"Can I Get A Witness" author to speak at Way Library on 3/11

Posted Feb 24th, 2015 by Rose Mills  Category: Arts & Entertainment


On Wednesday, March 11th at 7 pm, Way Library welcomes world-renowned photographer and Toledo native John Rockwood for an author program. Mr. Rockwood has captured electrifying moments of blues and rock’n’roll in his book “Can I Get a Witness”, a photographic chronicle of music and performers in venues across SE Michigan and NW Ohio.
John Gibbs Rockwood was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. Until his recent retirement, he maintained a secret identity as project manager for Hines Corporation at the Owens Corning World Headquarters. By the light of the moon, he emerges as a blues harmonica player, writer, radio DJ, producer, discographer, rock and blues aficionado, and world-renowned photographer. He has a wife of 30 years, Jennifer, and two sons, Ian and Julian.
Rockwood’s journey as a photographer began in the 1960s and continues to this day. His camera has captured his favorite artists in their homes, backstage, in smoky barrooms, backyard barbeques, juke joints, major concert halls, and wherever the blues and rock and roll are played. His subjects have included the likes of Muddy Waters, B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and David “Honeyboy” Edwards. Rockwood’s photographs have appeared in many books, notably: Rolling with the Rolling Stones, Bill Wyman’s Blues Odyssey: A Journey to Music’s Heart and Soul, Can’t Be Satisfied: The Life and Times of Muddy Waters, Big Boss Man: The Life and Times of Bluesman Jimmy Reed, For You, and A Light in the Darkness. More photographs appear in the PBS documentary, I’ll Take You There, a retrospective of the Hines Farm Blues Club in Swanton, Ohio. His photos have also graced the covers and liners of countless LPs, CDs, and magazines, and his work has been showcased in museums and art shows both locally and nationally. Most recently, “Rollin’ and Tumblin’: John Rockwood Photographs,” was displayed at the Madhouse Gallery in Toledo, Ohio.
For the past dozen years he has also functioned as a blues producer and record label tycoon with Blue Suit Records, issuing original works by Eddie Burns, Honeyboy Edwards, Sir Mack Rice, Eddie Kirkland, Detroit Junior, and many more. He produced the song “Ride Andrei Ride,” by Sir Mac Rice for the PBS documentary Road Scholar. A recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Award, Rockwood has additional photographs housed at the University of Mississippi’s Blues Archives. You can catch him some nights, harp in hand and camera at the ready, playing local venues and festivals with his band Voodoo Libido. (John Gibbs Rockwood biography courtesy of Jennifer Rockwood).
The program is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. Books will be available for purchase and signing at the program.

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