Pickathon 2015 - JD McPherson

This year for Pickathon, I did something different. Rather than volunteer on 3 different crews, I worked for the Willamette Week shooting various sets. Since I had my camera on me, I also shot the bands I was interested in. I'll be posting some of my favorite photos of each of the bands I shot in the next few weeks.

JD McPherson & band ROCK the Woods Stage!

JD McPherson & band ROCK the Woods Stage!

First up: JD McPherson. I was most excited to see this band of any at Pickathon this year. Michael brought home Signs & Signifiers a few months back and its been spinning a lot in my car. This retro throwback rock is extremely fun. With a classic, early r&b rock  sound, swinging upright bass and killer instrumentals, it's sure to get your hips moving... or your foot smashed against the gas pedal as the case may be. But hey, you'll get there quicker!

I caught both Pickathon sets and both were killer. Not only are these guys phenomenal musicians, but they also know how to put on a great show. JD (lead vocals, lead guitar), Jimmy (bass, backup vox) and Ray (keys, backup vox, backup percussion) are performers to the max and incredibly fun to watch.

One thing I love about the Wood Stage: You are so close to the performers. This was not shot with a telephoto lens, ladies and gents. At 18mm, my lens was as wide as it could go. I was literally standing about a foot from him when he stepped up to the edge of the stage. The ladies around me went wild. I did too, a little bit. Hey, hey, what can I say songwriter/singers are hot... if I didn't think so I wouldn't have married one!

Okay, now here's a telephoto shot. I love shooting musicians with this lens, the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L. It's fast and wonderfully sharp. A little too long for this stage, though. Difficult to find a spot far enough away to shoot from and get a clear shot without people, branches, other musicians, etc.

One of the many saucy shots I got of this killer keyboard player at the Wood Stage.

One of the many saucy shots I got of this killer keyboard player at the Wood Stage.

Ray the Rocker. Apparently he broke the piano during the Mt View stage set. You know rock and roll has happened when a piano gets broken! 

Doug plays rhythm guitar and tenor sax. Apparently he hasn't been playing tenor sax "very long." Inspiring to me - I really need to play that sax I got for Christmas.

Doug plays rhythm guitar and tenor sax. Apparently he hasn't been playing tenor sax "very long." Inspiring to me - I really need to play that sax I got for Christmas.

Jason - I love, love love when I get to exchange a smile while the band is patiently waiting for their set to start and love it even MORE when a musician looks directly at me while I am shooting! That's the best. Thank you. PS I have more shots of you.

Jason - I love, love love when I get to exchange a smile while the band is patiently waiting for their set to start and love it even MORE when a musician looks directly at me while I am shooting! That's the best. Thank you. PS I have more shots of you.

rachael renee photography jd mcpherson pickathon-3.jpg

One of the best things about getting a backstage pass is getting to meet the musicians. I did manage to meet and talk to every person in this band, and can say that they are each and every one incredibly nice guys. Even though I sort of turned 30% into a bubbly teenage girl and lost my mind a little. Doh!

JD almost gives himself a headache, meanwhile, Ray breaks the piano.

JD almost gives himself a headache, meanwhile, Ray breaks the piano.

For more photos of JD McPherson's sets at Pickathon, check out the story on my Storehouse channel. For even more photos - well, you'll just have to ask. I have lots.