Lyra Project

Rick and Deb – Zero Emissions Musicians

Lyra Poject

Debra Lee and Rick Denzien of Lyra Project

Lyra Project is a music duo fronted by Debra Lee with husband and music partner Rick Denzien, since 2001. They have collaborated together and with others, create & perform music with a universal humanitarian and spiritual message of compassion, peace, forgiveness, tolerance and inner transformation. Themes have expanded to include social and environmental issues. Notice I made the “Play” button bright green? Because green is what the future of the planet is all about!

Latest release: the award-winning GODDESS.  They also have a CD entitled Walking Together, a compilation of songs based on their early spiritual influences. Currently working on their second album.

In the early 2000s, Lyra Project performed at festivals, churches, community centers, special events, coffeehouses and house concerts, etc.

Rick & Deb created their own circle of venues within the Philly area and the suburb of Ambler, PA. They started the Songwriters Original Showcase at a local community theater, followed by ThriveStation House Concerts, and most recently ThriveFest.US, a music a festival promoting and eco-sustainability.  Local venues supported by providing songwriters opportunities to perform and network. together.

Debra as a co-coordinator  for the Philadelphia Chapter of NSAI (Nashville Songwriters  Association International). Shebrought Liz Miller on board as co-coordinator in 2017, and they continue to dedicate their efforts to building community within the songwriting community.

Deb & Rick have been environmental activists since 2013, when they got their first fully electric vehicle, a Nissan Leaf. Rick spearheaded a movement called Zero Emission Musicians, spreading a message of eco-sustainability and well-being among musicians and the public at large. They refer to themselves as the Zero Emissions Musicians because they’ve achieved 0% emission in their car, home and businesses.

They did the first-ever zero-emission, cross-country music tour from Dec 2018 to Jan 2019.  Over the summer of 2019 they hit the road again in their electric car to music festivals in Virginia, North Carolina, and Buffalo NY. This December, they’re heading out again to play down Florida way.

Talking Points

Co-writing process, The “Cat Lady”, Collaborating with other songwriters, including Michael Ronstadt, vocal coach Lisa Popiel and their original music, John Braheny, and Chad Watson

Lyra Project  Links and Resources

Lyra Project Music

bäh-fō Studio
World class recording engineer, Rick Denzien,
P.O. Box 567 • Ambler, PA 19002

DenLee Studio
DenLee Music Studio is affiliated with Bah-fo Recording Studio,
a professional-fully commercial production recording facility, located in the same building.

If you’d like support the show, please click this link or the Tip Jar below. This will  take you to PayPal  where you can designate any amount you wish to be used toward production costs and groceries.

tip-jar gas money

The following is an affiliate link. You can also help support the Tales of the Road Warriors podcast when you purchace gifts from The Music Stand!

School Supplies at TheMusicStand.com


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James Lee Stanley

Everybody’s Favorite Freelance Human Being

james lee stanleyWhere to begin? There are singer/songwriters, there are philosophers, there are humorists, there are entertainers and then are freelance human beings. The powers that be have been trying to define James Lee Stanley for years. Think – Will Rogers but with a guitar. I’m not going to go into a long introduction here, but briefly, here’s what you should know…

This was recorded just days before James was scheduled to have a Squamous Cell Carcinoma  removed from the base of his tongue along with some surrounding nodes. As I write this, he’s resting uncomfortably and trying to sleep sitting up with a tube down his throat according to a recent post he wrote on his Facebook page. You can help him out by purchasing James Lee Stanley CDs and merch. Links are below to his website.

JLS has recorded about 35 CDs. If you closed your eyes and picked a single one,  you will have picked out a collection of songs that you could listen to multiple times. Like the one you would want to have if you had to choose which cd you’d want if your were stuck on a desert island. He’s that good. His latest is the critically acclaimed Without Susie. Well crafted songs and a voice that soothes the soul, whether it be a ballad or rock and roll. Speaking of rock and roll, James has toured with Peter Tork before, during and post Monkees, as well as recorded Peter’s solo albums, and as a duo dubbed, The Two Man Band on his Beachwood Recordings label.

James talked at length about his days as coowner  of the  Folk Ghetto, venue he opened  in Virginia during the folk music boom of the 1960’s.

But wait , there’s more! In 2005 he also recorded an acoustic album of songs by the Rolling Stones called All Wood and Stones with John Batdorf (Batdorf and Rodney), then followed that up in 2001 when he collaborated with Cliff Eberhart on All Wood and Doors. Original members of The Doors, Robby Krieger and John Densmore were so impressed with what they had done with the Stones songs, they offered to contribute their talent to the All Wood and Doors project. They are nothing less than astounding, no that’s not it; amazing, no that’s not it; incomparable, fuck it, I can’t think of an adjective that does it justice. But wait. He’s not finished yet. Do you like Led Zeppelin? Well, good, because, he recently finished recording All Wood and Led with Dan Navarro (Lowen and Navarro) and I have to claim some bragging rights here… I got to listen to some of it while  in the car with James, on the way to a radio station interview. It’s still in the mixing stage but here’s a heads-up: I  give it an OMG in gigantic capital letters.

And now, let’s get on with the conversation with one of the most prolific  and talented road warriors I’ve ever had  the pleasure to know…

Things we talked about… Growin’ up.  Africa, Philly, Virginia, New York, California


Links To All Things James Lee Stanley

James Lee Stanley Website   – News, Links, News, The Man, The Music, Store, etc.


All Wood and Stones CD

All Wood and Doors CD


Posted by Hal in folk music, live music, music venues, 0 comments

Brett Perkins

Not Just One More Joe

Brett PerkinsToday’s guest is Brett Perkins. When I first met Brett, he was just another singer songwriter like me, a member of NAS – The National Academy of Songwriters who showed to the pitches and the open mics. There was one song in particular he used to play that still stands out in my mind called

One More Joe. A reflective, pensive sentimental ballad that still gets stuck in my head once in a while.

