The Maverick Saloon Project

The Maverick Saloon Project, an ongoing series of live performance images shot at the Maverick Saloon in Santa Ynez, and the Maverick Saloon & Grill in Santa Maria, California, is the natural outgrowth of a very successful effort to provide website images reflecting the extraordinary level of Country Music talent that has come to these two Central Coast venues. The Project started as a suggestion by Donny Schreck, a local guitarist for Mesa Creek & Roughstock who has been on the Country Music scene here for many years. Donny, who had done some previous work with Dwight, introduced him to Mark & Travis Burnett, the owners of the Maverick Saloon in Santa Ynez. The Burnetts, having established themselves as first rate bar owners felt that having high quality images of their talent imports on the Maverick Saloon website would be good PR.

Dwight’s first performance shoot was of Rhonda Vincent, a national Bluegrass star, and her band, The Rage, on July 31, 2003. Rhonda had previously been in the area that Spring at the Live Oak Music Festival where Dwight first saw her. Pictures from this show were well received and soon thereafter images of Pat Green, Paul Thorn, Dierks Bentley, Jennifer Hanson, Confederate Railroad, Craig Morgan, Aaron Lines and Billy Currington followed. The images were overflowing on the Maverick website.

At this point, a second Maverick, the Maverick Saloon & Grill, came into being in Santa Maria, California. It was not until this point that Dwight finally met up with the powerhouse who had been working with Nashville to bring all this talent to our little valley, Rick Barker. Rick does more by accident than most people do on purpose: he is the Program Director at the local Country station, KRAZ, manages the talent at both Mavericks, has started the “Nashville To You” West Coast Acoustic Tour, has his hands into most everything, and is a devoted husband and father. Dwight now shoots at both Maverick locations and has added Josh Turner, the Bellamy Brothers, Brian McComas, Blackhawk and Memarie to his portfolio. And now Chely Wright, Scotty Emerick (where some of Dwight’s photographs are on display) and the incomparable Sugarland [Dwight’s personal favorite … he’s already worn out one CD!] Phew! Pat Green was back and is in the Project again.

In a slightly different vein, Cledus T. Judd was at the Maverick with folks rolling on the floor laughing … not all images from that performance can be shown on this family project!

Julie Roberts arrived recently in a horse drawn carriage at the Maverick, but it was too dark for decent pictures. Sugarland made two more appearances, thank you very much … again, my favorite group. A very loud but very good Cross Canadian Ragweed was a very different flavor of show. As as the final show in October, 2004, a very big month for the Maverick, Jamie O’Neal (supported by husband Rod and a “melt my heart” Megan Mullins) put on two shows with Christy Sutherland opening for her … absolutely first rate acts … I was listening to Jamie on her website (at the moment that’s the ONLY choice!) while adding this update.

Well, my work at the Chumash Casino Resort and the Nashville to You projects has gotten me a bit behind on this project, for which I apologize.

And finally, I am considering making prints of some of the Maverick Saloon Project images available, most probably as collages of one or more artists, with the goal of providing Maverick Saloon patrons with a high quality and meaningful autograph vehicle. If this sounds like an appealing idea to you, please let me know at any of the concerts where you see me photograph … I won’t be trying to sell you anything, yet!

Click HERE to view the article in the Dwight McCann Digital Imagery site.

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