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 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 panel discussion.


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

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Philly Podfest – Full  Show Transcript

Hal InPhilly 0:00
Hey, how’s it going? It’s Hal in Philly, and this is the live episode that I’ve been promoting for so long. It was recorded back in July, as part of the Philadelphia Podcast Festival at the Tattooed Mom on South Street in Philadelphia. I had like a little panel discussion with Dan May, Lizanne Knott and her Daughter, Sierra grace. And oh, by the way, congratulations to Lizanne. She just released her brand new album. It’s called Bones and Gravity. It’s already getting stellar reviews. Her daughter Ciara is working on her debut album and the buzz is crazy good. Dan’s starting work on a new music project, but even more exciting. he’s also putting the finishing touches on his new book. As usual on the show notes page, there’s links to all the stuff we talked about… the music, the videos. There’s a whole lot of me talking too much and not doing a very good job of moderating It was about the fifth day in a row of a heatwave. It was about 102 degrees that day. I had never done a podcast with more than one other person before, and it’s usually over the phone. So I apologize in advance for the looseness of this episode. But you know what, we still got a lot of really good stuff on this episode. So let’s just jump right in. Today on Tales of the Road Warriors.

Hal InPhilly 1:30
N ow, I would like to welcome everyone to Tales of the Road Warriors. This is the live edition and it’s presented by Philadelphia Podcast Festival at I’m Hal Aaron Cohen, your host, and my special guests are Dan May, Lizanne Knott and her beautiful daughter Ciara Grace. All three are songwriters and performers in their own right. Want to tell us how you guys all know each other?

Dan 1:58
I think I met Lizanne when I was recording my first recording studio – Morning Star which is her studio. And she sang on it that CD and Ciara was in diapers probably. I think it was 2011

Lizanne 2:13
Yeah, we know

Dan 2:18
each other a pretty long time.

Dan 2:19
We have, Ciara sang on my song, Magpie, the pie shop down the street the closed. I’ve known them quite a while.

Hal InPhilly 2:29
Yeah, I almost put up little tasty cake pies in the bag, there.

Dan 2:33
And we just did a show together two weeks ago, the three of us at Sellerssville Theater which is great. It feels like it’s like having family on stage. So it’s very cool.

Hal InPhilly 2:42
The Dan May Family Singers.

Dan 2:45
I’m in the Morning Star Family.

Hal InPhilly 2:46
Oh, okay, gotta get that straight… The Morning Star Family. Okay. Oh, I want to give a shout out just before I walked in here, I noticed that Lizanne posted on Facebook — Congratulations to her daughter Melanie and Brad. So, they got engaged. Congratulations!

Lizanne 3:07
exciting Yeah!

Hal InPhilly 3:09
Okay, so let’s get right to the talking points… I gave you each a survival kit. This is the first time I’m just saying this and I only did this to make all my past guests jealous. But I want to tell you if I ever get a sponsor that will help me put together a bag like this. I’m going to send retro actively everybody who’s ever been on my podcast, a little something something.

Hal InPhilly 3:30
So what I did was I got these little gift bags like you get at Walmart or, or Kmart. And then I filled them up with some goodies, yeah. And it’s what I call the the musicians survival kit. Or in this case, it’s a guitar player survival kit. It’s comprised anybody want to like take out one at a time we’ll go over what I put out there?

Dan 3:52
Well, look tthe towel you put in is going to come in very handy today.

Hal InPhilly 3:56
Yeah, it’s a micro fiber towel. Every guitarist should have one of those. I didn’t know what kind of picks you play with, and Ciara, I noticed on your video, you were finger picking so I don’t even know if you use a pick

Ciara Grace 4:09
Yeah I feel like my nails are sufficient. I don’t know… I, I don’t know

Unknown Speaker 4:13
If you ever decided you know get better at flatpicking you got a whole selection. I put a variety in there. Because, I like a particular kind, but I didn’t want to force my favorite – on you guys.

Unknown Speaker 4:25
So I put a variety pack. Then, a string winder…

Lizanne 4:30
Is that was that is?

Hal InPhilly 4:31

Dan 4:31
I never seen one of these before.

Lizanne 4:33
They look like toenail clippers

Hal InPhilly 4:35
No, but, you ever to go to change your strings…

Lizanne 4:39
No. I do not change my own strings. I’m tellin you

Hal InPhilly 4:41

Dan 4:42
I don’t either.

Lizanne 4:44
I got always get somebody to do it for me.

Hal InPhilly 4:45
Well, then gift it to your roadie or whoever changes your strings. Just gift it to…

Lizanne 4:50
These are great!

Ciara Grace 4:51
It does look like a toenail clippers.

