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  • Benjamin Collins

You Have Super Powers

Zack James and Kevin Bloom

Grow wings and run

Cause you know he's had his fun

You have super powers

You have super powers

You have super powers...

Zack James and Kevin Bloom

You have super powers...

These words swirl around me in a comfortably drunken state. The call of a bird swoons from the tree. Past my front porch, stumbling young adults pass under pools of streetlights. Leaving the weekend behind.

Laughter comes from above and I can't help but smile as a gentle drum track sets a 2 a.m. tempo. Recorded sound meshes with the song of the night, creating a soundscape beyond imagination.

Zack James and Kevin Bloom

You have super powers... You have super powers....

These words carried through the week to Wednesday as I walked down the street to Kevin Bloom's (of the Dead Shakers) studio in Burlington.

I recited the words to give me confidence. I was nervous. I hadn't done a portrait session with an artist or subject in months. I was bound to f*ck something up.

All my worries evaporated as I got to the studio. Kevin and his drummer, Zack James, invited me into their session with open arms.

Listening In.

It was an incredible experience to listen, and watch, these guys run through 4 or 5 songs. Zack managed to lay down many of the drum tracks within 1-2 takes. When they'd reach a roadblock, both guys would roll up their sleeps and hash it out, working until the track was perfect. One song ended up taking a couple hours and every minute was fascinating to watch.

The studio is a sacred place for many artists, often times shut off from visitors. The incredible kindness and welcoming attitude from Kevin and Zack was an honor I don’t take lightly.

Photo Time.

As they wrapped up the recording session, the sun was setting and we ran outside for a few photos in the alleyway behind the studio.

This alleyway, with its structure, greenery, murals, and shapes, served as a playground for our photographs.

Kevin Bloom - The Dead Shakers

By Ben M. Collins

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