I had the honor of shooting publicity photos for my favorite Portland band, Hannah Daman and the Martelle Sisters. I followed them around the farm where Hannah works in the dreamy afternoon light as they giggled through fields of wildflowers, ambled through long rows of high summer crops, and clamored on working antique tractors. When I've seen them play, whether it's an intimate open mic at the Thirsty Pig, or for a packed room at Port City or Empire, I always walk away feeling simultaneously comforted and invigorated, and this shoot was no different.
Hannah's subtle, intricate stories play out over winding chord progressions driven by the Martelles' soulful fiddle and mandolin work. Their enchanting voices form smooth three-part harmonies. Many songs speak to a sense of place, meaning in childhood memories, and the defeating/affirming cycles of nature. For me, it's the kind of music that cuts to the core of things without hurting.
At the end of the afternoon I asked them for a song. They obliged, no warm-up, no sound check, on the spot, in the middle of a cornfield, with my favorite: Bittersweet. Be sure to check out the rest of their music.