Hal

Gary Michael Mazzola

The Tehachapi Music Man

gary michael mazzolaFrom, the bio on his website…
“Gary Michael Mazzola is a talented Tehachapi songwriter with an exceptional voice and a gift for writing lyrical, approachable songs about life and love. 

He’s has played with many talented musicians during his long musical journey and honed his craft in numerous band incarnations since his father gave Gary his first real guitar when he was just 13 years old.

Mazzola has been writing songs all his life and for the past few years since developing Parkinson’s disease, he’s devoted all his time to the art form. “The way I see it as long as I can still control the tremors and play I have a responsibility to myself to do what I love.  I get up each morning, get ready for the day, go into my studio, and start writing. That’s my life and I love it.”

One of the topics I talked about with Gary is Parkinson’s Disease. Gary has had this debilitating disease for years. It attacks a person’s motor skills, so they are not able to move as fast as they can think. It can be extremely frustrating. One of more unpredictable results of the effects Parkinson’s has had on Gary was unintended, unpredictable yet not all bad  – he has become proficient at playing slide guitar because it has become too difficult for him to form chords on the neck of the guitar. These days, he is considered an accomplished bottleneck slide guitar player. One door closes and another opens.

Gary is now directing plays as well, and he went into some detail about his current project,  Young Frankenstein, the Musical. It seems Mel Brooks wrote a musical  stage version of his famous movie, complete with songs and choreography and Mazzola is directing a theatrical  group in Tehachapi where it is being performed by the local talent.

BTW – One of the names that came up during the conversation is DJ. DJ is DJ Barker, is a singer songwriter and mutual friend. As a matter of fact, He’s my oldest friend from Philadelphia, was  instrumental in my moving to California and he helped get me my first job as a singing waiter at the Great American Food & Beverage Company – the same place where he first met Gary. You’ll be hearing more from DJ in later episodes of the Tales of the Road Warriors. 

Check out Gary’s music and learn more about his other upcoming projects visit his website at GARYMICHAELMAZZOLA.COM

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Laura Cheadle

Laura CheadleToday I’m talking to funkadelic singer/songwriter and Jersey Girl, Laura Cheadle, who has been kicking off the new year with sev real performances. As a matter of fact, tomorrow, Friday, January  18th she’ll be appearing at the Union Firehouse in Mount Laurel, NJ. For more information and to get the skinny on all of her upcoming gigs, go to laura cheadle.com and click on DATES in the MENU.

I first “discovered” Laura Cheadle back in the MySpace days  – on Myspace of all places.  She had released a video of a song she had written called The MySpace song which, although wasn’t at the level of Rosetta Thorpe or Bonnie Raitt, you could hear her blues funk influences even then And of course this was a novelty song so yeah, there’s that.

So me, I’m completely into Photoshop at this time. A friend of mine in the animation department at Hannah Barbera had shown me a Christmas Card he created of a guy with his leg impaled by a Christmas Tree. It looked pretty real, so naturally, I was hooked on Photoshop immediately!

Anyway, I thought it would be cool to Photoshop this girl, Laura, onto the body of a performer receiving a Grammy Award. Thank God –  Laura took it in the spirit it was intended because in retrospect, that was kind of a stalky thing to do. I mean, I didn’t really know her and doing that probably has a creep factor of about 8.5.

Anyway, sometime later, she was promoting a show in Ardmore PA at a pace called Milky, a very good listening room for original acts, so I went with a few friends of mine to see her and the band which consists her Dad and her brothers, although now she also includes a couple local blues musicians, Mo and Dave, a very seasoned old school bass and drums rhythm section, that really fills out the sound and anchors the band perfectly.

I’d like to take this opportunity, btw to apologize to Laura for hogging the conversation. The was one of my first podcast recordings and I was a bit nervous. So there were times where I may have been taking when I should have been listening or helping to elicit more conversation from Laura.

(BTW – The group you opened for at Abington, whose name you couldn’t think of was  – Simple Minds)

If we ever get to a part 2, I promise it will go much better. You also should know, her dad, Jim Cheadle has quite a musical history himself, so maybe we’ll get him to participate next time as well.