Hal InPhilly 4:53
Yeah, the kind of do. But I’ll tell you what, that clipper thing on the end. That comes in very handy. Because I used to use a string winder. And then a wire cutter. But always misplace my wire cutter. So I saw that I’m like

Lizanne 5:06
All in one Yeah, that’ a good idea. all in one

Hal InPhilly 5:08
And also, you know those little pins on the end of the guitars? You can’t pull those pull They’re difficult to pull out when you’re changing your strings…

Lizanne 5:20
yeah, okay, well that’s good then

Dan 5:22
If you find one for lute, let me know my my grandson just got a lute. And so he brought it over for me to string I had

Lizanne 5:31
Might be the same thing

Dan 5:33
..for that maybe but I had to take it to a specialist difficult string. I went to tune it yesterday after restringing it. I snap the string on the first…

Hal InPhilly 5:43
How many strings there’s a loop have

Dan 5:45
It has seven – One single string and then six that are doubled the octave playing the same note. So but it’s it’s got that bent neck. Yeah, but there’s really only one guy in the area that does that. So.

Hal InPhilly 6:00
Wow! Well if there’s any lute players, please go to the show notes page and in the comment section tell us everything you know about changing loot strings. Wow. Do you perform on it or does he?

Dan 6:15
The lute? No. No, it doesn’t put up much volume and you can’t amp it in any way you’d like it, plug it into a fuzz pedal or wah-wah?

Dan 6:24
Nah, you can’t plug it in. Anyway, the lute got me sidetracked

Hal InPhilly 6:30
Now we have bottles of water I put a bottle of water in each bag. ’cause as you know you get very thirsty on these gigs. So it’s always good to have that and

Lizanne 6:39
It’s kind of wicksy in there

Hal InPhilly 6:40
Oh, yeah, and I put put a couple throat lozenges in there on the bottom of your bag too. I don’t know if you saw those.

Lizanne 6:46
Thank you

Hal InPhilly 6:46
Now here’s the question. If you were putting together a survival kit for musicians or guitarists, such as your self, what else would you include?

Dan 6:55
Good question. Definitely to set lists and not one. Yeah, I knew this I always have to. I can’t it’s not a survival kit but you gotta have a stool to set your water bottle on so… I don’t know if you can fit a stool in there but some of those claps ones other than that I think you covered it.

Ciara Grace 7:17
You don’t need much besides like an instrument sometimes. Right?

Lizanne 7:21
I forgot guitar straps before…

Lizanne 7:23
You just make it work.

Lizanne 7:24
I’ve forgot ten – I do

Ciara Grace 7:26
You do make it work.

Hal InPhilly 7:27
I read somewhere online. Somebody said extra guitar straps.

Lizanne 7:30
Yeah, I forgot.

Hal InPhilly 7:32
Flashlight. And batteries.

Lizanne 7:35
I do Batteries. Actually, guitar batteries; yeah.

Hal InPhilly 7:38
Did you have that little light go on a battery low on your guitar pickup.

Lizanne 7:42

Hal InPhilly 7:42
And you’re nowhere near the store to get another battery.

Lizanne 7:45
Yeah, that’s the worst.

Hal InPhilly 7:46
So yeah,

Lizanne 7:47
That actually – That’s a good one. And then you know… a shot of whiskey or somethin’

Ciara Grace 7:52

Hal InPhilly 7:54
Sorry, I didn’t put a setlist (To Dan) – I know you said bring two and I didn’t even give you a one. You’re responsible for your own setlist. Oh, I know what else… a cord! Like a guitar cord to plug in? a patch cord?

Dan 8:07

Hal InPhilly 8:08
A quarter inch? Because if you get a bad cord and you don’t have an Extra? That’s not good either.

Lizanne 8:14
That’s a big problem. Yeah,

Hal InPhilly 8:16
Maybe even an extra mic.

Dan 8:17
My bass players a sound guy so he always comes prepared.

Dan 8:21
So, he’s the guy I should be asking this question

Dan 8:24

Hal InPhilly 8:24
Let’s call him!

Dan 8:27
He’s doing a show today is Doesn’t Scott Sax play Sellerseville tonight?

Lizanne 8:33

Hal InPhilly 8:34
So, you guys all got out of a Sunday gig to do this, huh?

Lizanne 8:38
We did. This was special. This is a great room, actually!

Ciara Grace 8:42
This is so cool.

Lizanne 8:43
I want to do a gig here!

Hal InPhilly 8:45
Yeah, this is my first time at the Tattooed Mom, too.

Lizanne 8:48
Yes, this is great.

Hal InPhilly 8:49
Yeah, I just ate downstairs with my sister and brother-in-law.

Lizanne 8:52
Do they have vegan? Vegan food here?

