So lift your voice with timbrel and lyre

These are my favorites, The Oh Hellos.

TOH band pics_25

Austin. Birmingham. Atlanta. Asheville . Floydfest. Nashville. Louisville. Indianapolis. St. Louis. Memphis. Bellevue CO. Four Corners Folk Festival. Boulder. Lockn Festival. La Jolla. Santa Ana. San Luis Obispo. LA. Fresno. Seattle. Eugene. Portland. George Fox University. Reno. Sacramento. Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. Oklahoma City. Walrus Audio. Columbia. Kansas City. Des Moines. Omaha. Daytrotter. Minneapolis. Green Bay. Madison. Chicago. Knoxville. Athens. Oxford. Charlottesville. Charleston. Charlotte. DC. NYC Bowery. Baeble Music. NPR Tiny Desk. NYC Terminal 5. Pawtucket. Boston. Philadelphia. Lynchburg. Fayetteville. Austin.  

54 performances in 2015 including 4 festivals and 4 live recording sessions, plus a few radio interviews/unplugged performances for good measure.

5 months of living more on the road than at home.

Thousands upon thousands of miles driven;  millions upon millions of cooped-up-in-the-van hours endured.

So many hotel rooms slept in for not quite enough hours to feel truly rested.

Countless bottles and shrink-wrapped packages of OTC cold medicines and stomach remedies and Advil consumed.

A new album with new music to master plus older crowd favorites to keep fresh.

But these troupers persevered.  They trouped like nobody’s business!

Old Rock House, St. Louis MO 7/31/15

Levitt Shell, Memphis TN 8/1/15

People often ask me if I travel with the band full-time, to which I reply:  I WISH.  Also, to tell the truth: I MIGHT NOT LAST LONG.  Yet if they ever extended the invitation I would drop my normal, comfortable everyday life in a heartbeat.  The pace is grueling and disorienting and intoxicating all at the same time, so I go out as often as I can but mostly cheer from home.  (The shows in bold print above are the ones I attended.)

Four Corners Folk Festival, Pagosa Springs CO 9/5/15

Birch Aquarium at Scripps, La Jolla CA 9/16/15

I love photographing Oh Hellos shows.  Hands down, it is my very favorite thing to do in the whole world.  I love getting to venues with the band for load-in and soundcheck because that gives me a chance to wander around and find angles to try to shoot from.

The Observatory, Santa Ana CA 9/17/15

I love being backstage while these fun people entertain themselves and warm up.  I love meeting their supporting bands and getting to know a bit about their backgrounds and personalities.

SLO Brewing Company, San Luis Obispo CA 9/18/15

I love the nervous energy that builds until it’s time for the band to take the stage.  I love hearing the crowd get quiet for an instant when the lights go down, and then immediately start to cheer as the music begins.

The Cathedral Sanctuary, Los Angeles CA 9/19/15

I love moving around to as many spots as possible during the show to capture individual expressions and full-room shots and small moments and big emotions.  I love knowing these particular musicians well enough to be able to appreciate the unique ways they throw themselves into the music and connect with the crowd.

Varsity Theater, Minneapolis MN 10/22/15

I love the waves of joy and fellowship that wash over everyone in the room, audience and band members alike.  And I love looking through my photos afterwards to find images that tell the story of the night.

Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, Washington DC 11/7/15

A friend pointed out that I have a unique role to play in the journey of this band.  This role combines elements of proud mom and professional photographer and wannabe adventurer and sincere fan and grounding influence, and I am so thankful for the perks and opportunities that come with the job.

Bowery Ballroom, New York NY 9/9/15

Baeble Music, New York NY 11/10/15  (link to session)

It’s a heady thing, this business of performing music for people who either already adore you or are quickly won over. I rejoice in the blessings my kids (allllllll of them) have received, just as I pay close attention for signs of overwhelm and/or conceit.  So far I have honestly been amazed by the level of maturity, consideration and love this bunch shares with one another and all they cross paths with.  My heart is now more tender toward bigger-name artists who seem to have lost their way because I see how very treacherous the path is.  Steady support and honest encouragement only become more crucial when walking through success!

NPR Tiny Desk, Washington DC 11/11/15  (link to concert)

Terminal 5, New York NY 11/11/15  (opened for Shakey Graves)

I’m proud that Tyler and Maggie have a very clear vision of how they want their career to go and have put together a team of people who understand and support the vision so well.  God continues to guide them and they follow with humility and gratitude.  My heart is full!

