Taylor Guitars Factory – Tecate, Mexico

Taylor Guitars Factory – Tecate, Mexico

It was an uncharacteristically wet month in California when I was invited to visit Taylor Guitars HQ in El Cajon, San Diego and cross the border to their Tecate, Mexico factory. The state’s long drought ended with more rainfall in one weekend than the whole of the previous year, and most of it seemed to fall while I sloshed my way down Harbour Boulevard towards the car rental. Walking was a terrible idea, but by the time this became apparent I was already ankle deep in rainwater and it pounded down so hard I could barely lift my head. I arrived soaked through and stood dripping in the doorway!   There was little more sun to be had in Mexico, but the trip was thoroughly enjoyable all the same – as you may know, I love a factory tour! Master luthier Andy Powers took us around the enormous facility and we got to see each stage in the build process of Taylor’s Academy Series guitars. Taylor are big on ethical responsibilities – they are both socially and environmentally conscious as a company and quite unique in that they produce almost every part of the guitar, even the case.   I…

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Steven Van Zandt

Steven Van Zandt

Don’t go into the forest with Silvio! Whether you know him best as Silvio Dante from the Sopranos, Little Steven of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, Frank Tagliano from Lilyhammer, or the inmate that accompanies Kurt Russell’s Santa cellblock band in my new favourite festive film, The Christmas Chronicles, Steven Van Zandt has had a long and varied career for sure. I didn’t know what to expect when I went up to Manchester to photograph Steven on tour with his own band, The Disciples of Soul, but was happy to be greeted by a rock & roll gypsy! The band put on an amazing show with a huge sound – the walls were shaking!  

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At Home With Steve Lamacq

At Home With Steve Lamacq

Here’s a fun feature I shot at home with Steve Lamacq for Long Live Vinyl magazine. What a lovely, down-to-earth chap! We had a good chat and he showed me around some of his collection including his rare Manic Street Preachers goodies (which was an unexpected treat for this Blackwood girl) and the ever growing pile of album demos that get sent to him daily. I wonder if he’s reached the bottom of the pile yet…  

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Nalle Colt – Vintage Trouble

Nalle Colt – Vintage Trouble

Rolling my camera bag along the clanging metal walkways of the dark, half underground service entrance to a Bristol superclub, I thought this was such an unusual venue for an LA based rhythm and blues band. Inside the floor was sticky, the air was hazy and Vintage Trouble were on stage sound checking something dirty & soulful. I knew this would be a good shoot! Nalle Colt was so gracious with his time – take a look at the full interview in Guitar Magazine. It’s a really interesting piece about how he approached his songwriting while quite literally stranded on an island with only two guitars and amps. Thankfully he’s able to bring a bit more gear on tour so we also shot his Gretsch Duo Jet custom built by Stephen Stern – that was fun to see having not long visited Stephen in the Gretsch Custom Shop myself. The gig was amazing, the band’s energy is intense! Nalle was an absolute professional and a pleasure to photograph… of course, those Scandinavian cheekbones are so easy to light!  

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Phoebe Bridgers

Phoebe Bridgers

Check out the latest issue of The Guitar Magazine for more of my fifteen minutes with Phoebe Bridgers in a sticky bar booth somewhere in the depths of Bristol Thekla. If you’re not sure who she is yet, take a look at this video for Motion Sickness – the post-sunset, blue-hour light as she rides the scooter through Los Angeles is just perfect.  

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