Hal InPhilly 8:54
They have vegan food and they also have carnivore food here too. And, uh, they have something I didn’t even know they had in Philly. I guess they’re getting popular. My sister said they’re popular here now, but they used to just be in Wisconsin, and now they’re everywhere. Poutine fries?

Dan 9:09
Oh, yeah. It’s a Canadian…

Ciara Grace 9:10
That’s like the Canada stuff. Yeah.

Dan 9:11
Canada – Gravy on fries.

Lizanne 9:12
Are they allowed to sell it?

Ciara Grace 9:14
What do you mean… are they allowed to sell it?

Hal InPhilly 9:16
(Laughter) The French fries with grilled cheese. Cheese curds? Yeah.

Hal InPhilly 9:23
They should just call it melted cheese because cheese curds just sounds like…

Dan 9:28
Cheese curds are great. Wisconsin has fried cheese curds. We didn’t show up there couple years ago and got hooked on those things. They are really good. Hard to find them here though.

Hal InPhilly 9:39
They’re downstairs if you ever wanna get

Dan 9:40
Cheese curds?

Hal InPhilly 9:41
Yeah, they come with the poutine fries. It’s french fries, gravy and cheese curds. So, I wanted to talk about pets and traveling and what do you do with your like, what do you do? You’re married. So Coop is kind of covered if you have to go on the road or if I take my wife with me… boredom. But I just found this new thing called PAWS online where you put them in people’s homes.

Lizanne 10:05
I would take Coop.

Dan 10:06

Unknown Speaker 10:07

Dan 10:09
Coop loves the studio. It’s his absolute favorite place when I go to record there. When it’s time to go. He runs the other way because he doesn’t want to leave. I don’t know what it is. I think it’s the vibe that she loves animals so much and he used to have a girlfriend there. A boxer. She was a boxer wasn’t she?

Lizanne 10:31
American Bulldog.

Dan 10:32
Bulldog! Phoebe. But I’ve taken him took him to a show we didn’t Florida which was cool. He sat at the just sat at the base of the microphone so… But, I don’t know what… (to Lizanne) Glenn’s usually there to watch the dogs if you’re on the road, right?

Lizanne 10:48

Hal InPhilly 10:50
So now when you in the studio with the dog, or even just practicing, doest your dog sit and listen to you?

Lizanne 10:57
Yeah, they do. Coop listens

Hal InPhilly 10:59
I see Coop does

Dan 11:00
Coop does. in the studio,

Lizanne 11:02
They’re all very interested in it.

Dan 11:05
Seeing that there’s a new video where there’s monkeys playing the piano plays with his feet. But then he climbs up and he’s looking, he’s trying to figure out, he can see that pressing that and the music’s coming out there, and he gets up and he’s looking inside and that’s when the video stops. Yeah, that’s like the most important thing when he’s making that connection.

Lizanne 11:28
I saw that.

Hal InPhilly 11:29
I didn’t see that

Dan 11:30
It’s a good one. Yeah.

Lizanne 11:32
Animals love music. Do

Hal InPhilly 11:35
I had a dog named Cooper, too. He was a little Cavalier. Yeah, he would sit and watch me play and listen. Yeah, yeah. My current dog’s not like that. He could take it or leave it. Yeah.

Ciara Grace 11:48
I guess it kind of like people. Some people don’t like music.

Hal InPhilly 11:51
You have a dog Ciara?

Ciara Grace 11:52
Yeah. Oh my, we have so many animals.

Lizanne 11:55
She ha her own my

Dan 11:56
She has a horse, too

Unknown Speaker 11:58
He’s the hardest to leave, like – We’re going on um, my mom’s going on tour next October. And we had to get like a special, like dog place to put him in because he’s huge. He’s like, Great Dane size.

Lizanne 12:10
Osh Kosh

Ciara Grace 12:12
some kind of Kalizu is like a skinny Great Dane.

Lizanne 12:15
Yeah, really tall dog. We have

Dan 12:17
You have horses too, dontcha?

Lizanne 12:19
Yeah, they just stay at the barn though.

Lizanne 12:21
Yeah, we’ve got a little Menagerie.

Hal InPhilly 12:24
Musical Menagerie

Lizanne 12:25
musical Menagerie.

Hal InPhilly 12:26
Yeah, that’s funny.

Lizanne 12:28
I need my animals. Yeah,

Hal InPhilly 12:31
For me, I found during the course of my life, that I it kept me from touring I’ve always had but I haven’t always had a wife or a girlfriend or anything right or kids to watch my pet. So it’s kept me oftentimes from just traveling or touring or anything. So I always take gigs that are I could come home from great maybe a couple hours away the most.

