I'm happy to say that the powers that be at Comfest contacted me and asked to use this photo of mine in the memorial section of the Comfest program this year.
It's from Honk Wail & Moan's performance at Jazzfest 2008. At that time, things were going pretty well with the band - Brian and Steve had decided to add a couple more horns to the band for this gig, and Brian had updated or reworked some of his arrangements to take advantage of that fact. We'd had a couple of productive rehearsals and the band was sounding good. It was a great day at the festival, and the band was really "on" - there was a lot of good energy, everyone was playing well, Brian's tunes never sounded better, and we had a small but appreciative audience.
I had my camera (as usual) and was trying to get some shots in any time that I wasn't playing. At one point I grabbed my camera, turned around, and saw Brian standing there, also not playing. He looked like he had kind of taken a step back, and was surveying everything that was happening onstage. There was a slight smile on his face, and he seemed pleased with how things were going. "Yeah," I could almost hear him thinking. "This is the way these tunes are supposed to sound - this is what I've been hearing in my head." It was a pretty good day.
On the other hand, that weekend was unfortunately the last time I saw Brian. We played the Jazzfest, and then Dick's Den the following night - both great gigs. Then six weeks later, I was at his funeral - trying, along with everyone else, to come to terms with what had happened...
In any case, I'm glad I caught this shot of Brian, as well as some other good ones over the years. If you didn't catch them the first time, some more photos of Brian are on Flickr - just click HERE to get to them.
Speaking of Comfest, there will be a Brian Casey tribute there on Saturday June 28th, 4:45-6:30pm on the Jazz Stage. The set will feature performances by several bands including Honk Wail & Moan and Mary Adam 12 - hope to see you all there.