The Nashville Portraits
December 20, 2009 8:26 PM   Subscribe

Born and raised in New Jersey, Jim McGuire was an unlikely country music-lover, but one song changed all that. McGuire was twelve years old on the day he heard Hank Snow’s “Spanish Fireball” for the first time, and he instantly fell in love with country music forever. Music has since been a huge part of McGuire’s life—a muse for his photography—The Nashville Portraits.

Then, in 1971, McGuire caught a performance in Greenwich Village by John Hartford and the Aereo-Plain Band—consisting of Hartford, Vassar Clements, Tut Taylor, and Norman Blake. With the help of friend and record producer David Bromberg, he was able to get them all back to his Gramercy Park studio for some late night, impromptu portraits. The portraits of Hartford, Tut and Vassar shot that night, were the beginning of what evolved into the Nashville Portraits. [via]
posted by netbros (12 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Nice post, nice portraits. Looking at the thumbnails, these guys looked a little dorky, but holy shit, what a line-up.
posted by marxchivist at 8:34 PM on December 20, 2009

Wow these are great.
posted by nola at 8:35 PM on December 20, 2009

Born and raised in New Jersey, Jim McGuire was an unlikely country music-lover...

Was he raised in southern Jersey? Because that's about as unlikely as a New Yorker becoming entranced with Punk.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:39 PM on December 20, 2009 [2 favorites]

What a great post and what awesome portraits. Thanks, netbros. Love this one of John Hartford and this one of a young John Hiatt. And you have to admire this sampling of 70's sartorial splendor. There's a lot of musical talent in that one gallery.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:34 PM on December 20, 2009

Awesomely great stuff. Really interesting seeing how people like Steve Earle have aged over the years.
posted by imjustsaying at 9:39 PM on December 20, 2009

Great post, although my history as a NJyan-turned-Nashvillian might give me some bias here :)
posted by NikitaNikita at 4:50 AM on December 21, 2009

Yeah, the Pineys love them some Country & Western... New Jersey isn't as an unlikely home to a Country fanatic as you think. Unless you're talking about Greater NYC, then, yeah, it's silly.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:31 AM on December 21, 2009

Nice stuff. Thanks !
posted by nicolin at 6:06 AM on December 21, 2009

God how I love these - it's like a Hero's Wall for me.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:44 AM on December 21, 2009

Amazing shots. The lighting is great, the tones are beautiful, and there is a unspoken chemistry between the subject and the photographer. Putting people at easy while you're taking their photo is not easy.

Also, I grew up listening to a lot of these folks so it's cool to see them back in the day. Great post!
posted by Brodiggitty at 7:44 AM on December 21, 2009

Thanks for posting that. Great portraits.
posted by zzazazz at 9:49 AM on December 21, 2009

This is a great shot of Mr. Van Zandt.
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:20 AM on December 21, 2009

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