It’s on his Last Bus Home CD released in 2000

On the other hand, Brett is an energetic, outwardly bubbly, positive  guy who has a Paul McCartneyish vibe and his songs run the gamut of styles and emotions. He plays as a solo, as a duet with his lovely french lady named Magali Michaut, or his band the Pawnshop Preachers. He’s also often joined on stage by his daughter, 10-year-old Liva.

Several years ago, Brett started a FundMe  campaign so he could bring his little girl to visit the U.S. We talk about the trip which he finally did take .

A lot of our conversation centered around the workshops and songwriter retreats Brett organizes all over the World such as his celebrated Listening Room Retreats. Below are links to some of Brett’s music videos as well as Brett Perkin’s Listening Room Retreats and other events that he’s organized. Whether you just want to attend as an audience member

and appreciator of original music, or you want to be participating performer, be sure to get yourself to one  if one comes to your town.

I’m going to leads in with One More Joe as I reconnect with my old friend Brett Perkins

Brett Perkins Website

One More Joe  on Youtube

More Brett Perkins Videos at:
Brett Perkins Reverbnation

Song: Ma Petite Chanson Parisienne
Magali Michaut with Brett Perkins

I Just Feel Good For No Particular Reason
from – Put A Fork In Me (I’m Done)


Listening Room Retreats Website


Posted by Hal in acoustic, open mics, singer songwriter, singer songwriters, ukulele, 0 comments

Jodi Krangle

There’s Always a Silver Lining

Jodi KrangleThis episode’s intro was recorded by today’s guest, voice actor, singer songwriter and podcaster … Jodi Krangle. Jodi is a different kind of road warrior and I know her from traveling an entirely different kind of road… the Information Super Highway. Cyberspace, The Internet… Jodi Krangle, like me was an early adapter and like me, created and published one of the earlier online resources for songwriters.

While I was performing open mics  and showcases in Los Angeles and working on my website, Li’l Hank’s Guide For Songwriters, Jodi was performing at open mics and showcases in Canada while building and maintaining her website, the Muses Muse. It featured advice, educational articles and tips for songwriters, and a popular discussion board, and as she told me during our conversation… that message board still exists. She also published a newsletter for 18 straight years, finally hanging that up to pursue her current career in voiceovers and vocals.

In fact, if you go to voiceoversandvocals.com – you’ll find samples of her work.

In 2015, she released an album of mostly original  songs called time will tell which we also talk about in this episode.

BTW, you can also get to Jodi’s website by using the alternate URL: JodiKrangle.com

Talking points on today’s episode:

The Muses Muse

Message boards, trolls and hackers

Other early popular songwriter website – Jeff Mallett, Seth Jackson – IUMA (Internet Underground Music Archives), Kalaidospace (Jeannie Novak And Pete Markiewicz)

Brian Austin Whitney – Just Plain Folk

Taxi Road Rally

Real Audio


Jodi’s Podcast, – Silver Linings

3 and four minute bits of life advice and an occasional interview


Time Will Tell (2015)

Collaborators Chris Conway and Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Dr. Demento

I Met Santa On the Internet

Michael Ian Black

Podcast Movement 2019

Meeting Dave Jackson and Steve Stewart

Photography is not a lost art

Honorable mentions: photographers Anne Leibowitz, Henry Diltz and Paul Zollo

Posted by Hal in entertainers, jazz, open mics, podacsting, podcast, Road Warriors, silver linings, singer songwriter, singer songwriters, voiceovers, 0 comments

Reflecting on Don Rickles

Reflections on the Philly Podfest Episode

philly podfest at tattoed moms hal. dan, lizanne, ciara

So, I’ve been reflecting on last weeks episode, the live show from the Tattoed Mom with Dan May, Lizanne Knott and Ciara Grace. Well, a friend of mine used to always say, you’re only a good as your last performance. And y’know – I thought I could have done a lot better, but you see, it was my first time doing a live panel discussion, and I probably could have been a lot more prepared, but you know what? My guests still brought it! So, it still turned out all right.

One thing that really stood out to me was the fact that Dan and Lizanne both told me they don’t change their own guitar strings. I had just assumed that all guitar players change their own strings. So, what does Dan do if he’s home practicing and he breaks a string? He just picks up another guitar and has an assistant change it for him at the next gig. But it got me to thinking…   there are probably a lot of people who don’t change their own strings. In fact, I didn’t learn the correct way to change strings myself until I was in my 30’s. I had to take my guitar in for repairs one day in the 1990’s. The guy who fixed it was an 80 year old luthier named Branko. BTW – a luthier is someone who builds guitars from scratch. It is  a very special skill and finding a good luthier is rare. So, if you ever buy a new guitar, especially if it’d an expensive one, find yourself a good luthier right away and have him set it up for you and walk you through some of the basics of guitar maintenance.

Anyway, Branko noticed I had put the strings on all wrong, so he introduced me to the string winder and how to use it. Not only did I learn how to do it right, it also took me 20 minutes to do what used o take me an hour! So I took that misstep during the podcast as an opportunity to post a video on the show notes page. The links are posted again below for the benefit of anyone who wants to know how to use a string winder to change their own guitar strings. I’ve also included links to Amazon in case you want to grab a string winder or musician survival kit for yourself or a musically inclined family member or friend.

Okay! So, today is the first day of the rest of this podcast! Recently, I made a few changes that I thought you might find helpful! Firstly, you may have noticed that I no longer use my full name which is Hal Aaron Cohen. Why? Well, it suddenly dawned on me that my username in a lot of online forums and discussion groups has been halinphilly for years. My email address is hainphilly@gmail.com – and has been for years. So now, I own the domain name. From now on, instead of trying to remember Tales of the Road Warriors dot com (man that’s a lot to type, isn’t it?) – you can  get there  by typing HALINPHILLY.COM  All one word. All you have to remember is Hal (that’s ME) and I’m in Philly!

halinphilly dot com

If you want to send me message, just email me at halinphilly@gmail.com – – – Easy-peazy!

