Thursday, May 29, 2014

Full Moon Full Life

***Please read our story posted May 19, 2014 explaining the Nikki Mitchell Foundation their fight to prevent and detect Pancreatic Cancer and then enjoy our photographs of this great benefit concert.

On Tuesday, May 20, 2014, country stars Jamey Johnson, Jessi Colter, and Shooter Jennings headlined the first annual Full Moon Full Life concert in Austin, Texas. The concert, held at The Backyard Live Oak Amphitheater, was a benefit for the Nikki Mitchell foundation, which is working to aid in the prevention, detection, and cure of pancreatic cancer. The theme of the event was "A Night Of Influence: A Celebration of Waylon Jennings and Hank Cochran. The evening started with a live auction featuring several special items including a guitar autographed by "the red-headed stranger," Mr. Willie Nelson and another autographed by all of the musicians participating in the concert. Joining Johnson, Colter and Jennings were some of their Texas friends, Ray Benson, Lukas Nelson, Paula Nelson, Cody Canada, Waylon Payne and more. 

A live auction started off the evening. Here the auctioneer offers up a special acoustic guitar
 signed by Willie Nelson.

The very luck owners of a guitar signed by the legendary Willie Nelson

Cody Canada entertains the crowd at the Full Moon Full Life benefit concert

Jamey Johnson, an honorary board member of the Nikki Mitchell Foundation,
entertains the audience

Shooter Jennings,  son of Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter, performs
during the Full Moon Full Life concert in Austin, Texas

Ms. Paula Nelson, daughter  of Willie Nelson, lends her voice to the benefit.

Actor and musician, Waylon Payne performs during the Full Moon Full Life
 benefit at The Backyard Live Oak Amphitheater

Ms. Jessi Colter, wife of the late Waylon Jennings and honorary board member
of the Nikki Mitchell Foundation, entertains the audience

Lukas Nelson, Son of Willie Nelson, adds his talents to the evening 

Shooter Jennings, Lukas Nelson, Jamey Johnson, and Ray Benson combine their talents for a very special performance during the Full Moon Full Life concert benefiting the Nikki Mitchell Foundation.  

Texans Helping Texans - Mack, Jack, and McConaughey

On April 24, 2014, the Mack, Jack and McConaughey Fundation kicked off their second annual fundraising event at Austin's ACL-Live at the Moody Theater with a star-studded lineup of friends.

Matthew McConaughey, Mack Brown, and Jack Ingram pose on the red carpet 

MJandM was founded by former University of Texas coach Mack Brown and his wife Sally, country music recording artist Jack Ingram and his wife Amy, and Academy Award winning actor and native Texan Matthew McConaughey and his wife Camila.

Matthew and Camila McConaughey, Mack and Sally Brown, and Jack and Amy Ingram
pose on the red carpet before the gala

The foundation supports several organizations whose goals are to empower kids. On this night, friends from the world of television, film, sports, and music all stopped by to show their support this worthwhile cause.

Accompanying Matthew and Camila McConaughey to the gala this year were
 Matthews mother, Kay, and two of their children, Levi and Vida.

One of the sports figure in attendance on the night who posed for photographers
was former University of Texas Longhorn Aaron Ross. Here he is posing with UT mascot, Hook 'em. 

After the red carpet, the guests participated in a live auction and then enjoyed performances by Jack Ingram and Sheryl Crow.

Jack Ingram was one of the musicians providing entertainment

Country music star Jack Ingram warmed up the audience for the night's featured entertainer.

Sheryl Crow was the headlining act for the charity gala event for 2014

Sheryl Crow entertains the audience at the Mack, Jack and McConaughey Foundation gala

Monday, May 19, 2014


Country stars Jamey Johnson, Jessi Colter, and Shooter Jennings will headline the first annual Full Moon Full Life concert series in Austin, Texas on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at The Backyard Live Oak Amphitheatre. Some of their Texas friends lending their time and talents to this show include Ray Benson, Lukas Nelson, Paula Nelson, Cody Canada, Waylon Payne, and more. Showtime is at 7 p.m., with a live auction following the concert. Tickets for this event are $35 and can be purchased at All proceeds from this benefit go to the Nikki Mitchell Foundation to aid in its effort to prevent, detect, and cure pancreatic cancer. The theme for this event will be "A Night of Influence: A Celebration of Waylon Jennings and Hank Cochran." Waylon, who died in February 2003, will be inducted into the Texas Songwriter's Hall of Fame later this year. Hank Cochran, who died of Pancreatic Cancer in 2010, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame this month.