Lizanne 12:53
I just drove my kids with me when they were young. They all they came with me no matter where they didn’t have a choice. But um my dogs I’ve taken with me on the road my lab came back and forth to Nashville with me when I had a little little publishers room there. I just took them back and forth with me, I mean, I just take them.

Hal InPhilly 13:12
What about what you got? Because I’m talking to Liz and by the way lizanne spent to like Australia, Europe, Australia, you haven’t been Australian in the UK, Spain UK.

Lizanne 13:23
Australia is next.

Ciara Grace 13:26
Australia I know one of my friends tours there though.

Lizanne 13:29
I have daughters so my daughters take you know,stay at the house the house and take care of them. Yeah,

Hal InPhilly 13:34
There’s something to be said for having you know, having kids

Dan 13:38
There’s really no other reason to have kids (laughter)

Lizanne 13:40
Yeah, I know!

Ciara Grace 13:42
So – to watch the dogs

Unknown Speaker 13:44
I’ve never like, it never stopped me from anything. I mean, I feel guilty leaving the dogs

Ciara Grace 13:50
We leave the TV on for them.

Hal InPhilly 13:52
What’s their favorite show?

Dan 13:56
I leave at HDTV for Coop

Unknown Speaker 13:59
Yeah. So is

Dan 14:01
Because there’s not… There’s barely dogs barking…

Ciara Grace 14:04

Lizanne 14:04

Dan 14:04
So but then, you know one day we came back, and he had redone the powder room

Hal InPhilly 14:13
That’s sounds like something Coop would do.

Hal InPhilly 14:17
Since you are so well traveled Do you have like a favorite country or favorite

Lizanne 14:22
Definitely. Scotland is probably my favorite country, my favorite or although I love Spain and I’m returning to Sala BBK, a big venue that I played a few years back that having me back and that is probably my favorite venue. Only because nobody there speaks English they speak Basque and Oh, wow. And it’s a cross between Spanish and French. So and I speak neither language so I’m I totally but so. I don’t know why they booked me because nobody knows what the hell I’m saying or saying.

Hal InPhilly 14:56
I guess they like they sing along with you like phonetically or

Lizanne 15:00
Just they know they have my CDs. They know my songs, but the I can’t even talk to the sound people so they always they have these like they have a strobe light going and dry ice and I’m just playing solo, with my guitar my little songs and there’s dry ice

Hal InPhilly 15:18
blasting a heavy metal band and here there

Unknown Speaker 15:21
he is. There’s no you know, I’m laughing trying to tell them no, don’t do that. They didn’t know. So it’s it was it’s a lot of fun. It’s a great venue. So I’m gonna enjoy going back there again. But Scotland is beautiful.

Ciara Grace 15:34
Especially like Edinburgh.Yeah. I like so cool.

Lizanne 15:39
I like Island. She likes the cities but yeah, it’s beautiful. You should go anybody ever been? Oh, the Isle of Sky, like some of those places up there are just, There’s a place to go. It’s definitely – people are extremely friendly and there’s so many places to stay like you don’t you don’t have to plan it. You can just go. I recommend it.

Dan 16:02
I think I my favorite venue I did a between the time I started out as a as an opera singer for 12 years. And between that period of time and becoming a singer songwriter, I was a contemporary dancer if you can believe that. I did a contemporary ballet and Russia at St. Petersburg at the Alexandrian Street theater, which was it was just unbelievable. It’s like we’re Checkov premiered all his plays. And it was the show I was in was about the it’s about a convoy that sunk during World War Two the choreographers father was on this convoy. And so, this the ballet was about, it was a half submerged ship. That was a set. And then the orchestra was round it. But when I was working for a company in Montreal, their choreography their Coleman Lemieux Dance Company, and when they Asked we have a special requests when we get to Russia and I said like I can only ride in a van. A van because I had screws in my spine, so it’s difficult to ride in a sedan. So they said, “We got to covered.”

Dan 17:12
So we landed at the airport and walked out and the guy meets us and he had a van and it was like a cargo van with lawn chairs in the back. There were no – They weren’t attached to anything. You knw and they’d turn corners… But they did what I asked. They got a van, but that was that was an amazing something

Hal InPhilly 17:18
An amusement park ride on the way there.

Lizanne 17:38
Well look at these seats. Is that a roller coaster?

Hal InPhilly 17:40

Dan 17:41
That’s what that is. Yeah.

Hal InPhilly 17:44
We’re talking about the seats here in the Tattooed Mom. They look like little roller coaster chairs and that’s probably

Lizanne 17:50
Authentic ones!

Hal InPhilly 17:51
…from an old amusement park I guess. Oh, Ciara, I got a question for you. Actually. I was watching your video this morning. You were doing, “Overrated”.