BTW, I encourage you to send me your thoughts on the show. Who should I talk to? What should I ask them? What do you want to know? Should I have a co-host? Do YOU want to be a cohost? There’s also a comment section at the bottom of every page. And a Tales of the Road Warriors Facebook Group where you can add your own stories! So please! Get interactive. Get on the email list. I send out maybe one newsletter month, so you don’t have to worry about me clogging up your inbox.

Now here’s where, if I had a sponsor, I’d be telling you all about them. Great guitar accessories, a great pizza place, best place to go for live music in in Philly or L.A. – Jump in early and grow with me!

If you’d like to directly support the podcast and help defray some of the costs – use the good ol’ Tip Jar. Anything you’d like to contribute would be most helpful and appreciated. I’m also thinking about doing some merch. What would you like to see? Coffee mugs? T-shirts? Hoodies? Just let me know and I’ll get it going.

And now for one of my own Tales of the Road Warriors…

A Don Rickles Encounter

I often talk about how musicians invented the gig economy. The word GIG used to apply pretty much to musicians and comics or others in the entertainment biz. But the word gig is used for uber driving, pet sitting, food delivery. Even some professional contractors refer to a job as a gig these days. As a musician I’ve worked quite a variety of gigs. I was working an interesting side hustle when I had one of my many celebrity encounters…

A old friend of mine is a party planner. He used to send me out on a gig every once in a while years ago back when I lived in L.A.

One day he called to ask me to help him out for a children’s birthday party [Read the original article here] Continue reading →

Posted by Hal in acoustic, comedy, dan may, entertainers, musicians survival kit, Road Warriors, singer songwriters, 0 comments

Philly Podfest

Dan May, Lizanne Knott, and Ciara Grace

Live at the Tattoed Mom at 535 South Street in Philadelphia

Halinphilly at Philly Podfest

Photo by Carolyn Miller

Welcome to TotRW live  – presented by the Philadelphia Podcast Festival at the Tattooed Mom (535 South Street in Philadelphia PA)

Guests Dan May, Lizanne Knott and her daughter Ciara Grace. Congratulations to Lizanne  who just released her brand new album “Bones and Gravity” and it’s already getting stellar reviews.

Daughter Ciara is working on her debut album and the buzz is crazy good. Dan’s starting work on a new music project, too, but even more exciting, he’s also putting the finishing touches on his new book, a sequel to his best seller, Adventures In Grocery Shopping.

Topics we talk about include,

Tattooed Mom’s Poutine Fries

Cheese curds

Changing guitar strings (or not)

Changing strings on a lute

Pets and gigs

Staying hydrated.

Billy Eilish

Cds, streaming, and vinyl

How we listen to albums now vs then

What to include in a musician’s survival kit?

Favorite places to perform.

cell phones at concerts

Dan’s book

James Taylor’s Fire and Rain Update

Parking issues

There’s a whole lot of me talking too much and not doing a very good job at moderating. It was about the 5th day in a row of a heat wave (about 102 degrees that day. I had never done a podcast with more than one other person before, so I apologize in advance for the looseness of this episode. Still, we did get some good stuff out of this little bull session.


Dan with Lizanne and Ciara – “Imagine” at Sellersville Theater July 5th, 2019



Dan’s Previous Conversation with Hal on Tales of the Road Warriors

Dan’s book: Adventures in Grocery Shopping


Lizanne’s Website

Lizanne’s Music Video
Be Careful With My Heart

Lizanne Knott Video
Miss You


Ciara live Songwriter Circle on Youtube
This Is The End I Swear


James Taylor – “Fire and Rain” Updated Version


Tuning a Guitar with a String Winder

Stringing a Lute

Tuning a Lute

Get the D’Addario String Winder $10.99

D’Addario String Winder/Wire Cutter/Pin Puller

GIG MATE Guitar Care and Tool Kit $33.95

  • Carbon steel String Cutters, 2-in-l Screwdriver (Philips/Flat), Led Flashlight and 2 AAA Batteries
  • 5 Allen Wrenches. Made in USA: 0.050inch for Fender USA saddles -1.5mm for MIM Fender & most import saddles – 2.5mm & 3mm for Floyd Rose. Plus 5mm long Ball End Acoustic Truss Rod Wrench (Takamine, Martin and most Asian truss rods and more)
  • 6 Pockets for string storage, Pick Pocket for picks, gauge and business cards etc.
  • Stainless Steel String Action/Set Up Gauge. String Winder with bridge pin remover. Trem Poker. Strings/picks are not included. Ships by USPS
  • The reviews of the GIGmate Guitar Tool Kit are not paid for in any way with discounts for reviews – unlike other similar products.

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Philly Podfest, Podcast Movement 2019, Woodstock 50th

Well, I’ve finally decompressed after a much longer than anticipated hiatus. In late July, I participated in the Philadelphia Podcast Festival or Philly Podfest for short. I recorded a live show at the Tattooed Mom on South Street. The locals call it TMom’s.

At Philly Podfest with (L to R): Hal Aaron Cohen, Dan May, Lizanne Knott and Ciara Grace

Podcast Movement 19 in Orlando

A few weeks after the Philly Podfest, along comes PM19 – Podcast Movement 2019 in Orlando Florida. What an ordeal.

Hal (that’s me!) standing at the entrance to the Great Hall before the commencement of Podcast Movement 2019

PM19 didn’t begin until Tuesday, but I wanted a day to take in the surrounding and familiarize myself with the neighborhood.  So okay, I arrived in Orlando on Sunday night.  Got to the condo about 11:30 and figured I’d find a local bar and get a Heineken.

