Tag Archive: Food


My show at Tribal Cafe on Sunday, November 12 was my second show there. I played a show with Gary Stockdale there back in April. It’s a funky little place in the Echo Park area of LA, not far from Dodgers Stadium.

The menu is healthy, expansive, and all over the wall by the order window. It’s best to ask what they recommend – the choices are overwhelming.                                                                           

The crowd was not as big as in April, but was just as enthusiastic. Neighborhood folks came in and lingered for a song or two while they waited for their order. Some stayed for a few songs. And the staff is always receptive to music.

I played a set of songs that included most of the songs on my new cd that I was to begin recording the next day. From the title song, Hello Out There, to the Aardvark Song, to Wishy Washy World and others.

Dan Roark

The upper picture is from my April show. The  picture to the left is my look this trip. After my set, I hung around to listen to the first few performers in the open mic. My thoughts on the performers will be in another post comparing Dallas open mics to LA open mics.

But if you’re in LA and want a funky neighborhood place to eat, check out Tribal Cafe. Friendly service, good food, innumerable choices – great place for coffee or smoothie. Entertainment pretty much every day of the week.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

 

Bill Hook

I went to play at Guitars and Growlers at the third installment of the every other Wednesday open mic, hosted by Bill Hook on October 11. Guitars and Growlers is – to quote the website – “an adventure of Rob and Amy Baker to bring craft beer and hand crafted instruments to the great folks of Richardson Texas.” There mission is to build a new way for people to see what is going on in world of guitar building while enjoying a great craft beer. And pretty damn good food I may add. Handmade guitars hang on one wall.

So quite naturally, they would have live music. And, of course, an open mic to showcase local songwriters. A number of local songwriters and performers were in attendance to play on this particular occasion. Bill Hook opened the show – as hosts are wont to do.

Cat McGee followed Bill. John Mason took the stage next. Alex Benavides followed

Cat McGee

Mason and preceded the inimitable Bill Nash. Riley Curnutt took the stage after Bill Nash. Riley is a fourteen year old songwriter and she performs her songs nicely.

David Christian followed Riley with his own take on cover songs. Richard Hunt, Dan Roark, and Baylis Laramore ended the list of performers with Bill Hook coming back to the stage to end the evening. Links are provided so you can check their music out for yourselves. Everyone performed well, receiving ample applause.

Come to the next open mic on Wednesday, October 25, have some good food and craft beer, and get on the list to play, or just listen. Guitars and Growlers is a good venue and it’s always a good time. More pictures will be posted on my Facebook music page.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

David Card

David Card, Poor David his own self, put the benefit at Poor David’s Pub together in six days. I am proud to be a member of Team PDP that produced a successful benefit and raised  over $4000 on Saturday, September 2. The money  was delivered to the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and a pet rescue agency in Port Aransas.

I opened the show and was happy to be the first in a long line of songwriters and one cover band.

Dan Roark/Mr. Troll/Don Wall/Sam Baker/Bill Nash/Loose Change/Elizabeth Wills/Grady Yates/Jimmy Baldwin/Mike Freiley/Bob and Sally Ackerman/Caroline Murphy/Jimmy Adcock Trio/Rickey Gene Wright/Tim York/Travis Buster/Rick Babb/Annie Benjamin/Grace Pettis/Sonia of Disappear Fear/Greg Schroeder/Ann Armstrong and Steve Hughes/Baylis Laramore.

I will post pictures on my Facebook music page. I had to leave after Caroline Murphy so I may have the exact order a little off. If people who have pictures of the other acts would send them to me, I’ll add them to the album.

Thanks to David Card, Clare Card, all the great songwriters and musicians, the food crew and all of Team PDP for a wonderful benefit for our southern neighbors.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

It’s heartening to see all the fundraisers being organized to benefit the victims of the hurricane and resulting storms. I’m happy to be playing at two of those fundraisers this weekend.

Saturday is the Poor David’s Pub benefit from noon to midnight. I open the show at 1 p.m. and there will be songwriters sharing their songs all day and into the evening. It’s a good lineup of songwriters. Come out for a full day of music. Bring a donation and a giving heart.

