I struggled for eight years to write this essay. As soon as the obsession began I knew I'd have to write about it, but I kept putting it off because I was apprehensive about what the obsession would reveal about me.
Over the last two years, Eyes on the South has featured more than 70 photographers who are from or whose work focuses on the region. This week, for the third installment of a three-part Summer series, we're featuring some of our favorite shots from Eyes on the South.
The partially wrapped cardboard sleeves from two LPs landed at my feet, Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison and Carryin’ On with Johnny Cash and June Carter. I picked them up, removed the rest of the red wrapping paper, and smoothed my hands over the covers. Jagged pieces of broken vinyl pushed against the inside of the cardboard. I wondered if I could glue the records back together.
A lot of people are completely clueless to my solo career thus far. At this point, people only know my work with the Chocolate Drops. Even though I founded the group, there was always more of a focus on the old-time music of North Carolina than on the music I was really passionate about. When I play as the American Songster, I have a completely separate repertoire. I know that the Chocolate Drops sound I helped create will come through on my new album, but I also feel that people will hear a little something different in my music, just because I am doing it my way.