First Day of PM19

Registration time for PM19. Stay calm. Form six single file lines!

Met some of the biggest names on podcasting including Jared Easley,, Dan Frank, Steve Stewart, Dave Jackson, Jim Collison and Chris Curran.

IM19 Week

Over the course of the next few days, I attended seminars, classes and workshops. But, mostly I just wandered from booth to booth, meeting other podcasters and picking brains.  

Join me as I recount some of the highlights of my week at PM19 in Orlando, Florida.

FNU Intern, Hal Aaron Cohen (me again), Perennial at the fake News Update booth

Hal Aaron with Dave Kanyan from Dumbing It Down With Dave

Response to Email

I responded to a reader  about the Lisa Nemzo episode.  Shoutout to Martin H.  Samuel – thank you for writing!@


Woodstock and The Atlantic City Pop Festival

When most of us think of rock festivals in 1969, only one usually comes to mind – Woodstock! And no wonder… a half million people, that’s five hundred thousand! 500,000 showed up for three days of peace, love and music! Folk, rock, hard rock, acid rock, jazz rock and genres still being invented at the time.

I didn’t attend Woodstock. I had already purchased tickets to another event that was scheduled for about two weeks prior to the one on Yasgur’s farm. I’m talking about the Atlantic City Pop Festival at the AC Racetrack in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

While there were some minor issues with off and on rain (I don’t remember it ruining any performance), the theft of some merchandise and a few did try to climb the fences, but for the most part this was a very well organized event. Perhaps you have to be totally disorganized to get real attention.  Woodstock was certainly a mess compared to the AC Pop Festival.

The promoter was Larry Magid from Philly’s famous Electric Factory. And most of the acts that were at Woodstock, played the AC Pop Festival first.

Friday’s linup: Chicago, The Chambers Brothers (who ended the night with people dancing to “The Time has Come today”, Iron Butterfly, Joni Mitchell (who ran off stage in tears after in the middle of “a Morning”), Procol Harum , Mother Earth (with Tracy Nelson)AUM, Booker T & The MG’s and Lothar & The Hand People.

Saturday: The Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, B B King, Tim Buckley, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, The Byrds, Lighthouse, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Hugh Masakela, and The American Dream (from Philly!)

Sunday: Janis Joplin, Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention, Canned Heat, 3 Dog Night, Santana, Buddy Miles Express, Dr. John (in his night tripper persona spread his gris-gris magic dust all over the audience), Joe Cocker, Buddy Rich, Sir Douglas Quintet (Leader Doug Sahm called the AC POP Festival the best festival he ever played) and Little Richard.

Now here’s the kicker…  (and I have never heard anyone else mention this!) David Peel and the Lower East Side!

Please COMMENT in the  comment section below the transcript! Or email me at halinphilly@gmail.com. I love to get feedback. And 5-star ratings  on Apple Podcasts 🙂

Resources and Links Talked From This Episode

Steve StewartLearn to  Edit Podcasts With Audacity

Dave Jackson & Jim CollisonAsk the Podcast Coach

Dave Kanyan – Dumbing it Down With Dave
Be sure to comment. Dave loves comments (and so do I!!)

For the full account of the rarely discussed Atlantic City Pop Festival, here is the full…
Jonathan Takiff article from The Philadelphia Inquirer:


Full Show Transcript

Road Warriors Come out to Playayyy…

Well, I’ve finally decompressed after a much longer than anticipated hiatus. In late July, I participated in the Philadelphia Podcast Festival or Philly Podfest for short. I recorded a live show at the Tattooed Mom on South Street. The locals call it TMom’s.

(Hey, you ever notice how Philly people always have to shorten everything or give it a nickname? I can do a whole rant about that. Actually, I think I’ll save that for a rainy day.)

For the live show, I tried something completely different. I thought I’d try a panel discussion with three singer songwriters including local folk rocker Dan May, and his close friends Lizanne Knott and her daughter Ciara Grace. Lizanne is a well known singer songwriter, too. She just released a brand new album, and Ciara is recording one now. There’s a lot of buzz surrounding Ciara’s project, so I’ll keep you posted. See the show notes on the Tales of the Warriors website for links to all of this music as it unfolds!

Podcast Movement 19 in Orlando

A few weeks after the Philly Podfest, along comes PM19 – Podcast Movement 2019 in Orlando Florida. What an ordeal. They were expecting over 3,000 podcasters to attend workshops, presentations, classes, network events, vendors showing of the latest technology and products for podcasters and the biggest, wildest parties, the biggest one sponsored by iHeart radio on the last night. Just a crazy crazy cry cray intense time.  I had been anticipating this for months! I arranged for a nice room through AirB&B, secured my tickets to all three days of the event, booked my flight and arranged for a rental car. My neighbor agreed to watch my dog, which was perfect, because his dog and mine are besties. So no worries. Still, I don’t really like to travel that much, and I hadn’t flown to another city in years or attended a big convention like this –  so this was a huge deal to me. So just a few days after the Philly Podfest thing, I get an email form AirB&B informing me that the person that was renting me the room?

Cancelled… I mean WAIT! WHAT???

Yes, for whatever reason, they decided not to rent the room and now here I was with everything ready to except a place to stay when I got there. BTW, just so you know what kind of great deal I had, the Rosen Shingle Creek, where the convention was being held would could over $500 per night. Theplace I got through AirB&B was about 20 minutes away and would only have cost $48 dollars a night. So where in hell was I going to find another deal this close to the date of the event!?  Believe it or not, Craigslist!  I had immediately put out the word in a couple Podcasters Groups Facebook, on my profile page and on Craigslist – which I fully expected someone would attempt to scam me out of my life savings… which ain’t much, so no worries there. I even made a few phone calls to people I though might have some Florida connections, nope. Nothin. Nada. Zero, Zip.

