I’ve known Kevin for many years. We first met when he was on A&M Records and I happened to be in New York with Tish Hinojosa when I worked at Warner Bros. Kevin and Tish were doing a show together and when I met him I told him how much I liked his album. Little did I know at the time, but Kevin was struggling with the label since they really did not seem to get how to deal with Kevin’s music (squarely between rock and country). Anyway, years later our paths crossed again in Nashville and we became friends, bumping into each other on the local “Americana” scene. Fast forward to 2010, Kevin is back in Nashville recording his next album and by this time has developed a very successful independent, international career based on fan relationships, house concert tours, and basically working his ass off. Kevin asked me to come down and shoot the sessions, and I spent a few days there shooting various songs.
One of them is “Some Comfort” which turned out to be the title track. Kevin had the guitar and vocal worked up but still had yet to write a 3rd verse. But he had John Hobbs coming in on piano so he needed to get John’s recording down right then since he’s extremely busy playing with Vince Gill, etc. I shot these sessions in a very basic, yet elegant way that I felt suited the music. I used my Canon 7D with my favorite lens, Leica-Summicron-R 1:2/50mm, a vintage manual lens that I go back to time and time again. I did not have much flexibility in how I framed the shots, but I do like what I had on John at the piano especially. So after shooting all this basically years passed. I heard from Kevin in March 2012, that the album was finally coming out and he remembered that I’d shot this footage, still sitting in the can. So now, it was time to edit and create a video around the song from what I shot. But I then discovered a problem. Kevin had not recorded the 3rd verse until after I shot at the session and now there was no footage covering the critical last verse! So we decided we had to shoot some new footage that was not performance video from the actual session and come up with a concept that fit. Kevin told me about his first video from 20 years ago (“Red Blooded American Boy“) and how he had kept in touch with the lead female actress in it, Cory Oliver.
So now the idea was, what if we could montage a few clips from the old video into new footage with Kevin and Cory 20 years later? An actual flashback-forward with the same actors 20 years apart. To my knowledge this has never been done before. So we lined up Cory to do it and headed to Los Angeles with a somewhat sketchy plan to shoot new footage. We planned to shoot a glorious sunset at the beach but the weather did not cooperate so we had to improvise. What you see in the video is very last minute setups, scrambling before we lost light, and fighting time and traffic to get the shots we needed.
I really like what we ended up with at the beach. A very cool, gray look that could easily be Seattle, but that’s what we had. The dancing shots were all on location at our host Doug’s place; actually a perfect setting for these. I shot with the Canon 7D, Leica-Summicron-R 1:2/50mm for the beach shots, all handheld and over-cranked. The sunset dancing was with a Lensbaby. I think the 20 year time span is really effective to see Kevin and Cory; both looking great now! Also Kevin’s very same guitar. Brand new long ago with some nice wear and age today. Somehow, with weather and travel obstacles, we came up with something very cool. Certainly Doug and Ed were invaluable in assisting us, and Cory was fabulous to work with. Sometimes the best result comes from the solutions to the obstacles that come about.