Smilin’ Eyes

How ’bout that? You made it to September 25, 2020! Last night was date night and we got to listen to live music! Oh yeah and it was the best! I know I said I would not go back there again. There being Country Night at a local casino. However, the band was so worth going, even for only a few songs. We got to catch the Rob Staley Band covering many old country classics as well as many of their own originals. Last night, I came armed with that big ol’ natural camera in my head, my brain. Lucky for us Coachella Valley desert dwellers that were there last night as it was a cool 91 degrees around 9 PM when we arrived, and breezy to cool sweaty dancers. The perfect temperature. Not to cold and not too hot. I wanted to try dancing last night but noticed that I would have to walk through a few obstacles so I opted out of that and stuck with Hubby. I so badly wanted to bust out my camera. I did carry it in my purse, I thought I might get a moment of bravery. One thing I can say is that the casino has a very large security guard that was constantly moving about the seating area. Really, this is a great thing! Safety first. I felt totally uncomfortable, even though I had been doing nothing wrong. I may have even stayed there for another set but chose to leave earlier because of it, Really though, it is my own past issues, not the fault of any present people or things. Hubby noticed another person that had been dancing and that had also had a camera and said I should take a picture but I opted out and chose to enjoy the moments and the music as it had been much too long. Thank you to the band for bringing back that little spark and excitement and especially the hope. I know that things feel dire right now, they will get better, we just all need to work together. Last night, what I saw was hopeful, 90% of all people in attendance had on a mask and were at least what appeared to be social distancing. At least the ones that weren’t dancing. All in all, I love, love, LOVE the new set-up for Country Night out side and hope it can stay this way. The big, first quarter moon shining brightly over the stage almost lured me into sneaking a shot, almost. The sound, though, is so much better and that buzz from the upstairs speakers is gone. Also, the new DJ, Big John, a local staple in the country scene here in the Coachella Valley, had the floor swinging. He is also engaging and genuinely excited to be hosting Country Night for Fantasy Springs. So good choice on him as the new replacement! I look forward to going back next week as Country Nation will be back and rumor has it that Sarah Winchester, their former singer, will be making a guest appearance. I see sparkles in my future…

This was shot in October 2017.
The nicest guitar player I know, James Cormier, and he is quite a guitar slinger.

Last night it was cool to sit back and just watch and take in what was happening on stage. The guys never fail to entertain. During a few of the songs, it was so good to see the artistry between the two guitar players, singer Rob Staley and lead guitarist, James Cormier. During one of the songs, I had to lean over and ask Hubby who had which lead as both of their hands were fiercely flying. Staley on that battle worn G & L and Cormier with that snow white Telecaster. I hope he didn’t notice me going goo goo gaa gaa over it as there is something about pure white guitars and especially a Fender. After we left, I quizzed Hubby about the pickups and Hubby mentioned that “yes, that is a lipstick pick up on the front, but there is a humbucker on the back.” Humbucker…Huh? Something new to learn, I guess. Oh yeah…However, I do like that guitar that I have seen in many of the photos of him that I have taken in the past two years because all those scratches and dings surely tell a story. The photographer and storyteller in me would love to sit down with him and frankly, the whole band, as I am sure they all have quite a story to tell in their young years of playing the country music circuit via casinos, bars, fairs, parks and where ever their little ol’ hearts desire.

This was taken at the Circle in Huntington Beach, CA.
Bass player Jordan Lemoreux
Hands down or hands pointed, this is my favorite shot of them!

One night, I think it was that night in October 2017, I was walking past the front bar in the casino when I spotted guitarist, James Cormier. I smiled at him and said ‘Hi”. I probably made a goofy face, introduced myself and asked to take photos. I remember him saying something like “You’re Emmme_Lee.” and I remember saying, “Who?” I had no idea who he was talking about. Well, that is my handle on IG. I quickly figured it out and we all talked for a few minutes and the singer even jokingly said, “Get some good ones.” So, I tried my best. I was still trying to figure out all the bells and whistles on my camera and shooting without flash and under changing conditions and low-lights. I told them I was practicing, cause I was and that I was trying to get out of this gosh-forsaken place, kind of jokingly. Anyhow, I went on to photograph them several times, always trying to get permission from the guys before I pull out my camera. So, last night, I caught the eye of Mr. Cormier and I just waved and we found a seat. Everything felt as it should and I colored in the lines like I said I would, well sort of, I did post a video to my IG stories for historical purposes. Besides, those boys were rocking 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton and it was the shit! Maybe next time I will get brave and I will ask them if I can interview them. Funny, but I met Hubby when he was about their age and playing in many clubs and bars throughout LA and Santa Monica, chasing a dream. I wonder how different their stories are from his. More to come on the Hubby interviews and hopefully I can secure my next participant or participants.

Thank you to all hat were involved in last night production as it was just what was needed to restore a little hope and faith. Life is what you make, really. I saw people having a grand time with masks on and I can still tell a smile by some ones eyes.

To you, dear reader, where ever in the world you are, may your eyes be open to see the world for all the treasures that it offers everyday. Hugs to you and you and especially you over there!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. morishige says:

    Hi there!

    Come to think about it, it’s more than half a year since I’ve seen a live music. We have a Monday night jazz here in town and the last time I went there was more than half a year ago. Oh my, I miss watching a live music. 😀 Now I get by by watching YouTube. Internet does present us with good music, doesn’t it? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was starting to really miss live music. The last time I went we were kicked out. This time I sat front row and without my camera so if they were going to say anything I would be close to the exit. 🙂 If people here would all work together, even if they do not believe that the virus and all the mandates like wearing a mask a for the greater good. So much could be accomplished in a short time and life could sort of go back to normal, It will soon…. 🙂 Yeah thank goodness for youtube!


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