Next day I get an email from Craigslist, from a guy who offered me a room in his condo. A half-million dollar condo in Winter Park, Florida about 40 minutes from the Rosen Shingle Creek. $49 bucks a night – only a dollar more than the AirB&B deal. TO make a long story short – it turned out to be completely legit. The guy, his name is Alan Peck, is a real estate guy, he owns a little 13 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Bell. She looked a lot like my Cooper, my late Cavalier who I still miss a lot. I knew this guy was cool because I had gone to his Facebook page and his LinkedIn account and found he was pretty well respected. Turns out he used to do AirB&B himself, but his condo association frowned on it so he stopped taking in strangers. But he saw I was in trouble and reached out! So, thank you Alan! I owe you one! And please – give little Bella a hug for me.

The Elusive Heineken

PM19 didn’t begin until Tuesday, but I wanted a day to take in the surrounding and familiarize myself with the neighborhood.  So okay, I arrived in Orlando on Sunday night.  Got to the condo about 11:30 and figured I’d find a local bar and get a Heineken. Now, I hadn’t had a beer in about 3 months, because I just don’t really drink very much these days, but I thought I’d treat myself to a nightcap since this was a special occassion. Alan directed me out to Park Avenue and I figured whether I made a left or a right, I’d hit a bar or restaurant that was still open. So I made a left. Should have made a right. Of course I didn’t learn that until I had chased that Heineken till every last bar and closed. The first place I came to had just closed 5 minutes before I got there, but they told me there was a place about 20 minutes away that was open until 2. So I found it. But it was Sunday night, and they had decided to close early as well. When I got there, all of the employees were milling around the parking lot  saying goodnight to each other. They told me there was a place close to where I had started from, also open late on Sundays. So I head back tow where I started. Then I come to an intersection where the light was broken, but being from out of town, I didn’t know that. I just thought it was an unusually long traffic signal. By the time I figured out that light was never going to change and made California turn (That’s where you turn right and swing back around and make another right since you couldn’t rum the red light)… I had given up all hope on that beer. And as it turns out, I never did have that Heineken until a week later, after I got back to Philly. And then I had two.

The next morning, I checked Facebook and saw that a member of the Podcast Movement Group, named Dave, had arrived at his Air B&B Sunday night, just like me. And he had posted a picture of a little college dorm-sized fridge that he had stocked full of Miller High Life! I think I commented below the picture something like – I wish I knew you were there last night. I would have helped you drink them. He probably though I was some gay guy coming on to him.

First Day of PM19

I got to PM19 early the next day. Coffee in my hand.  When I entered the building I found myself at the end of a massive hall. It was as big as the inside of a convention center. I don’ know, You might even fit a Convention center inside the hall of the Rosen Shingle Creek. Okay, I get the name Rosen. Old man Rosen probably named the hotel after himself. SO it was owned by the Rosen family I guess. But who named the place Shingle Creek. That’s not very appealing, really. Was there creek there at one time where people got shingles from going in the water? I think they should rethink that. Just call it the Rosen Universal. You don’t see people lining up for Disney World, Shingle Creek, do you? Okay, Maybe it’s just me – rant over.

So, as I was saying, it’s the first morning, but Tuesday was more of a meet and greet networking kind of day. The main event was actually Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. So I was just wandering around taking in the grandeur of the place. It was only about 9:45, and who should I see sitting by himself with no one around to either him yet  was one of the biggest names in podcasting, David Jackson. He invited me to sit and chat, so I did. As far as I’m concerned, I got my money’s worth right then and there on the very first morning of the very first day. He was very gracious and we had nice conversation. I tried not to pick his brain too much, …just let him know I enjoyed his podcast School of Podcasting podcast and his  show, Ask the Podcast Coach  on Youtube, – which is true. I was hoping to meet his cohost Jim Collison, but Dave didn’t know where he was. That’s okay, though it was only Tuesday. I had lil Friday.

About 10 minutes later, I see Steve Stewart! Steve is also one of the people I had  hoped to meet . He teaches a free introductory audio editing course online…  and for only 50 bucks, you get access to the full course on how to edit a podcast using Audacity which is a free audio editing program for Mac or Windows, and considering the fact that there is no charge to download – it is a fairly robust and dependable program. The learning curve is NOT terribly steep and Steve Stewart’s course covers everything you need to know and then some! There is a link to it in the show notes in case you’re interested in learning how to edit audio. Even you’re not interested in podcasting, if you want to record music, it is a good way to learn how it works.


IM19 Week

Over the course of the next few days, I attended seminars, classes and workshops. But, mostly I just wandered from booth to booth, meeting other podcasters and picking brains.   

During one of the keynote events,  This guy is a contestant on a game similar to Shark Tank where you pick your idea for your podcast. I think they called it Goldfish Tank. Anyway, this guy is big heavyset  guy with a New York accent pitching a show called Dumbing It Down With Dave. I recognized him instantly. It was the same guy who posted the picture of himself in from of the fridge full of Miller beers. After he sat back down, I made my way over to the table to meet introduce myself. I had to meet this guy. So, I told him about my ordeal chasing down that elusive Heineken that never materialized. I’ve since listened to his show, too. It’s called Dumbing It Down With Dave. His name is Dave Kanyan and he’s a true road warrior – a truck driver and a comic. He does his show, the world’d fastest podcast every week while in his car at speeds up to 80 mph (maybe more) driving to pick up his truck. At the end of the week, he does another podcast, exhausted from a week of driving and

occasionally running over these bumpy things in the road that help keep you awake. He talks about whatever is on his mind. He’s very spontaneous and usually pretty funny. You’ll find a link in the Show Notes, so you can check out his podcast on Spreaker or Stitcher or whatever app you use to you get your podcasts.

I met a guy that calls himself Perennial (his real name is Isaac Young). He is the wild, crazy and manic host of a podcast called the Fake News Update.