Ciara Grace 18:02
Oh, man. Great. Yeah.

Hal InPhilly 18:04
And my… What are you, 16?

Ciara Grace 18:07

Hal InPhilly 18:07
She’s 16, and the lyrics are… Her songs are so sophisticated…

Lizanne 18:13
They are

Lizanne 18:13
This is like from a girl who sounds like she’s seen the world. Lyrics like… she sounds like she’s lived a lifetime. So I just want to… How do you come up with this stuff?

Ciara Grace 18:23
I mean, there’s a special kind of poet you find inside yourself and someone really pisses you off. And I don’t you just you just got to think like oh my god, what would I say to this person? It happens all the time when you guys feel like you’re friends with someone when you’re younger and like, all kids are like, nice, like, no one starts out mean and then they just like make friends with people that are mean and just like “Ohhhh! Why do you have to say things like that? Why do you have to do things like that? You know?

Unknown Speaker 18:49

Hal InPhilly 18:50
And if you want to know the rest of the story just gonna have to listen to the song. There will be a link to that on the show notes page

Lizanne 18:58

Hal InPhilly 18:59
So all three of our guests are working on projects. Lizanne and Ciara are working on…

Lizanne 19:04
I just finished one. Ciara’s going to be next.

Ciara Grace 19:07
Man. I’m trying.

Hal InPhilly 19:08
And then Dan’s got a CD in the works. And he just finished his book. So we’ll go down the line so they could talk about their projects. I’m sure ladies first. Lizanne, you want to start?

Lizanne 19:21
Yeah, I just finished my, I guess, my sixth official CD that’s been on a proper label that I’m on and you’re in the UK called Proper Records. And it’s an Americana record, set, you know, singer songwriter Americana. And I wrote I’m really happy with the songs that I wrote on it. Dan’son it. Ciara sang most of the harmonies

Hal InPhilly 19:45
Anything upbeat on there,

Hal InPhilly 19:47
There is! It’s about killing somebody, but it’s progress. I mean, I write really depressing songs. I write really dark, dark depressing things just what comes out.

Dan 20:03
It’s dark, that song, but it’s, I like it because it’s proactive.

Unknown Speaker 20:08

Dan 20:09
it’s this

Dan 20:10
She’s offed her husband becasue he has been abused in some way. You can dance to it, too.

Lizanne 20:19

Ciara Grace 20:21
Do the one about cocaine

Lizanne 20:28
You have to stop and clap

Audience member 20:31
Start us off.

Lizanne 20:32
It goes something like

Hal InPhilly 20:48
All right.You’re gonna you’re gonna have to buy this

Lizanne 20:52
[Unintellible off mic]… but I curse the day he was born. So… But it’s a stomp clap song. Yeah,

Hal InPhilly 21:01
Lizanne was saying one of her earlier videos, hell, she doesn’t really have that much in the way of like uplifting songs. And so, one day when I was feeling like my absolute worst, I made it a point, I said, I’m gonna write a funny, upbeat song just because I feel just the opposite right now. And that’s where – I have a song called, I Musta Hadda Great Time Last Night, and that’s where that came from. This horrible. My parents had left me on my own. And the next day, somebody had friends from the wrong side of the tracks, just like in the movies, they came to the house, they trashed my parents house. And it was like, I was horrified. And, but, I got that song out of it.

Lizanne 21:44
It’s funny my Glen Baron is my producer, at one point said to me a few CDs For God’s sake, write a happy. I can’t listen these depressing songs anymore. So I says it, okay. So I, I wrote this really upbeat, you know, hands clapping for tapping song. And he goes yeah he is and melodies really upbeat but the CD it’s about suicide depression and adultery and alcoholism adding some alcoholism in there. It’s going great.

Ciara Grace 22:11
My favorite is when he’s mixing it he tries to add like all these harmonies and make it really pretty and she’s like no get it off. I don’t like it.

Lizanne 22:17
I just like really died. I mean it’s my step pattern now, kind of a very dark dark music but I mean it’s what I do.

Hal InPhilly 22:24
Yeah why break your pattern,now?

Lizanne 22:25
Why break it? I haven’t? Yeah, the UK loves it they’re very depressing

Hal InPhilly 22:33
How about you Ciara? Oh, you got something?

Ciara Grace 22:36
I’ve got a few. My whole issue is that like I write songs I write a lot of songs and then I hate all that immediately afterward and I like seeing them my parents like I’ll go downstairs my guitar I’d be like I wrote something new. And they think and my dad is always like, yeah, it’s really good. Let’s go record it now and I’m like, No, I don’t really like the lyrics. I don’t really like the melody

Unknown Speaker 22:55
can’t commit to

Hal InPhilly 22:56
Yeah. Are you inspired by things that your mom listen to? Or you got your whole other.

