Photography Strictly Prohibited: David McClister’s Americana series on display at the Morrison Hotel Gallery is an ode to the moments not seen on stage. McClister captures artists behind the scenes reminding us of the depth behind a three-minute diddy.
The Morrison Hotel Gallery at 116 Prince St., 2nd Fl. has a permanent photography collection of music legends. Gallery owner Peter appreciates the Nashville connection all the artists in McClister’s Americana share. From Miranda Lambert to Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson to Kings of Leon, the variety of artists helps tell the evolution of Nashville and solidifies its importance to the industry.
McClister captured Robert Plant mid-clap with Alison Krauss during a sound check – an angle only available from backstage. The other crowd favorite and featured piece is a moment shared by Plant and Krauss, a familiar scene to these two who have created their legacy separately and one rarely documented. In the wings of a venue, each rest on opposing hallway, cinder block walls sharing a story, a laugh and taking a break from being on.
From a smaller canvas, you can almost hear the bellow of Alabama Shake’s Brittany Howard in a close up that highlights her soulful presence and Alabama tattoo.
Ryan Adams and a cigarette are the focus in a strip of McClister’s film that gives an intimate look at one of the least toxic things Adam’s has done to himself.
Dolly Parton is stripped of fanfare, her silhouette is simply framed as she practices guitar in front of a window, a peaceful respite from her public persona.
Overall the collection will be interesting to music fans and voyeurs, McClister’s ability to compose the frames and manage light are signatures of skill. On occasion the poses lean towards a high school senior picture session (see: Miranda Lambert avec shotgun) and leave one wondering if the truly candid moments were missed by a millisecond.
Photo Credit: Taylor Swift, sound check at Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN, 2008
©David McClister/courtesy of Morrison Hotel Gallery