Live Concert Photography: BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival at the Prospect Park Bandshell: Brandi Carlile with Ruthie Foster 7/26/18
Although it’s gone through a number of different names throughout its 40 year history, the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival is one of the longest run, summer outdoor concert and performance series in New York. And from its first shows, the festival’s long-held mission has been to bring Brooklyn residents — and those who love and enjoy all things Brooklyn — together in a safe, harmonious setting to enjoy and celebrate the vibrant cultures that has made Brooklyn, one of the most most diverse places in the world; in fact, as the organizers have strongly emphasized, “We believe it is especially important to use artistic platforms to reaffirm the very basis of what Brooklyn and America is — a welcoming, supercollider of ideas and cultures, informing and enriching each other. ”
Now, as you may recall that throughout the Festival’s history, the Prospect Park Bandshell has hosted an eclectic list of established and emerging artists across a large and adventurous array of styles and genres, including Americana, African music, world music, classical music, jazz, pop, alt-rock, indie rock, hip-hop and a long list of others. Unsurprisingly, the Bandshell has had an impressive list of artists that have played on its stage, including Dr. John, Maceo Parker, They Might Be Giants, The Neville Brothers, Talib Kweli, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Beck, Hugh Maskela, Joan Armatrading, Willie Nelson, Chaka Khan, Angelique Kidjo, Seun Kuti, Mavis Staples, Marco Benevento, Bilal, Lisa Loeb, Poliça, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Alice Smith, Brooklyn Raga Massive, The Soul Rebels, Orkesta Mendoza, Musiq Soulchild, Robert Randolph and The Family Band, Eric Krasno, Yossou N’Dour, Amadou and Mariam, and so many, many others.
Earlier this summer, BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival at the Prospect Park Bandshell hosted the critically applauded, Grammy award-winning country and folk singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile and the multi-Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Ruthie Foster for an incredibly soulful and powerful night of female artists, who kick ass and take names, while giving you all the feels, as the kids say. Check out some photos from the show below.
Brandi Carlile is a Ravensdale, WA-born and Seattle, WA-based singer/songwriter and guitarist, who can trace the origins of her music career to her childhood: as the story goes, when she was 8, Carlile performed Johnny Cash‘s “Tennessee Flat Top Box” with her mother Teresa. By the time, she was a teenager, Carlile had learned guitar and started to write her own original songs. Purportedly, the Ravensdale-born, Seattle-based singer/songwriter was diagnosed with A.D.D. around the same time she began writing songs, and eventually she dropped out of school to focus on music full-time.
Interestingly, Carlile’s career started in earnest when she relocated to Seattle, where she met twin siblings Tim and Phil Hanseroth. Carlile and the Hanseroth Brothers quickly began to write and perform material that possessed elements of pop. country, folk, alt country, arena rock, the blues and indie rock, generally inspired by k.d. lang, Roy Orbison, Patsy Cline, Elton John, Freddie Mercury and others, centered around the trio’s gorgeous, Crosby, Stills and Nash-like harmonies. The trio won the attention of Columbia Records, who signed them and released Carlile’s full-length debut and T Bone Burnett-produced sophomore album The Story both of which were released to widely held critical acclaim, including from Rolling Stone, who had named her one of their “Ten Artists to Watch” back in 2005. Building upon a rapidly growing profile, the Ravensdale-born, Seattle-based singer/songwriter and guitarist spent the next couple of years touring with Shawn Colvin, Tori Amos, Chris Issak, Ray LaMontagne, Jonny Lang and The Indigo Girls. And she collaborated with Elton John on her Rick Rubin-produced, Grammy Award-winning album Give Up The Ghost.
Carlile’s 2011 album Live at Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony found Carlile and the Hanseroth brothers performing a mix of original material and covers with the Seattle Symphony, and the album eventually reached #14 on the Top Rock Albums chart, #63 on the Billboard 200, and #5 on the Folk Albums Chart. Continuing an impressive run of commercial and critical success, Carlile’s fourth album 2012’s Bear Creek landed at #3 on the Folk and Rock charts with her fifth album 2015’s The Firewatcher’s Daughter landed at #1 on Billboard‘s Top Rock Albums Chart; in fact, The Firewatcher’s Daughter find Carlile and company’s sound featuring elements of gospel, rock, folk, country and others with a big hearted earnestness.
Carlile’s sixth full-length album By The Way, I Forgive You was released earlier this year and as a result of the success of album singles “The Joke,” “The Mother” and “Sugartooth,” the album reached #5 on the Billboard 200, making it the highest charting album of her career. Carlile played a rousing, crowd-pleasing and career-spanning set, which featured the devastatingly gorgeous “The Eye,” as well as covers of Led Zeppelin and others.
Opening the night was the Gause, TX-born, Austin, TX-based, multi-Grammy Award-nominated singer/songwriter Ruthie Foster. Foster grew up in a rather musical family of gospel singers, and as the story goes, when she was 14, Foster was a soloist in her hometown choir, who was certain that her future would revolve around music. After she graduated high school, Foster moved to Waco, TX where she attended a local community college, studying music and audio engineering. Around the same time, she began fronting a local blues band, which allowed her an opportunity to learn how to command a stage — in front a rowdy honky tonks and blues bars throughout Texas. Hoping to travel and gain a wider world perspective, Foster joined the Navy and began playing in the pop and funk cover band Pride, that played a recruitment drives across the Southeast. After completing her tour of duty, Foster moved to New York, where she became a regular performer at a number of local folk venues — and where she caught the attention of Atlantic Records, who offered her a record deal with the intent of cultivating her as a budding pop star. However, Foster wasn’t interested in a pop career, preferring to focus on the various styles of American roots music that she loved and played as a child. In 1993, an Foster’s mother fell ill and she left New York and her record deal to return to Texas. She looked after her mother and began working as a camera operator and production assistant at a local TV station in College Station, TX. Sadly, Foster’s mother died in 1996; but by the following year, the Guase, TX-born, Austin, TX-based singer/songwriter and guitarist self-released her full-length debut Full Circle — and based on the success of her debut, it paved the way to a long and fruitful relationship with her longtime label home Blue Corn Music, who released 1999’s Crossover, 2002’s Runaway Soul and 2004’s live album Stages, which introduced her live sound and show to larger audiences. 2009’s Chris Goldsmith-produced The Truth According to Ruthie Foster was recorded at Memphis‘ Ardent Studios and received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album. 2012’s John Chelew-produced Let It Burn featured guest spots from The Blind Boys of Alabama, William Bell and the rhythm section of The Funky Meters and earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Blues Album. Adding to a growing profile, Foster has won a number of Blues Music Awards, including three for Best Female Vocalist, one for DVD of the year for the live album, Live at Antone’s. Foster has also won a Best Female Vocalist Award at the 2013 Austin Music Awards and won a Koko Taylor Award for Best Traditional Female Blues Artist. She has also received two nominations for Living Blues Awards, and a Living Blues Awards for Best Live Performer. And before I forget, the Gause, TX-born, Austin, TX-based singer/songwriter and guitarist has played with The Allman Brothers Band, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Warren Hayes and others. Foster’s most recent album, 2017’s Joy Comes Back features guest spots from Derek Trucks, and has resulted in a number of attention-grabbing live performances, including a Hurricane Harvey benefit show, which featured sets from Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon and James Taylor, as well as a Carnegie Hall show earlier this year. Foster’s set was an easy-going and soulful set of originals and covers, delivered with an effortless, down home charm.
For these photos and more, check out the Flickr set here: https://www.flickr.com/gp/yankee32879/Q7j31D