Ciara Grace 23:01
No, we both know no, no, no – we both write really depressing songs. Yeah.

Ciara Grace 23:06
But you have a whole nother genre that although I like what you listen to like Billy Eilish Yeah, she’s so cool. Um, she’s a little bit more… She’s got more of like a hip hop schtick.

Hal InPhilly 23:17
Dan, and you?

Dan 23:19
I got a working on the latest album. That’ll be my seventh record. And right now I’m just going through the songs and, because I’m sure like Lizanne does when you cut you have to trim through all the songs to try to figure out what’s going to make the cut. CD’s using about great 13 songs. Thank you. But it’s a you know, it’s it’s tremendous. Right now I’m trimming and trying to find a cohesive thing where there’s like some sort of theme that ties everything together; a thread that yeah, that’s the tricky part and, and then you do things in the studio where you’re considering things like how this song sounds in front of this song, and you’ll get a flow for the CD, but nobody listens to CDs in their entirety anymore.

Hal InPhilly 24:06
in a linear fashion, and you know

Dan 24:10
But I still write that. I mean, I still put it together that way. I’m sure you do, too. I do too. But, you know, the average listener, I think that’s all about the song. Yeah,

Ciara Grace 24:21
I mean, not entirely. I don’t like

Lizanne 24:22
that. You’re not a normal?

Ciara Grace 24:23
No, no, no, no, it’s not not even just may I just like know,of singers like this generation. Like, we’ll just use Billy Eilish for an example again, whatever. Um, her CD I know like she specifically said buy the entire thing because it needs to be listened to in order. So it’s not like I’m talking like people. But I mean, people still like that thought in their head and they’re making music like

Dan 24:46
Absolutely, we both do that we put them together. We listen to an order, but

Unknown Speaker 24:53
people don’t listen to all them in order.

Hal InPhilly 24:55
You think that like the rock opera, Tommy would make sense to today? Do you think they’d ever We’re even trying that. I don’t know.

Unknown Speaker 25:03
There’s been performing it or

Lizanne 25:05
even somebody writing it, they’re writing it. I mean, there’s a rock opera singer songwriters out on Broadway. Yeah, there’s there’s stuff on Broadway that some singer songwriters that are put out there. And I like the same type of thing

Dan 25:19
with that, for example, that particular thing. You know, if you pull people off the street right now, a lot of them would have heard Pinball Wizard maybe, but they haven’t heard Uncle Ernie’s song or something like that. So, you know, it’s just again, you’re taking segments out?

Hal InPhilly 25:36
Yeah, right. They just they cherry pick their favorite songs on the album.

Dan 25:41
Right. But

Hal InPhilly 25:42
I think there are those that still like to listen to everything all the way through at least once.

Dan 25:48
Yeah, I think our generation does, it’s just

Lizanne 25:53
coming back I mean, a little bit ya know, a lot. Yeah. Yeah. They’re like the big

Ciara Grace 26:01
I think it was dad that was telling me that you don’t really get like all the music when you listen to something like on a like on your phone you only get here like 2% of it very compressed. Yeah

Hal InPhilly 26:11
But here’s what I think about albums. Yeah, I don’t think they sound any better than CDs or streaming because the digital is a much better quality…

Unknown Speaker 26:19
digital is better quality but the albums are actually

Hal InPhilly 26:22
I like the album art and the line Yeah, you can hold it in your hand and just

Hal InPhilly 26:29
they that’s what I miss it

Lizanne 26:30
they they still have they’re still coming off of the same format though. So they’re just as records fade that now downs that are being pressed now or not less than then your digital CDs because of that same format that’s being recorded in that large format. It’s a much bigger disc, it’s just

Hal InPhilly 26:49
Yeah, the other thing is the album’s they’re putting out now come in like really beautiful colors like

Lizanne 26:55
I know

Hal InPhilly 26:55
licorice. Yes, the whole

Dan 26:58
You’re talking about the record itself?

Hal InPhilly 26:59
Yeah the record itself

Dan 26:59
Yeah, it’s one of those things. It’s a very niche kind of thing that the average American isn’t buying. I think audio files musicians are buying them. But does anybody here buy records? I mean, albums, CDs, CDs, you know, buy vinyl. Nobody owns a record. I mean, I don’t want to say nobody but

Hal InPhilly 27:22
Well, they have record players that have a USB. They do you know, so. So you wouldn’t consider putting out a vinyl record, then?

Dan 27:29

Lizanne 27:30
I would. I propers asked me to I would

Dan 27:33
it’s just it’s not for me person is not cost effective. I mean, right to low expense, to lug ’em around to shows. I mean, I love the sound of vinyl, but it’s just not practical.

