Those of you who know me IRL, know that Chris Joseph and I go back. Some difficult times, but always a kinship. Friends, business partners, not partners and eventually, friends again. Chris introduced me to Jazz Fest – after years of him catching dawn flights out of MSY to start the work week bleary eyed and buoyant, I knew I had to check this thing out. Some years later, he encouraged me to apply to shoot Jazz Fest for the Jazz & Heritage Foundation Archive, a fruitful relationship that continues to this day. Chris and I would catch up at Fest, house concerts and other musical coming togethers, but it had been awhile when I heard from others about his pancreatic cancer diagnosis and reached out before he traveled to Germany for treatment in 2017. Our friendship was rekindled as Chris flew with great courage into the big what’s next. That story, his story, his unconventional path into that big what’s next, took on a life of its own. Chris subsequently collaborated with Paul Sanchez as a lyricist to the song Life is a Ride, meting out all his fear and hope to Paul and co-writer Alex McMurray’s joyful chorus, culminating in Paul’s record of the same name. Around the same time, Chris began posting, very openly in words and video, about what he was going through. Pretty brave stuff. Flash forward to earlier this year and, amid a world gone so off the rails, he started to put it all down to the page and working with Launchpad Publishing, Chris, the author, and Life is a Ride, the book, were born. When Chris asked if I’d shoot the cover and author photos for him, the symmetry was pretty profound for me. Chris will tell you this is a book about hope. It’s also about owning one’s life, and his seems pretty damn vibrant and healthy these days. While I can’t ever put myself in his shoes, I do know we can all use a little more hope right now.
So, yes, this is a plug. Buy the book, give it a read.