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Year In Review 2018

A CONNECTION TO THE PAST

Recently, while in line to check out at a Walgreens, I saw the special edition of Time magazine with the 100 Most Influential Images of All Time. Interested, I added it to my items and spent an hour looking through it when I got home. Many of the photos are technically imperfect, but it’s not about perfection. It’s about transporting us to a moment in time to tell a story. Sometimes it’s a story that brings light to injustice (see The Death Of Neda), other times it’s a triumph of humankind (see Moon Landing). Whatever the story an image tells, it almost undoubtedly says more than words could (see Migrant Mother). This got me thinking about what photography means to me and why I love it so much.

More than anything, photography is a connection to the past. When I went on my first tour with Peter Adams, high quality smartphone cameras were still a few years off, so I packed up my little cheap Sony point-and-shoot and proceeded to take tons of pictures throughout the trip. Sadly, a few years after the tour, I had a hard drive fail and lost all of the photos. I didn’t realize how much those photos meant to me until they were gone. They weren’t great photos and were pretty low resolution, but they were a window into a time of which many details have faded from memory. Since then, I’ve gotten better about backing up my files both onsite and in the cloud, but whenever I have a hard drive fail, I still get a sick feeling in my stomach until I’ve restored the files.

Thankfully, my family has taken tons of photos through the years, often to ridicule as a half dozen cameras come out at a grill-out. But, I have my family to thank for my most prized memories of my Grandpa John. The unanimous opinion in the family is that I was his favorite. In fact, when Grandpa would get upset while working on something in his workshop, my brother and cousins would send me down to calm him down because they knew I always made him smile. We had a special connection and he was the best grandpa anyone could ever ask for and I can look at photos of him and me and relive the moments.  

IT’S OK TO NOT BE OK

Scott Hutchison, founding member of popular Scottish indie rock band Frightened Rabbit went missing and was found dead within a day. Hutchison was open about his struggles with depression and often wrote about them in his music. I had the privilege of meeting Scott a few times and he was one of the most gracious and gentle souls. It’s easy to see someone having a successful career in music (or any profession for that matter) and assume they have it all together. Unfortunately success is no match for depression. Even with supportive bandmates and adoring fans, it’s possible to still feel alone and numb. No one knows what drove Scott to the end, but he left the us with a bit of advice and heart-wrenching goodbye.

Scott Hutchison, Frightened Rabbit - Midpoint Music Festival 2017

When I’m down, I turn to music for comfort. Artists like Scott put into words what I never could and help me make sense of my emotions. Whether it’s the death of a friend, a bad breakup, addiction, depression or any manor of anxiety, someone has written song about it. These songs make us feel less alone and heal our pain. Songwriters give so much of themselves and help carry the burden, if only we could return the favor.

It’s ok to not be ok. Society tells us (men in particular) that it’s weak to ask for help or seek therapy. That is bullshit. As someone who has struggled with depression and alcohol in the past, I can honestly say that it if weren’t for therapy, I would not be alive today. A bad car accident and the death of a friend sent me into a tailspin. I won’t tell the whole story here, but you can read it in last year’s wrap-up here. The choice to go to therapy changed my life. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. It’s actually the strongest thing you can do.

RUBATO BY THE NUMBERS

THE BIG PICTURE

  • 824 Artists photographed
  • 13,393 Photos posted
  • 29 Music Festivals photographed
  • 256 Individual events photographed
  • 290 Days shooting shows
  • 175 Artists nominated for at least 1 Grammy Award
  • 1434 Total Grammy nominations by those 175 artists
  • 104 Artists have won at least 1 Grammy Award
  • 375 Total Grammy Award wins by those 104 artists
  • 57 of those 104 have won multiple Grammy Awards
  • 32 artists photographed are in Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAMERS PHOTOGRAPHED

  • Beach Boys
  • Neil Young (solo and Buffalo Springfield)
  • Eagles
  • Hall & Oates
  • Dr John
  • BB King
  • John Mellencamp
  • Rush
  • Steely Dan
  • The Temptations
  • Jackson Browne
  • Van Halen
  • Cheap Trick
  • Chicago
  • Steve Miller
  • Heart
  • Gregg Allman
  • Billy Joel
  • Buddy Guy
  • Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
  • Jack Casady / Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson Airplane)
  • Journey
  • Pearl Jam
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Mavis Staples (Staple Singers)
  • Rod Stewart (Solo and Faces/Small Faces)
  • Green Day
  • Graham Nash (CSNY and The Hollies)
  • Parliament Funkadelic
  • David Byrne (Talking Heads)
  • Jeff Beck (Solo and in Yardbirds)
  • Alice Cooper

MOST GRAMMY NOMINATIONS

  • Chick Corea – 64 nominations
  • Willie Nelson – 52 nominations
  • Dolly Parton – 48 nominations
  • Emmylou Harris – 44 nominations
  • Bela Fleck – 33 nominations

MOST GRAMMY WINS

  • Alison Kraus – 28 wins
  • Chick Corea – 22 wins
  • Yo Yo Ma – 20 wins
  • BB King – 16 wins
  • Bela Fleck – 14 wins

MOST PHOTOGRAPHED ARTISTS

  • Jason Isbell – 7 shows
  • The National – 6 shows
  • Walk The Moon – 6 shows
  • Father John Misty – 5 shows
  • Dawes – 5 shows

MOST PHOTOGRAPHED VENUES

  • Riverbend Music Center/PNC Pavilion – 48 shows
  • Taft Theatre and Ballroom – 48 shows
  • Southgate House Revival – 21 shows
  • Memorial Hall – 15 shows

TOP PHOTOS OF 2018

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TOP ALBUMS OF 2017

TOP ALBUMS

  1. Dr. DogCritical Equation
  2. MitskiBe The Cowboy
  3. Father John MistyGod’s Favorite Customer
  4. Sunflower BeanTwenty Two in Blue
  5. Brandi Carlile By The Way, I Forgive You
  6. Courtney BarnettTell Me How You Really Feel
  7. Kamasi WashingtonHeaven and Earth
  8. IceageBeyondless
  9. Elvis CostelloLook Now
  10. Big Red MachineBig Red Machine

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