Last week at Outdoor Retailer, my good friend Luke Reynolds and his band Pictures and Sound helped the Conservation Alliance celebrate their 20th Anniversary with an outdoor concert at Café Molise. Luke poured good energy into the performance and was joined by Gabe Nelson of Cake on the bass and the energetic Pete McNeal on the drums. Pete has recorded and toured with a long list of artists, most recently with Norah Jones. The set included some improvised jams and covers that had the crowd dancing, and Luke closed with a solo set that included a tribute to our friends Jonny, Micah, and Wade who were recently lost in an avalanche while attempting a new climbing route in China.
It was a fitting celebration for the Conservation Alliance and its grantees, as they have had an amazing year with many huge victories, most notably the signing of the Ominibus Public Land Management Act which protected three million acres of wilderness and over a thousand miles of rivers across the US, and the expansion of the Nahanni National Park Reserve in Canada’s Northwest Territories by 7 million acres.
Over the past several years, Luke has collaborated with organizations such as Farm Aid, VH1 Save The Music, and Rock The Vote, in addition to having worked on multiple greening initiatives within the music industry. He has been a part of the Nau family ever since he and Emilie Lee created a short film about his songwriting in the early days of The Collective called “Finding Balance”. I met Luke around that time while he was in Utah writing songs for the Pictures And Sound album. We hit it off immediately during a trail run and realized we shared an appreciation for the outdoors, good music, and avocados.
I often get asked why I photograph music and it’s not a simple answer, but if you were able to watch Luke bringing a song from a one line scribbled note to a full three minute track (he plays over a dozen instruments) in a matter of hours you would understand! The creative charge I get from seeing a musician work is immeasurable. Luke is currently collaborating on a host of projects all slated for release next year, keep an ear out for new material here.