Sunday is a benefit at The Forge in Ben Wheeler. The Ben Wheeler Fire Department is taking donations and Eddie Pardee organized a benefit at The Forge to generate donations. It will be in the outdoor pavilion from noon until 9 p.m. I will be on at 2 p.m. Come on out and join us if you’re in east Texas. Or make a road trip from Dallas. It’s a nice little town and the Forge has really good food.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome bag contents at a Nashville hotel.

My family was driving through Pennsylvania while I was living at home. Mom told Dad to pull over at a fruit stand because we needed something sweet. She bought a bunch of cherries. My parents, my brother, and I ate cherries until we couldn’t anymore. Then Mom saw a nut stand.

“We need something salty.”

The cycle continued. I’ll never forget it. Ever since that vacation, I’ve spent time caught in the sweet and salty cycle. The picture of the welcome bag at the hotel convinces me I’m not the only one. But I knew that. I’ve been familiar with the munchies for years.

But a lot of you know what I’m talking about. Whether you want to admit it or not. You’re sitting there late at night at the computer or watching tv. You see a small chocolate bar and think “gee that sounds good.” And it is.

Which is fine until you realize you need a little salty to offset the chocolate. So you find something salty. But it’s not the kind of salty that hits the spot. You look for something else. Before you find something else salty, you see something else sweet – but not as sweet as the chocolate. Then you’re back on the salty end of the cycle.

There are nights that it drives me crazy. Sweet, salty, sweet, salty, salty, sweet, salty, sweet, sweet. A piece of cheese will break the monotony. Then I absentmindedly pick up something else and pop it in my mouth and I’m back on the damn cycle again.

As far as I know, there is no known cure. If you have found a remedy, please let me know.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Ireland Casteel

Ireland Casteel

The Dallas Songwriters Association third Saturday Showcase at Angela’s at the Crosswalk on February 18 began with Ireland Casteel. Ireland is a very good young songwriter.  Each month we will try to have one of our younger songwriters open the show to highlight them. A way to encourage them and help them receive feedback.

Buck Morgan followed Casteel with a mix of his originals and covers, ending with his song, Jimmy Loves

Buck Morgan

Buck Morgan

Jesus. Don Wall played next. He started off his set with his song, Corn Bread. Corn Bread was successfully entered in the DSA quarterly lyric contest. He played a lively set of country music. Host Dan Roark began at 9 p.m. and played a set which included Peace Be With You, and his signature songs, Chocolate Eclairs and Apple Fritters, and Supermarket Wreck of ’75.

Young & Rusty closed out the show with a full set including songs from their cd, Back Road Love. Sue Young and Rusty Nelson were special guests from

Don Wall

Don Wall

Austin. They are members of the Austin Songwriters Group. They played the title song from the cd as well as my favorite song, Where the Ferryboats Used to Run. They also played Angelitos – Little Angels from Sue’s cd, Gliding. It was a quite the entertaining set.

Dan Roark

Dan Roark

The audience was very receptive to the entire show and showed their appreciation. Don’t miss the next DSA third Saturday showcase on March 18. The lineup will be announced soon, but it will be a good show. Good music, good food, great desserts, reasonable drinks, and friendly staff.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Rusty Nelson and Sue Young

Rusty Nelson and Sue Young

David Conger

David Conger

This past Friday, February 10, at Harbor Point Club and Grill in Richardson we had week six of the Reach for the Stars competition. With Pete Cormican having a Party with Pete gig, Lonny Schonfeld, Dan Roark, and Tanya Houston were the judges. Several people who were to perform were taken ill. It’s been that kind of season for a lot of us.

Tanner Usrey, first place winner from week 5, who was to open the show, was one of those under the weather. The rules of the contest state that if a first place winner it unable to open the following week, he forfeits entry into the semi-finals. However, with illness being a valid reason for missing, Tanner will still advance. As will Joe Watson, second place winner from the previous week, who stepped up to come and open the show.

,Joe started the show with four songs, a mix of originals and cover songs. Ordinarily, it would be three songs, but with few competing performers, more songs were needed. Fill-in acts were Cheryl McGuire and Tomas Pineda, Jr. The judges even got into the act, as it were.

