, with two drummers on stage and dual guitars, it took on that tone exponentially.

_MG_8440-BThe second set opened with more players on stage. With the addition of local saxophone players Jim Spake and Art Edmaiston (Mofro) and bass player John Stubblefield (Lucero), there were 11 people crammed onto the tiny 1884 Lounge stage. The collective started with the soul of Wilson Picket’s “Land of 1000 Dances,”  segued into Jr. Walker’s “Shotgun,” and it eventually evolved into a gritty take on the Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows.”

The transition into the song seemed a tad disjointed as they went from one tempo into something completely different, but that’s kinda expected given there were nearly a dozen people on stage, some of whom had probably never played together. Accentuated by the haunting saxophones and reverb-drenched guitar from Selvidge, Luther delivered the lyrics with a growl. As the jam progressed the band settled into a nice pocket, and Luther broke out the slide to deliver one of his trademark solos. The band’s eventual transition back into “Shotgun” was a much smoother affair.

The band genre-jumped again to close the show, going from the Beastie Boys’ “Mark on the Bus” into a jam that touched on Sly & the Family Stone’s  “I Want to Take You Higher,” with Taylor laying down some downright funky bass lines.

As the show came to a close, it was evident that there’s true musical chemistry between the core members of the group. There are some connections that take years and years to nuture and some that are instantaneous, and each Wednesday, the Sons of Mudboy seem to display both.

Click on the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the show by Josh Mintz

Sons of Mudboy, 5/22/13

Sons of Mudboy
1884 Lounge

Memphis, Tennessee
May 22, 2013

As the Sons of Mudboy’s residency on Wednesday nights at 1884 Lounge has progressed from week to week, several things have become clear. One is that no matter who’s on stage, this is an adept group of musicians, capable of playing nearly anything on nearly any instrument.

Second is that you never know who’ll show up. From week to week the roster has been fluid, a veritable who’s who of Memphis musicians. The core group has, for the most part, been the true sons of Mudboy and the Neutrons: Luther and Cody Dickinson, Steve Selvidge, and Ben Baker. A true Mudboy (or Neutron), Jimmy Crosthwait, is also a fixture at the weekly gig.

But, no matter who is on stage to being or end the show, the one constant has been the quality music.

Click on the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the show by Josh Mintz

Sons of Mudboy take residence in Memphis

Sons of Mudboy
1884 Lounge
Memphis, Tennessee
April 3, 2013

Tucked away in the corner of Minglewood Plaza lies the 1884 Lounge, the little brother of the bigger Minglewood Hall. It generally plays host to smaller acts – local bands trying to break through, or maybe the odd major act who just can’t, for whatever reason, fill a bigger room when they come to town. But, on April 3, an act took the stage that is the odd hybrid of both categories.

The Sons of Mudboy are actually just that – offspring of Steve Selvidge and the late Jim Dickinson, members of the veritable Memphis band Mud Boy & the Neutrons. All of the musicians on stage have other gigs going; Luther and Cody Dickinson with the North Mississippi Allstars, and Steve Selvidge with the Hold Steady. Paul Taylor joins the band on stage, and he was bass player for Luther and Cody’s pre-Allstars band D.D.T., and currently fronts a tremendous band called the Merry Mobile. And then there’s Jimmy Crosthwait, who played the whole show on washboard and was actually IN Mud Boy & the Neutrons.
som-2The band has shows scheduled all the way through the end of May at 1884 Lounge, and if any of the subsequent gigs hold a candle to the first one, Memphis is in for a wild ride.

The band promised the setlists would be comprised of Mud Boy tunes, covers, and songs from the band members’ catalogs  and the residency opened up with “Codine,” a song in rotation for Mud Boy & the Neutrons and that made its way into setlists of other Dickinson projects. Immediately it was clear that, while the band would hold true to the essence of the songs, they’d be putting their own spin on the numbers. “Codine” had a much spacier feel than it traditionally does, in the best possible way. Selvidge’s guitar work was tremendous, but it was Cody’s work on keyboards that really colored the song.

It’s important to note that throughout the evening, the members constantly traded off instruments. Cody traditionally plays drums for the Allstars, but he opened this show on keyboard. Luther Dickinson handled bass duties for about half the show, and Taylor opened on drums, moved over to bass, and played guitar for a few tunes as well (more on him later).

The band did justice to the familiar “KC Jones,” Taylor took over vocals on “Dark End of the Street,” and they absolutely killed the Sleepy John Estes tune, “Going to Brownsville.” They also paid a short but sweet homage to legendary Memphis band Big Star with “Jesus Christ Lived.”

In possibly the strongest segment of the night, though, the band broke out a huge sandwich that started with “Land of 1000 Dances,” shifted into “Power to the People,” had a few bars of Sly & the Family Stone’s “I Want to Take You Higher,” and then went back to “Land.”

som-1Taylor handled bass during the run, and absolutely blew the roof off. His musical dexterity is pretty impressive. On guitar, he can lay down a blistering solo, and his funky bass laid the ground work for one of the better jams of the night. During the song(s), Luther’s familiar fluid guitar was front and center, and at one point he moved over to the keyboard to take on those duties.

After a short encore break, the band came back out and Selvidge remarked that they were going to play something psychedelic, something that the audience had heard before. Then, they reprised “Codine,” this time with Taylor shredding a sizzling solo opposite Selvidge. The band closed the show with “Hey Bo Diddley,” and then called it a night.

The band seemed clearly thrilled to be on stage with each other, and in front of their home crowd. With a $5 cover, there’s no excuse for the local music scene to not come out to support the best local product out there at the moment. While the Sons of Mudboy may not be the primary gig for any on stage, they’re easily as talented an act as any of the musicians’ main jobs.

It will be a treat to watch the band’s weekly development, and who knows? It may turn into something greater.

We should be so lucky.

Click on the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the show by Josh Mintz