World Cafe Life, Philadelphia PA 11/14/15

Stubb’s  Outdoor, Austin TX 11/21/15

A beautiful community is forming as like-minded musical artists find one another.  They may be based all over the country and only cross paths for a season, but their friendships are shaping and strengthening worldviews and long-range goals.  I enjoyed photographing several of them during the 2015 touring season.

Eine Blume in St. Louis MO 7/31/15

I’m With Her at Four Corners Folk Festival 9/5/15

Shakey Graves in NYC 11/11/15

Touring together bonds people quickly and permanently.  These three bands — Joseph, Family and Friends and Cereus Bright — are now forever friends of The Oh Hellos.

Joseph in Santa Ana CA 9/17/15

Family and Friends in Philadelphia 11/14/15

Cereus Bright in Minneapolis 10/22/15

As often as I can, I will continue to be within camera-shot of the action.  Look closely enough and you’ll probably spot me up in the balcony, right in front of the stage, standing on tiptoes within the crowd, or sneaking a shot from onstage while the circus provides cover.

(Do you see me?)

The Oh Hellos + Family and Friends + Cereus Bright finale in Minneapolis 10/22/15

(photo by Chelsea Kornse Photography)

Full steam ahead, gang!  I can’t wait to see where 2016 touring takes you so I can tag along!

Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4


13 people on stage.

1600+ people who’d come to Denver’s Ogden Theatre to hear them sing.

And sing they did!

They sang …

… they stomped …

… they hollered …

… they drummed …

… they strummed …

… they harmonized …

… they danced …

… they pounded …

… and they thoroughly outdid themselves.

I think you’ll need video to really get a sense of the evening.  Here’s their big finish:

If you’re interested in more video, CLICK HERE for a playlist including several more songs.

The crowd was terrific, especially those mashed up right in front of the stage with me …

… and The Oh Hellos had the time of their lives.

The band came back for an encore with Hello My Old Heart, the song Denver considers their big hit.

As one of their steadiest supporters listened from backstage …

… the band launched into the joyous ending to a most tremendous evening.

The set list was handed to an audience member …

… and the band soaked it all up for one last moment before saying goodnight.

What began with two artists two years ago …

… has expanded to include the gifts and efforts of several more.

Speaking as their #1 fan, I can honestly say that this performance and the joy pouring from these faces nearly made my heart burst into a million pieces.  Truly I was blessed to be a part of it and continue to look forward to much more to come!

Countdown to New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve 2013 was a momentous occasion for a couple of reasons.

First, The Oh Hellos had their biggest show so far.  The sound check alone was pretty overwhelming …

… but the final hours before the band took the stage required even more fortitude to endure.  What better way to pass the time than some singing and joking around?

You can listen in on a bit of the fun HERE.

Another big moment began with this …

… moved here …

… led to this …

… and will carry on for years and years to come.

Finally it was time to take a deep breath, call on the One the music is all about, and prepare to step out into the bright lights.

Only one chapter of this particular story left:  THE REALLY BIG SHEW.


I took an awful lot of photos on my Colorado trip.  This is not the least bit surprising, just overwhelming.  Because why take photos if I never look at them again?  And why look at them without also sharing them?  And why share them without carefully selecting the ones I think you’ll enjoy the most?  And why share only a few when I can OVERSHARE?

Here are some from the first part of our trip, which was spent in lovely Telluride CO.  Since safely steering a car doesn’t mix well with taking photos (especially on hilly, winding, icy roads), I was fortunate to have this handsome gentleman serve as my chauffeur.


I tried settling for iPhone + Instagram and managed to get a few shots I liked …

road to Telluride

… but the big camera ALWAYS wins out eventually.

IMG_8130We went to Telluride specifically to see The Oh Hellos perform at the Sheridan Opera House, but I was thrilled to have the opportunity to visit this little town and stay in a 17-room inn just a few blocks away from the Sheridan.  IMG_8529IMG_8517

Did you know that most people trek to Telluride for skiing rather than musical entertainment?!!  To each his own, I suppose.  We gladly made use of the free gondola ride to view the countryside from the top of the mountain.


We did our best to take in the view without impeding the progress of people doggedly risking their lives sliding downhill on treacherous wooden slats.


Later we enjoyed a second gondola ride and after-dark walk around town.


