Kenn Kweder

The Not So Secret Kid

kenn kwederDuring the late seventies, while I was working as a singing waiter in Los Angeles and cutting my own teeth as a performer, I was missing a phenomenon in my own home town of Philadelphia… a guy by the name of Kenn Kweder. While I was bartending, bussing, waiting, and singing Beatles songs tableside to my customers, Kenn Kweder and the Secret Kids was taking Philly by storm on every stage in town.

Now here we are  in 2019 and,  Kenn Kweder, like me, is still actively gigging all over the tri-state area. He sometimes performs solo, sometimes accompanied by a friend or two, and occasionally with his full band, the Men From Wawa.

It wasn’t until the the past year or so that I became aware of Kenn Kweder, but through a mutual friend, Jim Fogarty, who occasionally accompanies Kenn, I began seeing his name in Facebook  posts and reading about him online. Eventually, I checked out some of the Youtube videos posted by his friends and fans – and I knew I had to talk to this guy.

This conversation barely scratches the surface of the nearl y mythological figure that is Kweder. There are much more in depth interviews, music videos and even a documentary or two you could  find floating around cyberspace. Just be prepared to be awestruck if you go down that rabbit hole.

In this episode of Tales of the Road Warriors, Kweder delivers some Kweder history and I did learn a thing or two about the East coast during the years I was out on the West Coast. Kenn recounted some very trippy times he spent driving Tom Waits around. We also swapped a few stories about playing different types of gigs and venues. Of course I was a much smaller fish in a much larger pond, so I can’t really compare notes on the same level.  But I can tell you this, we had a great talk and hopefully, we’ll do it again, because, as i said, we barely scratched the surface. Even now, Kweder 2.0 is making Kweder history.


Carolyn Miller

Hal, wonderful informative interview with you and Kenn Kweder!! Learned about “musical salmon” and the constant drive to achieve! Excellent interview. Thanks, Hal!!

Thanks, Carolyn! Amazing. I haven’t even posted this episode and I’m already getting feedback (not complaining, of course)! Yes, it doesn’t take long to find out how informative and fascinating Kenn is. His kind of talent, wisdom and humor are rare, indeed. He’ll play with the same amount of energy and exhuberance to a crowd of three in a dive bar, as he would if he were entertaining a packed house at the Keswick.

Chris DiGangi

Great interview Kenn!!
You’re going to have to fill me in more on the Tom Waits saga… only in the life of Kweder… hysterical! ?
Oh the sun’s coming up
I’m driving cuz my driver is drunk
Don’t you dare ever call him a punk
Stars beginning to fade…

I know right? Kweder tried to slip that little tidbit right by me. I’m like… “Whoa! Back the fuck up, Jack!” Hahaha

Kenn is a rare gem! Talented, as you said charismatic, an awesome story teller and one if the finest people I know. I am always amazed by him, even after all these years. I’m just lucky to call him a friend. Thank you for this wonderful interview!

I fully concur, Lynne. No two Kweder shows are ever the same. And what began as as an episode of my podcast with me talking to a guy I had heard about peripherally through some mutual connections, has turned into a friendship with a guy who is the real deal. He exceeds the myth. He knows how to makes people feel as if they’ve known him forever.

Not only does he have amazing musical talent but I’ve gotten to know Kenn as a dear friend! He is dedicated to his family and his work ethic is beyond human! Super Kenn is more like it!

Thanks for the comment, Deb! I agree 100%. But y’know… Super Kenn will probably read this and you know we’re trying to keep him humble. Ah WTF – yeah, he is super. I don’t know where he finds all that energy. LOL

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