Right now, this is where I’d like to say, “Today, our conversation with Laura Cheadle is brought you by BLANK, but since this podcast is in its infancy, I don’t have a sponsor yet. Hey potential sponsors, that was a HINT.

So, I guess there’s only one thing left to do. Let’s talk to Laura Cheadle…

More Laura  Cheadle

Laura’s Website


Music from the Show

Intro (most epsiodes): Playa del Spain by Joe Walla
Joe Walla music availble on Broadjam

Outro (most epsodes): I’m Goin’ For a Drive by Hal Cohen
Produced by Barry Keys for Xenon Records
Piano: Barry Keys
Lead Guitar: Aaron Wolfson

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Introduction to Tales of the Road Warriors

Intro

Tales of the Road Warriors was one of the main sections of Li’l Hank’s Guide for Songwriters. I had requested fellow singer/songwriters and musicians who were kind enough to share their experiences about gigs from hell, embarrassing moments and stuff like that in order to inspire, educate or make you smile.” to contribute there anecdotes and essays.So, just to be sure it was a good idea, I went to the site and reread some of them. Sure enough, these posts are still relevant to this day. So, I knew I was on to something.

One of these tales is called A Tribute To Linda McCartney” by Earl Okin. Earl had toured with Paul and Linda McCartney and Wings. In fact, he was the only person to have ever opened for the band. In it, he gives (to quote Earl) -an “insightful glimpse into the life of an exceptionally inspirational woman few ever came to know”

Then I thought, I wonder if Earl is still with us. So I searched Google and it turns out he is now 70 years old, still performing; still touring; and… he has a podcast, too! So I contacted him through his Facebook page and a few days later, he got back to me. We ended up talking on the phone for about n hour. Wish I had recorded that conversation! That’s okay.  Earl agreed to be one of my first guest on the Tales of the Road Warrior Podcast.

My first guest will be Laura Cheadle, a funkadelic, bluesy singer/songwriter from New Jersey. The episode airs (or aired, depending on when you’re listening) on Thursday, January 17th, 2019.

Some other upcoming guests include

Chad Watson
Dan May
Liz Miller
Earl Okin
Joe Walla
Johny Roquemore

and many. many, more more, so…

Get on the mailing list and we’ll keep you posted!

Intro music: Playa del Spain by Joe Walla
Outro: I’m Goin’ For a Drive by Hal Aaron Cohen

 

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Tale of the Tales

A Thanksgiving Epiphany

light bulb floating above a hand. idea in motionI didn’t have my epiphany right away, It took a few days to marinate. Here’s what happened…

This year as I’ve done for the past several years, I went to my sister’s house for Thanksgiving Dinner. It was a pretty small get-together. Just my sister, Cindy, her husband, Rob, their daughter, Zoë,  my sister’s bff, Holly and Holly’s friend Samir.

During the conversation, I asked my sister how her podcast was coming along. I had listened to the latest episode on the way to her house, and we talked about it for a little bit. In fact I had been a guest on the show and she informed me that my episode was coming up soon. Then she went on to tell me, “Zoë has a podcast, too. She and some of her friends had a podcast with about 5,000 followers. I said, “Wow, that’s great!” We all continued to talk and eat and the evening went on and eventually came to an end.

On the way home, I started thinking about the fact that I had been involved in the internet since 1994. I built my first website before you could even sell anything legally; it was for educational purposes only. My website, Li’lHank’s Guide For Songwriters eventually became one of the five most popular online resources for songwriters and musicians for a few years. I was uploading and downloading images, compressing audio files and embedding videos for clients before most people knew the difference between a web browser and their desktop. But here and now, in the year 2018,  my sister and my niece are podcasting – and I’m the one that doesn’t have a podcast!!??

After letting this marinate for a few days, I woke up that following Monday, I had my epiphany! Tales of the Road Warriors!  That was going to be my podcast. A great podcast. An important one!

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