Gorgeous, huh?  If you’re not quite ready to leave Telluride yet (and really, who would be?), just click on the slideshow below.  Enjoy!

On the road again with The Oh Hellos

I’m traveling around Colorado with my favorite band again!  The Oh Hellos played a show at Telluride’s Sheridan Opera House last night, and what a terrific old venue it was.

Sheridan 1So many gorgeous details that took me right back in time.

Sheridan 2Sheridan 3See that small set of box seats?  The outside corner seat was my vantage point for the show.  I thought surely Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln would come in to join us at any moment.

Sheridan 4And what a show it was!

Sheridan 5Sheridan 6Sheridan 7Sheridan 8

Telluride group 1

Next stop:  Denver’s Ogden Theatre for a sold-out New Year’s Eve show!


Just in case

If you’d like to see the full gallery of pics from the June 29 Denver Oh Hellos’ show, click right HERE.


Oh Hello, Denver friends!

As you saw in my last post, the Bluebird Theater was packed so I only had a few vantage points for filming/photographing the Oh Hellos show.  I didn’t get everything, but here are a few more video links featuring often partial songs, less than desirable positioning, and progressively bad camera-holding technique.  Consider them a tasty sampling of the full concert, and, if necessary, feel free to close your eyes and just listen.

The Valley

Cold Is the Night

I Have Made Mistakes

The Lament of Eustace Scrubb

The Truth Is a Cave / The Valley (Reprise) / Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Lay Me Down (encore)

Immediately after the show, the band came down into the crowd to meet the people who’d been hollering and clapping for them.  Maggie was smothered with hugs and kisses …

… while Tyler quietly and calmly answered lots of questions.

The rest of the band members danced and signed autographs and met new friends …

… and one was surprised by two favorite ladies who flew in just in time for the show.

Joy and adrenaline and exhaustion and knitted-togetherness were palpable and visible on all faces.  Mine too, but I wisely stayed behind the camera because mascara had run all down my face for some reason.  Probably because every detail of the entire trip to Denver had led up to this:

I’ve always loved my two kids.  Now I have more of them to love.  Even the silly ones.

Especially the silly ones.

My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God.

Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God.

1 John 4:7 MESSAGE

Oh Hello, Denver audiences!

The noise level in Denver’s Bluebird Theater kept rising and people kept pushing toward the stage, waiting for The Oh Hellos to step out from behind the curtain.

AND THEN THEY DID!  (<<< click and see!)

The energy level of I Was Wrong set the tone for the rest of the show, and the audience sang along on most songs.

What a welcome!  What a thrill!  What an affirmation that this band was created for exactly this time and this place singing these songs for this generation.

Here’s one more heart-bursting moment to wrap up this segment of the story.

Thank You, Lord.

But who knows? Maybe it was for a moment like this that you came to be part of the royal family. – Esther 4:14 CEB


Oh Hello, Denver!

An amazing, surreal, life-changing (quite possibly world-changing) thing happened this weekend.  Where to begin?

Maybe here?

You may recognize those two people in the middle of the group shot above since they appear on my blog every now and then.  The Oh Hellos are a little band consisting of Tyler and Maggie Heath plus a rotating crew of talented friends.  They recorded a four-song EP, then a full-length album, then pulled together a live show, THEN hit the road.  Their first destination:  two nights in Denver at the Bluebird Theater, both sold-out.

I had to miss the first show but made it for the second.  After walking across the street for dinner with the gang …

… it was time to head backstage and wait for their curtain call.

 “Backstage” turned out to be “downstairs under the stage in a somewhat creepy room” …

… but this group manages to keep one another entertained no matter where they are.

Merchandise was set up and ready for sale.  Fans began to gather.

The band waited nervously/impatiently behind the curtain.  (DID YOU CLICK ON THE LINK?  I actually learned how to post video to Youtube and link to it just so YOU could be part of the adventure!)

And then … Well, I hate to be mean but you’ll have to check back in the next couple of days for what came next!  And yes, I am unspeakably proud.  Even more than proud, I am amazed by the work God is doing.

 Behold!  I am doing a new thing!  – Isaiah 43:19

P.S.  I took the first shot with my iPhone.  I’m learning but still am not very good at that.

P.P.S.  I brazenly stole the shot of the drumhead/setlist from a band member’s Facebook page.  Pretty sure my Mom Clause includes that right.  Also, sorry and thank you, Austin.  I wish I’d seen it myself to capture it honestly.