Hal InPhilly 27:46
So any thoughts? You want to talk about anything? I thought I’d leave it Oh,

Dan 27:53
Thank you. I put out a book couple years ago called adventures in grocery shopping. And I was really surprised with it started out from posts on Facebook. I was making a daily post and then some a woman that runs a she come and read. It’s a reading room in north town artists come in our authors come in and read excerpts from the book. And she asked me, would you come and do some readings? I was like, well, I’ve never done that. But sure, and so I went, it was a great turnout. So people said you should put it in a book form. So I did, and published it. I got a publisher for it. And then it made the Philadelphia Inquirer his book of best books of 2016, which is like, caught me totally by surprise. So it’s been three years since and so now I’ve compiled the second. Again, it’s all posts from Facebook, but these are little snippets of my life or my childhood or relationships, or whatever…

Lizanne 28:50
It’s great

Dan 28:51
So it’s and there’s a little slices of life, little slices of life. So anyway, the next one will be out in the next couple months.

Lizanne 28:58
It’s profound and funny, it’s

Hal InPhilly 29:02
really great because we want to see those books like forever.

Unknown Speaker 29:05
Yeah, yeah, he’s a good one. It’s

Dan 29:08
It’s fun y’know, People would kiss and comment to me like, I’ll put a post on Facebook and they’ll say, you have too much time on your hand.

Dan 29:20
Apparently not. I mean, a book that very lucrative.

Dan 29:26
title again is the first one is Adventures In Grocery Shopping, but I’m not sure that I call that one. Because I have I have encounters in grocery stores all the time. I don’t know whether that’s me or I think it is. I tend to engage people and in conversation and so it started off with little once a week I do an adventure and grocery shopping. So, that’s where the title came from.

Hal InPhilly 29:51
Yeah, that’s why I thought you were just calling it Aventures In Grocery Shopping – Volume Two.

Hal InPhilly 29:56
I just thought there’s going to be more of this You know,

Dan 30:00
Well the title is somewhat misleading though because I think people think it’s just about that. And it’s just a small section of the book. But anyway, so that’s what I got going on the new record the and a new book.

Hal InPhilly 30:14
We’re all looking forward to it and we’re looking forward to the work coming from Ciara Grace.

Ciara Grace 30:22

Dan 30:23
I gotta say this… Listening to Ciara’s stuff is just… to think about where she’s gonna be in three or four years from now. Yeah, that was fun. We did the show together. And I want to come out and see one of our shows, which is myself, but she has a she’s very comfortable engaging the audience as is Lizanne. But that’s the fun part of performing live is that – that energy between the performer and the audience.

Lizanne 30:52
It’s kind of half the show

Dan 30:53
It is! Somebody, I’ll put a clip up on you tube where they’re playing in a club or a bar or whatever. And you can’t hear him, people are talking so loud, and I’m like, “Why are you there?” You know, especially if it’s a listening room. It’s like, “Why have you paid money to see this artist?” I went to see Earth Wind and Fire two weeks ago in Massachusetts, and there’s this woman in front of us who had she was trying to film the whole thing. And the guy that not bouncer but the security kept telling her, you got it turn that off. The artists have asked, No they’ve announced it and the artists have requested you don’t use your cell phones during the and you know, but they were just they’re doing it and it’s like the people you’re paying to see requested that you did not do that. And yet you’re doing and… that sort of thing. It’s just they don’t the audience, some people don’t realize that you’re part of the performance. Everything you’re doing is motivating the people on stage to give more or you know, don’t you find I mean, yeah, it’s just, we’re fortunate that

Lizanne 31:58
We do I’m really thankful for my audience. Yeah. I mean, I have fun with ’em.

Dan 32:02
Or wherethe guys playing and there’s this TV behind them.

Lizanne 32:04
Yeah, yeah.

Hal InPhilly 32:07
I could just do a whole show about people with their cell phones, I just encountered one recently when we went to see the NPR – we went to see the live version of Wait, Wait. Don’t Tell Me at the Mann Theater. Yeah, a guy right in front of me doing it,

Lizanne 32:22

Hal InPhilly 32:22
But, uhh…

Ciara Grace 32:23
It doesn’t bother me if I’m performing and people because I just I don’t know. It just doesn’t bother me

Hal InPhilly 32:28
I was gonna take it out of his hand and throw it!

Dan 32:30
I don’t mind if someone said

Lizanne 32:35
to me, if somebody is doing it in front of me.

Ciara Grace 32:39
It doesn’t bother me not doing nothing. Nothing bothers me.

