Adam RubinsteinAdam Rubinstein

Dave Payne Will Not Admit Defeat: Front Cover

Dave Payne

A founding member of local legends The Saltine Ramblers, Dave Payne is kind of a nut.

I’d met Dave before I realized he was a musician—we both worked at our local food Co-op—but it was through the Ramblers that I came to know him. I asked to be their photographer in the spring of 2015. Our first gig together was in Ramah, New Mexico, at the known-only-to-those-in-the-know Road to Rich’s music festival. They played an entire lesser-known Neil Young album with another set of Albuquerque legends, Wildewood.

Later in the year, Dave approached me to photograph him for his first solo album: Dave Payne Will Not Admit Defeat.

It started with some promotional images. I asked him imagine places that would express the themes of the album, an he came up with an abandoned breakfast joint at the western edge of Old Town. We shot in the parking lot in the late October afternoon, and between the laughs made a small cache of photos.

A few weeks later, Dave asked me to design the album, too.

He wanted a classic, 1960s LP feel. A Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, Dolly Parton kind of feel, to accompany with the songs, which continue the tradition of self-deprecating guitar rompers and ballads. I studied the album covers he said were most meaningful to him, and designed around that mood.

We used the images we’d already shot, of Dave posed under the Breakfast Anytime* sign, as they had the album’s contradictory spirit baked in. I chose typefaces that expressed both the strength of the Countrified chords and the hilarious vulnerability of the lyrics, and colors that looked already a little washed.

A full 12″ LP would have been an ideal place for this design treatment, and you can help make that dream a reality by picking up a digital copy today.

*Any time but now, apparently.

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