In the meantime, I continued to wander around checking out mics and mixers, picking brains, and picking up puppies at Luminary’s Puppies and Free Beer booth. That’s right, this podcast company need Luminary actually brought live puppies and gave away free beer to attract new customers. Talk about marketing genius. Well, I don’t know how successful they were, but they were the cutest puppies and there booth was constantly crowded, so I’m sure that got some people signing up.


Shoutout to Dave Cunningham from AWeber… a fellow musician from the Philly area and an expert in email newsletters. So I’m going to get out to see him gig soon with the Go Ham, his popular party band, and hopefully he’ll help me get my email campaign on the right track. Speaking of which, I am really trying to build my email list so sign up on the Tales of the Road Warriors site and don’t miss an issue. I promise I’ll only send news that’s relevant and fun — nothing spammy.

Eating for Free

I almost forgot to tell you – somehow, I managed to eat for free the entire first day of the show. Alan, the guy who let me stay at his condo treated me to a Krispy Kreme donut, which I enjoyed with my coffee before I left for PM19 that Tuesday. While talking to Steve Stewart, I somehow got invited along for breakfast at the Rosen Shingle Buffet where were joined by another big name in podcasting and podcast editing – Carrie Caulfield Arick.  I may have been slightly out of my league. I have no idea! Steve picked ups the tab for breakfast, which by the way, Steve Stewart if you’re listening – thank you, again.


Woodstock 50th Anniversary/AC Pop Festival

While most people are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, I actually have a much more vivid memory of The Atlantic City Pop Festival which took place a couple weeks earlier on August 1st, 2nd and 3rd at the Atlantic City Racetrack. For a very thorough accounting of this amazing three-day event, there is an article by Jonathan Takiff, of the Philadelphia. Updated: July 28, 2019. He tried to contact me at the beginning of the summer through my Stuff For Baby Boomers site, to reminisce about the AC Pop Festival. But, I had been devoting so much time to this podcast, I didn’t see his message until recently.  So, I deeply apologize for not getting back to you, Jonathan!

Now here’s the kicker.  (and I have never heard anyone else mention this Heading back to my car, I saw an acoustic band in the parking lot.  with a pretty good size crowd clapping and chanting along. As i got closer, I realized it was David Peel and the Lower East Side. I guess since they didn’t get booked officially, they decided to make an appearance anyway.

Hey!  I just realized, some today is my 67th birthday, this all happened when I was 16 going on 17. Also the year I lost my virginity. Thank you, Lisa 😉


Atlantic City Pop Festival Lineup

Chicago, The Chambers Brothers, Iron Butterfly, Joni Mitchell, Procol HarumAUM. Booker T & The MG’s and Lothar & The Hand People.

The Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater Revival (one of the hottest groups in the world at the time), B B King, Tim Buckley, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, The Byrds, Lighthouse, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Hugh Masakela, and Philly’s own The American Dream.

Janis Joplin,  Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention, Canned Heat, 3 Dog Night, Santana, Dr. John the Night Tripper, Joe Cocker, Buddy Rich, Sir Douglas Quintet, and Little Richard!

Now here’s the kicker.  (and I have never heard anyone else mention this Heading back to my car, I saw an acoustic band in the parking lot.  with a pretty good size crowd clapping and chanting along. As i got closer, I realized it was David Peel and the Lower East Side. I guess since they didn’t get booked officially, they decided to make an appearance anyway.

So, I just realized, today is my 67th birthday, and this all happened when I was 16 going on 17. Also the year I lost my virginity! Thank you, Lisa 🙂


Posted by Hal in acoustic, podfest, 4 comments

Ghost of Marilyn Monroe

Me, Jamie Sheriff, and the Ghost of Marilyn Monroe

Hi, this is Hal Aaron Cohen and welcome to my podcast Tales of the Road Warriors

No guest, today. Just me, Hal Aaron and I’ll be driving solo. You still get a great story , though. One of my own Tales of the Road Warriors. Fun times!

Today, I want to share what’s ahead for the Tales of the Road Warriors podcast, but first, let me tell you a little about what’s been going on, as well as what’s going on right now.

First, I want to thank all of you for listening, especially those of you who follow and share the show with your friends and on social media. I also want to thank everyone who has been a guest on the show, and thanks in advance to those who will be joining me on future episodes. Oh, and lest I forget – I’d like to give a big shoutout to my old friend Joe Walla for allowing me to use his instrumental, PLAYA DEL SPAIN, featuring his fretboard virtuosity and signature, Hola Gente! – as the opening theme music.  By the way, “Hola Gente” is Spanish for “Hello, People”

A couple of weeks ago, I recorded a live episode of TotRW with Lizanne Knott, her daughter Ciara and Philly folk-rock music icon and author, Dan May. It was a sweltering 102 degree day and I  can’t thank  them enough for participating. It was recorded live by Kev Gallagher at the Tattoed Mom on 5th & South Street in Philadelphia as part of the Philadelphia Podcast Festival. Kev is the host of a podcast called, Everything is Awesome and is the co-host of The Zombcast. Kev also writes for Dark Knight News and is working on a science fiction series and probably more projects I’m not privy to. He’s ALSO a dad to two kids. Despite all the stuff he’s got going on in his life, Kev volunteered to record all of the podcasts at the Tatooed Mom during the week of the Philly Pod Fest.

So a HUGE thanks to Kev  . Also a big thank you to Nathan and Taegan Kuruna the organizers of Philly Podcast Festival  – for including a new, still-in-the-baby-stages Tales of the Road Warriors. I am grateful for the opportunity, even if I did choke a little and probably squandered my opportunity a little bit. Tell you what…  I’m blaming the heat. In the meantime, Dan, Lizanne and Ciara were the perfect guests.

