From the Archives: Skullduggery
In the early days of DSmithImages, my main focus was really on live music photography. It’s what I cut my teeth on and what I used to build a name for myself in the Tuscaloosa community. I can really spend the hours talking the ins and outs of live music photography, but today I wanted to go back into the archives and talk about a shoot I did for the band Skullduggery.
Consisting of friends from the University of Alabama’s Mallet Assembly, the men’s honor dorm, Skullduggery played a lively version of Irish folk music. Their shows were always crowded due to their friends from Mallet being in attendance and from the good worth of mouth buzz they got. They had “it”. They knew had to connect to a crowd, they had energy, and they had stage presence. Back in January of 2009, Skullduggery became one of my early clients as they hired me to photograph their show at Egans. It was a fun shoot and another lively show, but what one of their band members told me after the fact still impacts me.
The band eventually had to split up do to members graduating, leaving town, or moving on to other responsibilities. It happens all the time, especially with bands in a college town. Still, I was talking with one of the members one night, and I thanked him again for giving me the chance to photograph the band. He then thanked me and told me (I’m paraphrasing), “David, I’m just glad you gave people evidence we existed.” I’m not going to lie… that statement hit me hard. It meant a hell of a lot to hear something like that. Call it bragging or whatever you want, but I take pride in the fact that I’ve been able to document the local Tuscaloosa music scene for the past couple of years. I’ve always thought… “If not me, then who?” in regards to photographing the bands that I have.
People like to knock Tuscaloosa for not being Athens or Oxford or the Shoals or any other music hotbed, but you know what… Tuscaloosa is Tuscaloosa. We have what we have. I’ve seen great bands come and go, and I’ve seen bands that should have never gotten together in the first place more than wear out their welcome. Skullduggery was a band that I wished had a longer run in this town. I’m just glad I got to photograph them when I did.
You can check out the photos of Skullduggery in the live music section of my official archives site, DSmithGalleries. It should give you a little taste of what one of their shows would have been like.