As everyone knows, cancer has become an all too common occurrence in our lives. We all know someone who has battled one form or another of this ugly disease. With many new treatments being found and detection tests being developed, we are hearing some better news and happily seeing an increase in survival rates in many areas. But this is not true for every cancer. Pancreatic cancer is one of the exceptions.

Pancreatic cancer doesn't get the same press time as breast and lung cancer, mainly because most people don’t even know where the pancreas is or what it does, much less how devastating this cancer diagnosis is. The pancreas is an organ located in the abdomen behind the lower part of the stomach. It secretes enzymes which help your body digest food, especially the hormones responsible for regulating your body’s metabolism of sugars. Pancreatic cancer is difficult to diagnose. There is NO Early Detection Test currently available for pancreatic cancer. It typically spreads rapidly and is seldom found while still in its early stages, making its survival rate extremely low. Because of these factors, 73% of the people diagnosed die within one year, with the 5 year survival rate at only 6%. The rate of pancreatic cancer has been increasing over the past 10 years, resulting in it becoming the 4th leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. today. While the National Cancer Institute allocates only 2% of its budget to pancreatic cancer research, it estimates that in 2014 alone over 46,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer will be diagnosed, resulting in nearly 40,000 deaths. This horrific disease is taking lives and we need to do something to stop it. That’s where the Nikki Mitchell Foundation comes in.

Nikki Mitchell was a very courageous and adventurous woman. She was the President and CEO of Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter Music for 23 years. During that time, Nikki made a name for herself as she co-captained a single-engine plane as it circumnavigated the northern hemisphere during the Bridge of Wings flight in 1998. Nikki was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December 2010. She fought a courageous battle, but ultimately lost her fight in July 2013. Nikki had a dream of saving others from this devastating disease, and so her friends established the Nikki Mitchell Foundation. This foundation is working to find the means for early detection of and the ultimate cure for pancreatic cancer. With ties to both country music legend Waylon Jennings and Hall of Fame singer-songwriter Hank Cochran, who also lost his battle with pancreatic cancer, the Nikki Mitchell Foundation has strong musical roots. Jessi Colter, Shooter Jennings, Suzi Cochran, and Jamey Johnson all work tirelessly with this foundation, supporting Nikki’s dream. And now they are asking for music lovers to help them in this difficult battle against pancreatic cancer. You can help do your part by attending this worthwhile and fun event. Let’s show everyone that the “Live Music Capital of the World” cares about ending pancreatic cancer.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Willie Nelson’s 81st Birthday Concert at The Backyard

Eighty-one years. That’s a lot of years to walk on this earth. Most people don’t even dream of reaching their eighties, and if they are fortunate enough to do so, they usually expect to be living in a retirement center, with limited mobility and many health issues. But there is one exceptional 81 year old who hasn’t fallen for this typical “old age” stereotype, and his name is Willie Nelson.

This past week was quite eventful for country music’s living legend. On Saturday, April 26, 2014, Willie became one of the first artists to be inducted into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame. As ACL’s first musical guest on their inaugural program 40 years ago, it was a fitting honor. On Monday, April 28, the day before his 81st birthday, Willie received his fifth-degree black belt in the Korean martial art of Gong Kwon Yu Sul. Who says you have to take it easy in the later years of your life? Not, Willie, who also runs and rides bikes. Then to top off the week’s festivities, on Tuesday, April 29, Willie headlined a family-affair concert at The Backyard Live Oak Amphitheater at Bee Cave, just outside of Austin, Texas. While others might be thinking about taking it easy, this “old-timer” hasn’t lost a step. In fact, he still has the ability to fill a venue with thousands of fans who love to see and hear him perform.