I haven’t edited that show yet and I apologize for getting behind, but, I got a healthy dose of last minute music gigs, and  that combined with trying to get ready for the live podcast and a big event in Orlando, Florida, I’ve just been short on time. I try to get an episode out every Thursday, but, as you know – Life happens. Being the Chief, Cook and Head  Bottle Washer, I can’t always be as consistent as I’d like right  now, but I’m working on solutions. Hopefully,  I can find a collaborator or possibly build a small team to keep the show running a little more efficiently.

So what’s next? Well, I’m going to take a brief hiatus because I’m heading for another Podcast event. This one is the big one. It’s called  Podcast Movement 2019 and they’re expecting about 3,000 podcasters from all over the world, all converging in Orlando, Florida. My goal is to learn all I can about the podcasting industry; meet some movers and shakers, check out new opportunities in podcasting, maybe acquire a sponsor or two, some new gear and ultimately make Tales of the Road Warriors better than ever.

I’m still in the process  of tweaking  the show, the format, curating great guests and stories and honing my own skills as a host. I know I have a long way to go, but as my old Pappy used to say, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts”.

So now that you’re all caught up, it’s time for a Tale from Uncle Hal… I call it Me, Jamie Sheriff, and the Ghost of Marilyn Monroe

If you’ve been listening to past Tales of the Road Warriors, then you already know I was a singing waiter for about six years. SO, this happened at the Great American Food and Beverage Company. Now, at the GA, we had two dining main dining areas – the Piano Room and the Green Room. Piano players couldn’t work in the green room because well, there was no piano in there. In the Piano Room, however , there was an old spinet which actually sounded pretty great considering the pounding it took night after night and there were some pretty good keyboard  players working there. There’s Chuck Francour, who still entertains around the Florida area and now calls himself Sweet Charlie, David Bloom, entertains American tourists in Mexico at a beautiful  resort, Joe Turano, who worked with Ricki Lee Jones, Michael Bolton and was musical director for Al Jarraeu for 17 years. There were a few others, but most noteably – Jamie Sheriff. Jamie went on to become an 80’s solo artist. His album, No Heroes was engineered by the legendary producer, Ken Scott – most noted for his work with David Bowie. To this day, we’re all still in touch on Facebook. I still talk to Jamie pretty regularly.

Now, I played mostly guitar, but occasionally switched to piano for a song or two. I’m no virtuoso, but I play well enough to accompany myself on piano for some songs. One of those songs  was Candle in the Wind by Elton John. But, if Jamie had time between customers, he would offer to accompany me on the piano while I played guitar.

One night Jamie suggested something novel… He asked me if I ever thought about just singing the song without the guitar while  he accompanied me on the piano, so I could concentrate on the vocal. I felt completely naked an totally insecure if I wasn’t holding a guitar while performing, but I’d seen others, who didn’t know how to play an instrument, get up and sing, so I thought why not, and agreed to give it a shot.

Now, hanging on the wall, just to the right of the piano were these mirrors. Painted onto the mirrors were silhouettes of famous -people, these mirrors were very popular in the sixties  and 70’s. One had  Elvis. There was one each of all four Beatles (I think – Maybe just John Lennon)… and then the one closest to the piano was Marilyn Monroe.

So Jamie starts playing the Candle In  The Wind, I’m just standing there like a poor man’s Wayne Newton or some lounge lizard, feeling completely stupid. So , then, I just jumped right into the first verse. Hey, you know what? It wasn’t horrible. Once I started, I felt a little more comfortable.  While, in the midst of singing, that Marilyn mirror caught my eye. So I quickly thought, “Hey, here’s an idea… I’ll take the mirror off the  wall during the instrumental and then during the third verse, I’ll  hold it up to the crowd and that’ll be really cool!”

But Marilyn had  an even grander idea… I removed the mirror from the wall easily enough. I didn’t drop it. Everything was going as planned. As Jamie’s piano solo was concluding, I set the mirror at my feet, planning to pick it up as I sang, “Goodbye Norma Jean, from the young man  in the 22nd row…”

But before that happened,  I noticed a few people staring at the ceiling and murmuring, so I looked up to see what they were looking at… The mirror was sitting at my feet at such an angle that when the light above the piano hit it, it projected a blue, ghostly image of Marilyn Monroe, smiling down at the people dining at the table in front of me. Not everyone in the room saw it until I got to that part of the song. SO I milked it for all it was worth. I dropped to my knees and gazed into Marilyn’s haunting eyes as I sang the last verse. A quiet reverence took hold  of the room and when the song ended, the crowd just sat there stunned for a second or two, then burst into a huge applause. It couldn’t have been better if we had planned it.

Of course, from then on, Jamie and I made that song a permanent part of the evening, whenever we worked together. I like to think that Marilyn herself was smiling at me with approval that night.

I hope you enjoyed my little story. Please add Tales of the Road Warriors to your favorite podcast app. If you’re on an iPhone, you can listen on Apple Podcasts.  For Android, there are several options. My favorite is Himalaya. If you go the Tales of the Road Warriors home page, there are links  to several of the most popular apps for podcasts.

Oh! Hey!! The reminds me. It’s come to my attention that there are still plenty of people who don’t listen to podcasts. Not this one, not any. I’ve come to discover that some of you haven’t discovered podcasts, don’t know how to listen to them, don’t understand the advantage of having podcasts in their life. So, I’m working on a “how-to” video, to demonstrate the different ways to listen to podcasts in order to make it easier to get into them. I’ll let you know when it’s ready, so this  e of you who already enjoy podcasts can finally share the experience with friends.

All right, I think I’m done here. Mission accomplished! So, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going for a drive!

Listen to Tales of the Road Warriors on HIMALAYA

Please listen, share and comment below. There’s also a Tales of the Road Warriors Facebook Group if you want to start or contribute to the conversation there. Anyway, let me know what’s on your mind, one way or another.

Thanks !


