–Feature Picture Story 1st Place: Jay Westcott/Freelance–“The Rebel Troubadour”: For the past year I’ve been documenting musician Phillip Roebuck. He performs as a one-man band. Roebuck was in an alternative rock band in the Õ90s with his cousin Shea Roebuck. The two put out an album on their own in the mid-’90s, but those efforts failed to get traction. In 2000, Roebuck started experimenting in the New York subways with a banjo in his hands and a drum rig on his back, which consists of a bass drum, a tambourine and levers to operate both with straps that go down to his feet.
These days, Roebuck, 43, is back in his home town of Norfolk, Va. ,still making music and still trying to make it. His wife, Phoenix, works as his manager and merchandiser. On stage, he is a rollicking storm of punk rock, folk, rock, blues and bluegrass. But his unique style of performing can be its own kind of trap. I want to make it as a songwriter, says Roebuck, not as a one-man band. The current approach to performing developed out of necessity for me but that’s not what he wants to be known for. In that way, his vision has stayed the same: It’s all about the songs.
HAMPTON, VA – APRIL 17: Phillip Roebuck performs to a packed house at The Taphouse on Thursday, April 17, 2014 in Hampton, Va.