It was an incredibly beautiful chamber of commerce type evening in Central Texas, with clear blue skies and temperatures in the mid to upper 70’s, as the crowd filed into Austin’s favorite outdoor venue to pay homage to a true Texas music legend. Fans had traveled from near and far to help their favorite outlaw country music singer celebrate his birthday. For some, this was their first time to see Willie perform live, for others, well, they had lost count many years ago of the number of shows they have attended. No matter, all were in for a treat, as Willie was in perfect form, strumming his guitar, Trigger, and crooning out the country hits.

The evening started out with just the right amount of Texas country flavor. As the audience waited for the opening acts to take the stage, the venue’s sound system pumped out old-time classic country performances from the likes of Loretta Lynn and Bob Wills. The knowledgeable and appreciative crowd could be heard singing along as they waited for the show to start.

First up on the night, the growing crowd was treated to the interesting and sassy stylings of Folk Uke. If you haven’t heard of them, well, let’s just say music runs very, very deep in their veins. The duo is comprised of Willie Nelson’s daughter, Amy, and Arlo Guthrie’s daughter, Cathy. Yes, that makes Cathy the granddaughter of the legendary father of American Folk Music, Woody Guthrie. I told you music runs deep in them. Adding his voice to the group on this night was Amy’s brother, Willie’s youngest son, Micah Nelson. Folk Uke has a distinctive sound featuring sweet vocal harmonies, skillful guitar and ukulele playing, and some sarcastic lyrical messages. The crowd was amused and amazed by their setlist of original songs. 

Next up on the night, The Peterson Brothers. Here’s a new name for you to watch out for in the future. These young man, and I do mean young at 17 and 15 years of age, hail from right down the road in Bastrop, Texas. Despite their young ages, these guys know how to play some music, and the music running through the veins is classic blues with a dash of soul thrown in for good measure. I’m telling you, they are VERY good musicians. They are already playing big festivals and winning awards. Keep an eye out for future music and performances by Glen Jr and Alex Peterson. You won’t be disappointed.

Finally, the moment everyone had been waiting for, Willie Nelson. The enthusiastic crowd jumped to their feet and never sat down again. Willie was in fine voice this night and the audience, who were more than happy to sing along when Willie requested, were treated to many of Willie’s classic songs like Whiskey River, Crazy, Georgia On My Mind, Mamma’s Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys, Always On My Mind, and Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain, to name a few. Willie’s setlist included a tribute to Waylon Jennings with Good Hearted Woman and a tribute to Hank Williams with Hey Good Looking and Move It On Over. Some of Willie’s newer songs performed during this show included Beer for My Horses, Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die, and the title track from Willie’s upcoming album, Band Of Brothers.  There were so many great songs performed this night. In keeping with the family theme of the night, Willie's sons, Micah and Lukas, both performed with him this night. 

To close out the evening, Willie was joined on stage by family members and friends for an awesome sing-a-long to the popular gospel songs Will The Circle Be Unbroken, I’ll Fly Away, and I Saw The Light. And while these songs signaled the end of Willie’s setlist, it was not the end of the concert. There was one more very special song to be sung that night. Willie’s family and friends filled the stage to lead everyone in the venue in an enthusiastic version of Happy Birthday.

And with that, the satisfied audience began to file out of the venue. As the crowd returned to their cars, there could be heard much discussion as to which song sung this night was each person’s favorite. Personally, it’s very difficult for me to choose a favorite Willie song and I’m sure I’m not the only one with this problem. Willie Nelson’s music has been a part of my life ever since I’ve known what music is. During each phase of my life, different songs have meant different things to me. Growing up a Texan, whose family appreciated good country music, Willie’s music has always put a smile in my heart and this night was not an exception. I’m so happy I was able to be in attendance on this special evening to help celebrate the birthday of the incomparable Mr. Willie Nelson, and once again be able to enjoy his exceptional music.

Review by Margy Moore

Photography by Scott Moore

Austin Food and Wine Festival 2014

Limelight Imaging had the wonderful opportunity to attend the scrumptious Austin Food and Wine Festival, presented by FOOD AND WINE MAGAZINE, which was held in downtown Austin, April 25 - 27, 2014.

