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After opening for Kid Rock, the guys had an acoustic show lined up at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill.I thought the lighting was great here. It allowed for some great videoFor some reason I really love this shot of Brandon on keys. Something about the way the drum set in the foreground framed it up… combined with the green lighting just turned out awesomePaul having a good timeBrit was using this resonance box for percussion. It has 40 snare spirals inside, and sounded awesome!rnThe girl in the photo, Vanessa, worked at the bar, and was celebrating her birthday. She hooked us up with FREE CAKEShe told us she could ride the bull standing up. We didn’t believe her. She could… and I’m not gonna lie – it was pretty hot. Big Kev said he wanted to marry her on the spot hahahaShorly after the show it was back to the bus to rest up for the next day’s gig.

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Kevin and DTE crew members got the trailer unloaded first thingShortly after a (wonderfully) catered breakfast, Kid Rock’s tour manager, Shakes, pulled up in this wilder-than-wild Pontiac Bonneville. I snapped a photo of Brit standing next to this crazy thingThe car, built for Hank Jr.’s 15th birthday, was crafted by renowned tailor-to-the-stars Nudie Cohn. Can you imagine a 15-year old cruising the strip in this thing?!rnThe dash, steering wheel, door panels, and child seat were adorned with dollar-coins. The saddle in the center-seat position was a child seat. This car was made pre-seatbelt/child-safety laws for sureGuns are all over this car. The door-handles, latch for the glovebox, trunk, hood, rear quarter panels, shifter, horn button… all laced with pistolsThe backstage passes were hysterical. KENNY. POWERS.rnCharlie enjoying a smoke while talking to KevinGuitars perched for actionThe band hit the stage for sound-checkSound master, Billy Kirk, surveying the acousticsAfter sound-check, Charlie and Brit had an interview with WYCDShortly thereafter, it was showtime. Big Daddy Kev hyped the crown and brought them onstageThe fellas played a great setrnMore on the way from Detroit! Don’t wander too far…

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Before we made it to Flint, we stopped Cumulus Radio in Toledo, Ohio where the band had a radio interview with K100.Paul was having funEven more fun once we left, hahahaIt was back to the bus and back on the road until we arrived at the Machine Shop in Flint, MichiganSince we had time to kill, we went across the street to check out a consignment store, and stumbled upon this crazy mall that had it’s hallways adorned with an insane amount of wild stuff. Stuff like this old robot that once answered questions about Ford Motor Cars and a suit from Red PlanetThis chiseled-looking bicyclist sculpture, and a life-sized C3P0. There were also a life-sized Storm Trooper, Darth Vader, and R2D2. I could probably fill an entire post with the plethora of wild stuff thereMy favorite was a life-sized likeness of E.T… just hanging out at the mall. Probably looking for Reese’s PiecesAfter our stint in the crazy mall, we grabbed a bite and headed back to the bus where Charlie was messing around on the guitarThe band pretty much had the night off, and only came through Flint to see their friend, Randy Houser. That didn’t stop Charlie from getting on stage for a song with Whitey Morgan!rnStay tuned for more as we make our way to Detroit!

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I had a chance to hit the road with the boys from Blackberry Smoke for a week while they played shows en route to two sold-out shows with Kid Rock. I went along to document video footage from the road, backstage, on-stage, etc.This is the tour bus the band calls home. This was my first time on a bus like this, which was pretty awesome! It was tough to get used to sleeping when the bus was in motion, but it was super-comfortable.The driver, Rusty, was a cool guy that took great pride in what he did. He was always washing, shining, and polishing the bus when we were stopped.First stop was Indianapolis, for a gig at a HUGE week-long fair. First thing I saw when I looked out of the bus was this equally enormous sculptured likeness of Grant Wood’s American Gothic.I wandered around the fair until they were slated to be on-stage. I went for a tractor-ride around the fairgrounds that took about 45 minutes to get me back where I started.There was a huge lot of vintage tractors. The fair had a whole commerce section of the fair revolved around farming and agricultureOld versus new. There was also an area of the fair specializing in the sale of windmillsAfter a brief sound-check, the band had a radio interview on-site with WFMS. My lens was way to long to shoot in the mobile-station, so I shot from outside where you could still hear the broadcast. Richard told me I was number one. He was right! The great thing about shooting this band, is that I’ve known some of the band members for 9 years… so everyone was themselves. No awkward vibes having some random dude wielding a camera in their facesThey hit the stage and played a great set, despite the scorching heat. I got a ton of great footage from the showA mother and son soaking in the music. I always enjoy the family vibe at fairs like thisYou can see it all around you… young and oldAfter the show, they had a police escort to sign autographs for the fansrnAfterward, we wandered around the fairgrounds in search of deep fried bacon… and we found it. The lady was kind enough to let us have it for free. She insisted we try it with gravy, but we were all kinda like… enough is enough. Regardless… Kev was pretty excited!rnI ate enough to say that I’ve tried it (read: one bite). Once our indigestion settled a bit, it was off to Flint, Michigan for a Machine Shop visit to see the band’s friend Randy Houser… then onto Detroit. More to come, so stay tuned!

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