STAX MUSEUM TO HOST
"STILL LIFE IN SOUL: Contemporary Music Photography by Jacob Blickenstaff"
November 6, 2009 – April 30, 2010
The Stax Museum of American Soul Music announces a new exhibition, "STILL LIFE IN SOUL," opening November 6th, 2009. The exhibit explores the current life, activity, and resurgence in popularity of soul music through portrait, performance, and documentary photography made since 2005 by music photographer Jacob Blickenstaff.
Soul music was a nuanced, emotional, and energetic idiom that reached a worldwide audience at its height in the 1960s but then virtually disappeared by the end of the 1970s. After subsequent decades of disco, hip-hop, rap, and modern R&B – much of which covered and sampled original soul music classics from Stax Records and other labels – the roots of authentic soul are sprouting again with revived careers of veteran artists, dynamic new acts, successful concerts and festivals, reissue projects, and soul-driven independent labels.
According to Blickenstaff, "This started out as a project about music history, but I quickly found a community of music lovers, labels, bands, festivals, and DJ's that were all coming together to support and create great music with the older artists. This work focuses on the current lives of the artists but the story is really about everyone working together to make it happen. It's an amazing, passion-driven phenomenon that soul music is growing again in the 21st century."
Artists represented in the 40 photos in the exhibit include Bettye LaVette, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Lee Fields & the Expressions, Barbara Lynn, Maxine Brown, Roscoe Robinson, Harvey Scales, Candi Staton, Sir Lattimore Brown, Otis Clay, William Bell, Eddie Floyd, Skip Pitts, Ben Cauley, Mighty Hannibal, John Gary Williams (of the Mad Lads), and many others. The work chronicles performances at The Ponderosa Stomp, Lincoln Center, Dig Deeper, and the Brooklyn Soul Festival, as well as recording sessions at Daptone Studios. Performances were backed by contemporary soul bands the Bo-Keys, The Sweet Divines, and Eli Reed and the True Loves.
Stax Museum communications director Tim Sampson says, "As the only soul music museum in the world, it's an essential part of our mission to recognize these incredible artists and organizations that are dedicated to authentic soul music who are bringing a whole new generation of fans to the scene. It is also very much in keeping with the philosophy of our Stax Music Academy, where we carry the Stax Records legacy of playing real music into the future with a new generation."
Jacob responds, "I couldn't ask for a better home for this work. Their commitment to honoring soul music's history while supporting its future is a perfect parallel to the work in this exhibit."
Jacob Blickenstaff is a music photographer based in New York City. His work has been published internationally in magazines and newspapers including Rolling Stone, WIRE, Wax Poetics, No Depression, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Offbeat, Gambit Weekly, and Time Out New York. He has also been an official photographer for the Ponderosa Stomp since 2007. Additional music clients include Lincoln Center, NPR Music, Daptone Records, and Proper American Records. This is the first major exhibition of his photography.
An opening reception for the exhibit will be held November 6th at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, during which students of the Stax Music Academy will perform for guests and former Stax Records artists.
For more information, images, or to schedule an interview with the photographer, please contact Tim Sampson at 901-942-2535 or tim.sampson |-AT-| soulsvillefoundation.org.