The daytime festival activities took place in Butler during the three-day event. Attendees were treated to up-close and personal interactions with some of the finest chefs, sommeliers, brewmasters, and winemakers found both locally and nationally. Guests were able to participate in cooking demonstrations, watch world renowned chefs cook up special treats, and sit-in on wine and cocktail seminars.

Chef Tim Love explains the art of grilling to festival attendees

Chef Tim Love and his Grilling class send sweet smoke into the Austin sky

Chef Tim Love shows Grilling Class attendees what their food should look like

Chef  and TV personality Ming Tsai creates a dish from one of his cookbooks 

Chef Ming Tsai joins TV personality Andrew Zimmern during a cooking demonstration

Chef and Author  Rick Bayless prepares a dish during
one of his cooking demonstraions 

TV personality, chef, and food writer, Andrew Zimmern
 talks to the audience while preparing a dish

Chef Graham Elliot teaches the audience about utilizing seasonal ingredients in their cooking

Mike Lata, Tandy Wilson, Jorge Hernandez, Paul Qui and Andy Langer
discuss the relationship between music and food

Writer and bartender, David Allen, aka The tipsy Texan, discusses Texas spirits

Wayne Mueller, Aaron Franklin, Tim Rattray, and Andrew Zimmern discuss
the fine art of barbecuing 

Mark Oldman leads a the finer points chosing a red wine during one of his tastings 

Many epicurean delights were sampled by the crowds at the "Fire Pit," where nationally known chefs could be found each day grilling in unique ways over live fires.

This must be Texas because we found hogs heads on the grill at The Fire Pit

This special Fire Truck was not on hand to put out the fire, but is actually part of the Fire Pit
with its own spit roasting a pig up top

Many unique ways of adding that yummy natural smoke flavor
were shown to attendees

Even pizzas cooked on grills were part of the cooking demonstration at the Fire Pit

The HEB Grand Tasting Pavilion gave guests a chance to sample some of the finest beverages in the country as well as enjoy hearty samples from local and regional chefs.

Texas' own grocery chain, HEB, presented the Grand Tasting Pavilion

Chef Kassie Harris shows off some of her samples

Chef Shawn Cirkiel displays sample for the crowds

Chef Janina O'Leary presents samples to guests at the Grand Tasting

A representative of Milago Tequila greets guests

Several of the internationally renowned chefs greeted fans while taking part in book signings.

Georgia Pellegrini signed her book Modern Pioneering 

Chef Tim Love signed  his cookbook On The Lonesome Dove Trail for appreciative fans

Chef Ming Tsai signed his cookbook Simply Ming: One Pot Meals

Mark Oldman signed his Oldman's Brave New world of Wine

Award-winning chef Rick Bayless greets fans as he signs his latest book

On Saturday evening, attendees and talent alike headed to Republic Square Park for a special cook-off challenge: Rock Your Taco. As the sun set over downtown Austin, 14 of the country's top chefs took on the task of creating their own take on the ever popular tortilla-wrapped Mexican treat. While most of these creations don't resemble the typical taco found at most neighborhood Mexican Restaurants in Austin, or anywhere else in Texas for that matter, they were definite hits with the crowd. Here are some examples:

Chef Monica Pope's taco creation 

Chef Tyson Cole's taco. Chef Cole was the defending champ from 2013

Chef Chris Shepherd's colorful taco creation

Taco created by Chef Bryce Gilmore

Taco presented by Chef Rick Bayless

Taco created by Georgia Pellegrini

Interesting taco creation from Chef David Bull

An unusual  taco creation from Chef Richard Blais

Chef John Currence added his touch to this taco creation

Chef Tandy Wilson took a more traditional approach to his taco creation

Chef Richard Blais kept his wildflower ingredient fresh
on this muggy Texas evening by storing it in dry ice,
hence to steam wafting from his taco

And the winner of the 2014 Austin Food and Wine Fest "Rock Your Taco" competition -
Richard Blais