Posted by Hal, 0 comments

Bob Malone

On the Road With John Fogerty’s Keyboard Player

Bob Malone. In case you don’t know the name, I am happy to be the one bringing this remarkable and talented keyboard wizard into your orbit…

There are some people you encounter in life who immediately stand out in some inexplicable way. You may have heard it described as the X Factor, or that “IT” factor. An aura. Bob has that.

I still remember like  it was yesterday… several members of the National Academy of Songwriters (now The Songwriters Guild) had volunteered to help repaint their offices. Bob and I were among that group and so I was on the floor placing masking tape along the wall above the molding. Malone was coming from the other direction and we met in the middle where we struck up a conversation. Turned out he was a keyboard player. A new kid in town from New Jersey who like many of us , had trekked out to L.A. to seek their fame and fortune. We immediately struck up a friendship.

Eventually, I ended up recording some demos for him (and with him) at my home studio in Venice and helped him get a steady gig at the Chimneysweep, where I was acting as entertainment coordinator. I played there on Sunday nights, myself. The Hal Show. Acoustic Sunday.

Bob eventually started making a name for himself in L.A. as a music transcriber, singer/songwriter, arranger, session musician, and music supervisor.  He has performed and or recorded with living legends, and in fact he’s been touring with John Fogerty, a founding member of Creedence Clearwater Revival, for the last decade. He’s opened for the Neville Brothers (recently, we said goodbye to Art Neville).

On their last tour, Bob got to share the stage with Mr. Springsteen, himself.

I wish I had more time to talk to Bob – – – When I finally caught up with him, he  was on his way back from a recording session on a new project. What else is new? Mr. Malone is ALWAYS working on something new. That’s why he’s always got such good stories! So, our conversation barely touched the tip of the iceberg. Talk a bout a road warrior? He was literally in his car during the entire conversation, so the  audio might have been a little funky in patches. Which is fitting, because Bob Malone really knows how to bring the funk!

Some the topics we covered include:

Old Bob Malone songs.

New Bob Malone songs.

A brand new video called Good People (and I’M in it!). Yay! … for about a second.

The iconic accordion solo he before John Fogerty and the rest of the band break into Looking’ Out My Back Door

Touring Europe  – Italy and Paris in particular.

Shark week and the Sparkly Shark song by Bob’s wife, Karen Nash who is also a shellologist.

Bob’s epic photos of the crowds taken from a stage-eye view

An encounter with Jackson Browne while playing keyboards for Ricki Lee Jones (who I’ve seen naked – in my worst Jon Lovitz voice).  Hey, no biggie… it was the 70’s. Everyone sat in a hot tub naked back in the day.


THE OFFICIAL BOB MALONE WEBSITEGo there. Sign up for the  Bob Malone Mailing list and purchase his music and merchandise there!


Personal Favorites:

Chinese Algebra (The  full, live version of the one at the end of the interview)

I Know He’s Your Husband

Watching Over Me (Official Live Video)

This is based on a true story about how one time Bob went to Las Vegas and only had a single one dollar bill to his name. The song tells the rest of this amazing experience.

Meet Me In ManhattanBob wrote this for his – well I’ll let him tell you…

Bob Malone’s Blog Posts

Crawl Across Texasa story by Bob Malone. First published in Song Talk Magazine, later one of the original Tales of the Road Warriors in the Li’l Hank’s Guide For Songwriters website. It’s still there!

Bob Malone Blog  Bob’s more current thoughts and adventures on Blogspot

Hal’s Rainy Day Rant – Gimme Shelter

Bob Malone Audiogram Episode Preview

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Jay David

Cover of the AARP and Other Stuff

Things we discuss in this episode:

My flooded basement apartment. Playing venues in Philadelphia…

There’s a section that got a little garbled, I guess due to a bad connection, Maybe Jay was walking through a dead zone in his house. For whatever reason, you may not be able to understand the audio. Don’t tune out, it gets clear again for the remainder of the show.

He was telling me how he started at the age of two singing on the Horn & Hardart Children’s Hour. Horn and Hardart was a “food service automat”, where all the food came out of vending machines. I remember how my mother would never let us go in. She used to tell us, you won’t like anything in there. I wasn’t crazy about eating baked beans anyway. Or a slice of pie that had been sitting inside of a vending machine of who knows how long?

Anyway, Jay went on to say how he started out banging out drumbeats on the dining room table and annoyed the hell out of people with his incessant drumming on everything. He eventually took  lessons but got bored. So he learned by listening to the records, eventually giving lessons the same way he wanted to learn. Taught drums by having drum students bring him the records with the songs they wanted to learn and just teach them to play those songs. I know some music teachers who hate guys like that.  If you’re not teaching the fundamentals, they look down their noses at you. Personally, I think there’s room for both teaching styles. Hey, what’s wrong with learning to play your favorite songs?

We swapped stories about his mom and Frank Sinatra’s mom

Drum Corp competitions.  Reilly’s Raiders in Willow Grove, PA (Still there!)

Shelter dogs, Carnegie Hall, the Navy, Hospital Corps, Dolly Sinatra, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra. Boots. Dorsey Brothers, Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Brenda Lee, The Wagon Wheel, Mercury Records, Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, getting signed by Clive Davis

Links to Videos, etc.

The Last Morning by Dr. Hook

Cover of The Rolling Stone by Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show

Cover of the AARP – parody by Jay David (music by Shel Silverstein)

Cover of AARP Personnel

Jay David wrote and recorded based on the music of Shel Silverstein

Ooks of Hazzard played, and their drummer, Matt Tecu is the guy with the deep voice singing the 2nd verse

Janiva Magness – blues singer sang harmony. Here’s a little  taste of Janiva singing Make It Rain (and doing a Tom Waits song some serious justice)

Jay David Audiogram Preview

Posted by Hal in drummer, singer songwriter, ukulele, 0 comments