Friday, September 8, 2017

Horseshoes & Hand Grenades tour in Alaska.

Last month I had the privilege to go on tour with Horseshoes & Hand Grenades again. This time in Alaska.  We all flew out of Milwaukee landing in Anchorage.  Along with the band traveling group we had some parents join us on the trip and along the way met many old and new friends from Wisconsin.  Here are two pics with all the Wisco folks at the Hope Alaska show.  These photos are filled with rad folks I am happy to have met in my life.

Preceded to our hotel for the evening and had a few drinks...realizing that while still light out it was 11:30 at night!  Our first full day in Alaska was a travel day to Nilichik for a late night set at Salmonfest.  First off the drive down the Kenai Peninsula is pretty spectacular.  Second the folks at Salmonfest were about the raddest folks on the planet.  They were accommodating and great and served some awesome food for us.  The late night set started at 1:00 am ( 3:00 am Wisconsin time.) and went till 3:00 am.  The sun was already starting to come up as we arrived back at our cabins after load out.

Day two at Salmonfest was just as great.  A MainStage show with a kick ass large crowd.  Pretty sure the guys won a ton of new fans at those two shows.  and it showed at the rest of the gigs on the tour with people following the band to each gig.  An off day was next with some of us traveling to Seward to whale watch and some staying behind to go check out the last day of Salmonfest.  I was on he boat and we saw around 40 Orcas all around us. Swimming under the boat.  Puffins and otters as well.  The scenery can not be explained. Alaska is an unbelievably beautiful and vast land that makes you feel so small.  even when standing there looking at looks fake.

The rest of the trip was some awesome gigs in Homer ( super jam with members of Great American Taxi, Gipsy Moon and Railroad Earth) Soldotna and Hope Alaska as well.

Hope was one of my favorite gigs and places I have to say. A cool small town with some awesome people.

I left just before the Anchorage show so i missed that and the Healy show.  The crowds in Alaska were great and the fans have a lot of love and passion for live music and having a good time.

I have gotten to watch these guys play to a lot of people in the last few years in many places.  Watching the crowd is always my favorite.  Its fun to see people get sucked in and people as far away as Alaska singing along to songs.  I again feel lucky to be able to do what I love and help these guys as well if I can.  There is no other group of guys I would rather be stuck in a van or backstage with.    Go catch a show if theirs if one is near you. promise you will have a great time.  Here are some pics from the trip.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Songs of Pat Macdonald.

Last night there was a fantastic event put on here in Door County.  46 or so musicians got together and put on a show in tribute to Pat Macdonald and his music. They played his songs for a awesome crowd at the Door Community Auditorium in Fish Creek.  It was filled with friends playing another friends songs. it was just great and so well done and put on by Joe Kaftan and Cathy Grier.  I can go on and on and say so many awesome and amazing things about all the great people who put this together but I am bound to leave someone out so I will just say it was perfect in every way.  There is also a big ole box of music available called Begging His Graces with I don't know how many songs on it...lets just say A LOT! Here are some photos from last night. All the photos are available on my Ty Helbach Photography Facebook page.  I am super lucky I got to be involved with this event.  More so I am lucky to have Pat and all the other wonderful musicians as my friends.  Can not beat that!

 Curtain Call

 Best Crew ever.  Without these people last night would not have happened.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Madison Wisconsin

Recently I spent a few days in Madison Wisconsin photographing sites around Madison.  I spent a lot of time in Madison in my life.  When I was a kid the Capitol was like our playground.  A note would be pinned to my back with my Fathers office room number if I got lost and I would run around the Capitol.  This time home base was the awesome Hotel Red. Seriously check this place out. Super Comfy. Great bar and restaurant downstairs and right next to Mickies Dairy Bar. Getting to explore Madison again was super fun. Here are a few photos.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Blue Ox Music Festival

Another great thing I got to do this summer was attend the Blue Ox Music Festival with Horseshoes & Hand Grenades.  This is a three day festival outside Eau Claire and had a stacked lineup this year.  While I was there to shoot photos and help with HHG I did snap some photos of other acts as well.

The whole festival is set up and run so well.  The campgrounds meander through hilly forests around the actual concert "bowl".  They have the Main stage and a smaller side stage that would flip flop with acts during the day. At night they had a cool late night stage out in the middle of the woods where different acts would play.

 There was family camping. Quiet camping and all out party camping.

First day we arrived we parked backstage set up tents and whatever else and music.  Them Coulee Boys kicked off the whole festival and rocked followed by the Jeff Austin Band on the main stage.  Fruition, The Traveling Mccourys, The Grateful Ball all followed capped off by a great set by Sam Bush Band.  That night we took in the late night stage with Charlie Parr and Feed the Dog and it was awesome.

Day two was kicked off by the fabulous group from Eau Claire called LASKA.  Check them out seriously.  I heard Colter Wall for the first time as well and he was amazing.  Dead Horses followed as well as Dead Man Winter with a great set into Son Volt.  HHG was up after and killed it as per usual.:)  the rest of the lineup that night on the main stage was The Infamous String Dusters, Pert Near Sandstone and closed out by a great set and light show from Green Sky Bluegrass.  That night we hung out at the campsite and backstage jams and cold Bells beer flowed until the early hours of the morning.

Day three awoke to a guest in our backstage campsite.  Punch Brothers tour bus had joined us.  Adam and friends had a jam early in the morning at a stage put on by the Boats and Bluegrass folks...another fine festival coming up at the end of the summer.  After the jam Joseph Huber kicked off the days music on the Saloon stage and was great. He has a new album out go buy it.  Billy Strings wowed as did Willie Watson. Keller and the Keels played before The Punch Brothers took the stage and completely blew me away. I have seen Chris Thile with Nickel Creek and with Bela Fleck but this was out of this world good.  They took a field of sweaty hot bluegrass fans looking to dance and silenced them all. They listened and loved it.  After that Pert Near played another set and then Drive By Truckers did some in your face rock and roll.  Railroad Earth jammed the night away to close out the main stage. After the main stage closed out we took a short golfcart ride to the late night stage in the woods. It was a epic jam of members of Pert Near, Henhouse Prowlers, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, Feed the Dog and Railroad Earth . I am sure I am forgetting someone but there were about 100 people on stage it seemed.  The woods were rocking till late and so was the jamming backstage afterwords.  When we left the next morning the main stage was already torn down and there were still folks pickin backstage from the night before.  Thanks again to Horseshoes & Hand Grenades for taking me along and providing me with another great experience.  Here are some photos.  As always I have an album on my Ty Helbach Photography facebook page that has more.

I did not hit on every band that played but gosh darn if the whole lineup was amazing.  A well done festival for sure.


Dead Man Winter

Late Night Stage

The Infamous String Dusters backstage warmup.

Late night pickin

Chris Thile of the Punch Brothers warming up backstage

Dead Horses backstage

Punch Brothers

Late night mega super jam. 

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

Late Night Stage

Drive By Truckers

The Infamous String Dusters

The crowd during Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

Russ of Horseshoes and Hand Grenades backstage.

Billy Strings

Joseph Huber

Adam Greuel and the Moderately Well behaved

Adam and Davey

backstage serenading 

Dead Horses

Colter Wall

Them Coulee Boys backstage

Grateful Ball

The Travelin Mccourys

Jeff Austin
Horseshoes & Hand Grenades
Late night mega super jam.

Late night mega super jam.