Hal InPhilly 32:42
Real quick. I have a tip for you guys. You reminded me when you said the word “Fire”. I was watching before I came here this morning. Stephen Colbert had James Taylor on, and he rewrote Fire and Rain.

Lizanne 32:54

Hal InPhilly 32:54
Yeah, he says, “I see a lot of things since then. Oh, And I see rain, like seen a lot of other stuff since then”. So he had some verses. And it was very,very funny. They were trading off the verses. It’s on YouTube. You have to check it out. James Taylor and Stephen Colber – very funny funny.

Lizanne 33:23
Okay. Very funny. Yeah. Excellent.

Dan 33:25
He teaches a songwriting course online too, James Taylor

Lizanne 33:28
Yeah, he does…

Dan 33:29
These artists, it’s an amazing thing about about the internet. Yeah, you know that they’re like Ron Howard’s on there teaching young directors how to direct. James Taylor’s teaching is an amazing source of information we didn’t have as kids. The same with podcasts and so many great sources of information out there.

Unknown Speaker 33:49
Yeah, you’re doing a cool thing. There’s nothing like this happening. Yeah,

Hal InPhilly 33:52
well, I gotta admit, I’m a little nervous that you can probably tell I’m like a deer in the headlights today.

Lizanne 33:58
No, it’s fine. Nice. W,ell the one before us was pretty exciting it was

Ciara Grace 34:03
Oh my god.

Lizanne 34:04
Gay pornography.

Dan 34:05
I thought that was our topic (laughter)

Unknown Speaker 34:13
I don’t know, but I felt inept to getting up here after them.

Hal InPhilly 34:16
They were were very entertaining

Lizanne 34:17
…they had candies and all kinds of thing they were handing out we have nothing they had

Hal InPhilly 34:20
I had a couple throat lozenges in the bag there, but they’re not shaped like people doing it. And they don’t taste like ass!

Lizanne 34:30
That show is pretty benign! Yeah, this has been great.

Dan 34:35
Yeah, thanks for having us, Hal,

Hal InPhilly 34:37
Oh, thank you for coming and doing this with me. I had a blast

Ciara Grace 34:41
This is great.

Dan 34:43
Nice outside, you know, walk here with

Hal InPhilly 34:47
How far away did you park?

Dan 34:48
Half a block.

Hal InPhilly 34:50
That’s not too bad. I parked like three blocks. Two blocks up that way and then two blocks down now because I don’t trust those signs that say two hour three hour parking. I didn’t know how long I was gonna be here.

Dan 35:02
Sunday, is pretty much unlimited. Isn’t it?

Unknown Speaker 35:06
It maxes out at like 4:30.

Dan 35:09
Yeah. Did you put money in the meter?

Hal InPhilly 35:11
me? Yeah,

Dan 35:12
yeah. I don’t think you have to put money in the meter on Sunday. Do you?

Ciara Grace 35:15

Dan 35:15
Uh. Oh,

Hal InPhilly 35:19
Ah, man. So I found a spot in a municipal lot. And then I walked over here the three four blocks it was and then realized I forgot my Tales of the Road Warriors business cards, walked all the way back to the car

Unknown Speaker 35:32
as a badge and we

Unknown Speaker 35:34
it was just last week. Yeah, we were we went to New York, and we were on the train. We were we pulled in at Trenton and we were on the train and my mom goes, did we pay the like the parking meter? I was like, I don’t think so. I guess we’ll find out what you

Unknown Speaker 35:49
ever seen this sign your car will be towed. You don’t pay. It wasn’t a

Dan 35:55
parking issue. I didn’t realize.

Hal InPhilly 35:58
Anyway, it looks like we’re wrapping it up here, so – I want to thank Dan May and Ciara grace and Lizane Knott for joining me here at

Lizanne 36:06
Thank everybody for hanging out.

Hal InPhilly 36:08
Yeah, that’s at The Tattooed Mom as part of the Philadelphia Podcast Festival, all the gifts are yours to keep. And thank you. [Applause]

Hal InPhilly 36:23
Well, that was fun, wasn’t it? Alright, this is Hal In Philly… I want to thank you for joining me and, and I will see you next week and tell your friends please share, subscribe, you know – all that good stuff. Look for my little goofy audiograms on social media, maybe get an email letter out this week, too. All right. I’m going for a drive!

Transcribed by

Posted by Hal in acoustic, dan may, entertainers, folk music, guitar player, live music, music venues, musicians survival kit, opera, podcast, podfest, Road Warriors, singer songwriter, singer songwriters, 0 comments

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.

Posted by Hal in comedy, entertainers, house concerts, not punk rock, Road Warriors, rock, rock and roll, singer songwriter, singer songwriters, sustainability, theater, 8 comments