Strong Roots Records Album Release Party

Article and photos by Melodie Yvonne Ramey

BLOOMINGTON, IN – On March 28 I had the pleasure of photographing the Strong Roots Records Album Release Party at The Bishop in Bloomington, Indiana. I had been invited to shoot the event courtesy of one of my favorite people in the world, Black Eddie aka Rashaad the God. I’ve had the luxury of seeing him perform on a few other occasions with Cut Camp, so I knew it would be a phenomenal show.

I could tell by the eagerness of the fans before the first performance that Strong Roots had picked a spectacular opener. As I edged up to the front of the crowd to try and find a good point of access for shots they had already started chanting for the performance to begin. I stepped to the front not noticing much of my surroundings, and I heard, “Bitch!” I immediately looked backward, and stepped to the side to get out-of-the-way of the person I had wronged. Just as I made eye contact with the girl behind me that had shouted the obscenity,  Stakzilla began his set. The first word out of his mouth was, “BITCH!!!” loud and strong into the mic. I nodded, and smiled knowingly at the very pretty and very apologetic girl. I knew from that moment on I had come to the right place. I began feverishly recording every moment with my camera, and enjoying every second of Stakzilla’s sensational set. His powerful musical poetry set the tone for the night, and I know next time I see him perform live I’ll be right there with that wonderful young lady with my, “BITCH!” at the end of my tongue waiting to break-dance out.

The hardest part about shooting concert photography has to be trying to hold the camera still while I’m dancing. I made it through the first set without getting too carried away, but I knew I was in trouble the minute the Strong Roots Records guys hit that stage. Before the first song ended my heart had picked up the rhythm and began pulsing to the beat. I could spend hours talking about their strong individual talents, but let me just sum it up by showing you…

I was also very excited to use the video feature on my camera for the first time at a show. Of course, once again I committed one of the biggest photography sins there is, meaning I didn’t pack my tripod, so if you keep that in mind the videos are surprisingly steady 🙂

The Magmatix came on last to finish out the evening with their powerful instrumental funkalicious melodies. This is the second time I have got to enjoy this marvel live, and, not to ruin the ending for you, but I ended the evening just as energized and exceedingly happy as before. If my photos can even convey a tenth of the bliss that my ears experienced than each and every person joining me here today should have a helluva good day!

The Magmatix began winding down their set preparing to call it a night when suddenly we all got served an extra special surprise. Stakzilla jumped on the stage, and joined them for an endearing rendition of Lean on Me that raised the love level of the crowd higher than stars outside in the cool night sky.

This last photo really is the epitome of what this wonderful evening was to me. These guys are musical passion personified. It wasn’t just an album that was made and released at The Bishop in little old Bloomington, Indiana that night. A little piece of hip-hop history was created that night, and I’m forever blessed that I got to be there to witness it. My final word… this girl says 2 thumbs and 8 fingers up!!! 🙂

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Photo and video footage shot for Photographic Melodie by Melodie Yvonne Ramey. Shot with Nikon D800E
All footage copyright Melodie Yvonne Ramey and/or the performing artists. No usage is permitted beyond non-profit online sharing without written permission from Melodie Yvonne Ramey and/or the performing artist. Photos are not for commercial sale. It is ILLEGAL to sell concert photographs without the permission of the artist. It is ILLEGAL to use these photos for anything at all without permission from the photographer. Please send any and all inquiries of usage requests to Non-profit online sharing of images is permitted only when following these specific guidelines… images are NOT to be altered in anyway. This includes, but is not limited to cropping, adding filters, removing color from, any other changes, and/or removing the watermark. Also absolutely no making money off of,  and/or taking credit for my images as it is illegal, and makes me long for death.

Categories: Concert & Events Reviews, Concerts & Events, Concerts & Events 2015, Melodie Yvonne, Photo Reviews, ReviewsTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Melodie Yvonne

Melodie Yvonne Ramey, owner, editor, & contributor at Photographic Melodie, grew up in the small southern Indiana town of North Vernon. She picked up her first camera at the young age of 5, and was immediately hooked. Every trip, even just to the local park, was turned into a fantasy scene of her own imagination that would later be turned into epic tales in word and photos.

Melodie spent her teen years learning from and mentoring under professionals such as Richard Young, John Sheckler, and The Grand Conundrum. She received an Associates of Applied Science in Visual Technologies majoring in Photography from Ivy Tech in 2002 after studying under acclaimed professors such as Hoosier photographer Darryl Jones, Jonathan Wilson, and many other masters in the field.

Melodie’s main focus has always been music photography. Growing up with photography and listening to amazing musicians inspired her dream to create visual images that made people feel the way they do when they hear the music. She wanted to help people SEE the music by capturing every magical moment of concerts that she could only dream about as she gazed into music magazines like Rolling Stone and Spin.

Melodie has done numerous jobs around the country ranging from working for bands to even being the official photographer on many southern Indiana Poker Runs. Her specialties are in nature, music, and candid event photography, as well as one of a kind photographic creations. Melodie published her first print book Photographic Memories: In the Beginning, a collection of poetry, in 2011, and has since published 2 more print works, Photographic Memories: Meet me in the Middle and Hoosier Heavens, her first photo book. Melodie currently acts as publisher, editor & lead contributor at Photographic Melodie and does freelance work with many other media outlets, venues, and artists.

Melodie says, “I started out with a Tweety bird camera and a dream and I never let go. I will always love photography and the vessel it has given me to share the images of my heart and mind with the world. I have found that every single person on this earth visualizes the world in very different ways. Some people are optimists, some are pessimists. Some people are daydreamers, and others keep their feet firmly planted on the ground. Photography allows me to show some of these different visualizations. It allows the rationalist to see that it’s okay to dream, it can show the monsters hidden in the dark, and it can show even the saddest of people that there is still joy in the world.”

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