The Art of the Personal Project: Tom Hussey

- - Personal Project

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

 

Today’s featured artist: Tom Hussey

It’s late and we’re looking for a Second Line Band to photograph with no luck

We are one block north of Congo Square, deep in the heart of New Orleans’ Treme district. We stop and ask a man, who introduces himself as Oswald, if there’s anywhere close by that has live music? He points across the street to a faded yellow building. Oswald says he’s pretty sure his son’s band is playing later — it’s 8:00pm Sunday night.

Drink, Eat, Dance

The lounge is one big room with a bar, pool table and a large painted dance floor. The band is setting up in the back. Our bartender tells us the lounge has been here since ‘79, three years before Katrina took the roof off. He says there’s a cash bar, free red beans and rice, the best live music in NOLA, and you better know what drink you like when you approach the bar.

Around 10:30 the bass line kicks in and the room begins to move. The band tonight is the Treme Funktet. There’s no play-list just old school New Orleans music mixed with brass band, funk and some mainstream jazz. The group leader is Corey Henry. Corey is Treme royalty. His Grandfather played at Preservation Hall. His Uncle is Benny Jones of the famed Treme Brass Band. And, his cousin, Ms. Leona, owns the lounge.

We ask about the band to find out more about their music. They’re known for a Treme born style of funk, based in the New Orleans Second Line tradition.  That doesn’t mean much until someone explains that “Second Line” is a four/one drumbeat — not on the beat or off.  The unique rhythm was picked up by Motown in the 1960’s and made famous by James Brown. The room is warm but the sound is shifting from hot to cool.

The sound bounces off the plywood ceiling, as the whole room seems to move to the bass line groove.  It’s after 11:00 and the band is just getting started. New Orleans Treme Funk is a part of life for this neighborhood.  The roots are Afro-Cuban, but the music is universal.

After Midnight

 It’s getting late but there’s no set time for when the band will quit. We pay our tab and exit into the humid night air making way for people that are just coming in. The Candle Light Lounge is the beating heart of the last live music in the Treme.  As we head back to the hotel, a quote I had read earlier in the day, by Ellis Marsalis seems dead on to me —

“In other places culture comes down from on high.  In New Orleans, it bubbles up from the street.”

 

To see more of this project, click here.

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s.  After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty.  Follow her at @SuzanneSeaseInstagram

Success is more than a matter of your talent. It’s also a matter of doing a better job presenting it.  And that is what I do with decades of agency and in-house experience.

Suzanne Sease

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