Friday, November 18, 2011


I'm taking a moment to recognize two milestones.

The Nuclear Hootenanny is gone. If you wanted to some day attend this event, it's too late.

Kenn Kweder hosted this epic musical free for all for a period of 11 months. He informed the owner of the bar he needed to take some time off from the massive amount of work the Hootenanny required. The bar owner got a friend of his to take over hosting duties but it seems this fellow was not up to the task. After two Kwederless weeks, nobody showed up to play, and the owner said “Fuck it”. Kenn Kweder's Nuclear Hootenanny is now resigned to history.

But what a history. Let's not willow in melancholy. Let's remember when Kenn and a rag tag group of musical geniuses shook the pillars of heaven. It was probably the coolest thing to ever happen in Port Richmond, and elevated a humble corner bar to the epicenter of the Philly music scene. All the cool kids played there and I'm glad to be numbered among them.

You know, thinking back, it seems everybody I know from Philly I ether met at the Hootenanny, or ended up at the Hootenanny. Come to think of it, I met my Phantom roommate there.

But not all changes are sad.

Kinagree Smith has played many live shows in the Philly area and while each one was a treat, I must confess I felt we could have used a bit more time on stage. Lexie and I play one hour shows just about every day. A 20 min set (in some cases two song) made us feel as if we were just pulling the guitars out of the cases, just to turn around and put them back in. But you do what you must to get your music out in front of people.

Well... I'm pleased to announce we've booked our first headlining show.

As headlining shows go, this is a humdinger. We are playing at “Rollers @Flying fish” on December 4th,in the Chestnut hill section of Philadelphia, and the last two acts to play there were Mose Allison and Andy Pratt.

Not bad company to keep.

Tickets for Limited seating go on sale hopefully sometime Friday. Of course as soon as we have a link we'll be plastering it all over the place.

The Opening act is Jim Dragoni. The second best guitarist in the whole universe.

Rollers is also a listening room environment. People come for the music.

With just a solid date announcement we've had 18 request for ticket info. Things are looking good. But as good as things look, the aspect that has me most excited is we get to bring the full Kinagree Smith experience to a live audience.

So things are changing, but in a crazy world where nothing makes sense, there is one constant.

You can always expect great things.

Friday, November 11, 2011

My life is kind of weird

Yeah I know this blog is suppose to be all about Kinagree Smith, but I'm part of that band and what happens to me effects the whole band because I host the playing arrangement in my living situation.

Long story short, I've moved. The place I move to about two month ago kind of vanished on me, and while I could tell you all about it.... blah blah blah snore... who cares.

Suffice it to say, moving sucks. I seem to do it a lot in Philadelphia. I have a theory that fate is trying to make it so I live in everybody's house for two months, and when I've spent time in every single house in Philadelphia... I'll probably die.

Hey... don't panic there are a gazillion houses in Philly, if I spend two months in each I'll live to be a gazillion billion years old.

Anyway, seems I'm currently living in Kenn Kweder's house. Kenn is the host of the “Nuclear Hootenanny” and a serious Philadelphia Rock Icon.

I'm really kind of coming to grips with Kenn's Legacy here. His memorabilia (or perhaps Kennorabilia) is all over the house. It's not so much because he's a freaking ego maniac (which he may be, I just live in his house I can claim to know him very well)), but because he's selling this house (or trying to) and the realtors are playing up the fact Kenn lives here.

If I've ever doubted Kenn's fame, suffice it to say when realtors know you are famous... you are famous.

Out of all the “Kenn stuff” in the house, my favorite is his business card. It says “Kenn Kweder, Rock Star”.

Kenn Doesn't live here, so stop imagining some kind of late night jam sessions. But he does drop by from time to time. Probably to collect rent.

While I can't speak with authority about the scope of Kenn's Talent and or his musical legacy in Philadelphia, I can says he's a pretty cool guy.

Me: Hey Kenn, can I live at your house?
Kenn: Yeah, sure.

Now that I'm all settled in, we'll start working our five year plan for world domination. We've got some exciting shows in the works, and I understand we are going to put out a record or two in time.

Keep expecting great things... coming live from Kweder basement.

I'm pretty sure Kenn will sell his house... in two months.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ed Feldman has a Radio show and guess who was a guest of that show?

Did you guess Kinagree Smith?

If you did... bingo, you got it right. If you guessed somebody else, well might be right, but I'm not writing about that.

Hey, did I mention I met Ed Feldman?

I could talk about it, but if you missed it here is the recorded version of the Radio show. It's a hoot, give it a listen.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wow, a year in Philadelphia

On October 31st of 2010 I came to Philadelphia, so this Halloween marked my first year in the city of Brotherly Love. Let's take an overview and see what has transpired in that 365 day period.

While I didn't come here to start a band it seems I'm in one. Kinagree Smith was formed last year and it's been a wild ride for sure.

I lived in an abandoned warehouse for six months. It was weird and difficult, but also colorful and ROCK AND ROLL. Definitely part of the Kinagree Smith Legend.

While Living in the warehouse we recorded our Debut CD “Wartzinall”, with a little help from our friends, Noma Falta, Senjata Witt, and Chris Gately.

Lexie and I also were part of the virtual choir on Sean Kagalis'es, “It all belongs”.

My Cartoon Alter Ego (Zorch Boomhauer) had a “Covered” Event in his honor. Covered is a show where other songwriters pay homage to one of their own, by covering the honoree's songs. I also participated in an Event honoring my personal songwriter heroes POL Arida, and Sean Kagalis.

We also had a Video explosion at the ZorchBoom YouTube channel. Lots of Live shows and one funky cool production video.

We've play a bunch of prestigious venues/shows. The Legendary Dobbs, The Rotunda Theater, Grounds for Music fest, The Post Folk Festival festers fest and of course, a long running stint as part of Kenn Kweders's Nuclear Hootenanny.

We've also managed to share the stage with Philly music icons and world class musicians. Kenn Kweder (Kweeeeeeeederrrrr), Larry Saklad, David Rowen, Nicole Sbaffoni, Sharon Little, Jack Mc Tamney, Wayne and John, Jim Dragoni, John Francis and Andy Pratt. I'm probably forgetting a few people, but it's been an amazing year for great live music.

I really feel as if we have become kind of part of a family at Kenn Kweders's Nuclear Hootenanny. Lots of amazing shows, and of course, Kenn.. Da Man.

On a personal note, if I may, I've not always been the most outgoing fellow and frankly I've kind of thought myself socially challenged. But I've made many good and dear friends here in Philadelphia. I use to feel very isolated and I figured it was just something I would have to learn to deal with. But a few of the good people of this city reached out and made me feel good about myself. In the end, isn't that what friends are for?

The inclusion of Ira Norman Segall in my life is very profound. His musical energy really informs my music with great scope and drama. But more then that, he's a true friend, and someone I can speak to in a very unguarded way.

Of course, Lexie Smith has been such an amazing part of my Philadelphia experience. She helped me through some very rough times, and we've made some incredible music together. Lexie's youngest son once asked her, “Is Jack your best friend”? Lexie smiled and answered, “Yes, he's my very best friend”. Lexie, you are my very best friend, and so much more. My life profoundly enriched by you being part of it. Thank you so very much.

To my surrogate family members... you know who you are. Thanks for a great year.

Some suggest the world will end in the year 2012. This is due mostly because that is where the Mayan Calender ends. But it only ends because they predicted the Phoneme that is KINAGREE SMITH.

Expect great things.

Hey, did I mention I met Ed Feldman????