Lonny did a Louis Armstrong impression with What a Wonderful World. The only thing missing was the

Anthony and Cindy Lewis

Anthony and Cindy Lewis

handkerchief to wipe away the sweat on his brow. Comedienne Tanya got up on stage for a few routines. Dan closed the show with a few of his songs on ukulele and harmonica.

With only three competitors, David Conger came in first place, Cindy Lewis was second, and Sonja Wade was third.

Anthony and Sonja Wade

Anthony and Sonja Wade

Come on out Friday night for week seven. There is always a lot of good talent. Great music, good food, reasonable drinks,  and a friendly staff. If you would like to play as a fill-in performer or compete in the contest, call Anthony at 214-660-4799. There are spots open for this week. Come show us your talent!

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

As I was enjoying Christmas with family, I couldn’t help but think about the families that we delivered food to during the summer and for Thanksgiving and all families like them. I hoped and prayed that they were able to have Christmas dinner and presents of some sort. Or whichever religious celebration they observe. Thanks should be given to Metrocrest Social Services, North Texas Food Bank, churches, and other organizations that make sure families – children and seniors in particular – have the nourishment they need.

Here is the music video of my song, What the Lord Intends (Sack Summer Hunger). Feel free to click on the YouTube logo in the bottom right corner to watch it on my YouTube channel and subscribe to the channel (you will only get an email when I upload a new video).

Peace be with you.

bowl-of-mac-and-cheeseMacaroni and cheese – a simple concept. Cook the macaroni and then bake it with cheese. Which introduced the crust concept of macaroni and cheese (heretofore referred to as mac and cheese). Everyone was happy. The variation came in the kind of cheese used. Deluxe mac and cheese came about by adding more than one cheese. But it was still mac and cheese.

Then Kraft came out with mac and cheese packages. There was no reason to measure ingredients anymore. Cook the noodles and then add the cheese packet. Pretty much the way it always was. Velveeta got in the game, but the basics were still the same. Now you have individual bowls for single servings. But it’s still mac and cheese.

Then restaurants began to take advantage of the popularity of mac and cheese. It was cheap to make. They thought maybe if they added a bunch of crap and called it deluxe or gourmet mac and cheese, they could charge $8 a serving. And they were totally confused. They forgot one simple thing – which I will get back to.

Schotzsky’s made the more recent foray into the mac and cheese world. They have four new mac and cheese dinners. Actually three, with a variation on the third. One has chicken, one has shrimp, and two have brisket – albeit all with different extra ingredients. They have continually had sales and deals on the dinners, so it would seem that the options were not all that popular.

I need to say, however, that I eat Schotzsky’s sandwiches almost every Monday. Cyndy and I enjoy the Pick 2, the salads, and the flatbread options. But we will not have the mac and cheese dishes. Regardless of the coupons I receive by email. Obviously it is not because their food is not good.

I saw a commercial the other day from Red Lobster that mentioned a lobster and mac and cheese dish. Are you freaking kidding me? As Cyndy said , it might be palatable with a white sauce. But, seeing the commercial again, it was “regular” mac and cheese.

I’m amazed at the confusion that created all these dishes in the first place. What led them to completely misunderstand the name of the dish? It is as simple as anything could be. It worked really well for over 50 years. No one had any problem with it. Children loved it and it could keep them from yelling for food for a period of time.

Then restaurants decided – does this sound familiar – that if they added ingredients they could charge for a “gourmet” dish. It didn’t matter that the ingredients had nothing to do with mac and cheese. Forget the fact that you would taste little of the original mac and cheese. Our son, Cameron, had one of the Schotzsky’s mac and cheese dishes and threw half of it away.

Here is the one thing they all forgot or ignored. And that is the name and basics of the dish. It is macaroni and cheese. It is, has been, and always will be, a two ingredient dish – whether it’s a main course or side dish. You can have almost anything with mac and cheese – on the side. To add ingredients in order to make it “gourmet” and charge more money is a bastardization of the original dish.

If you have not reached this conclusion by now, here it is. The dish is macaroni and cheese. Just to be clear, the ingredients are macaroni and cheese. To call it gourmet would be with more than one kind of cheese. But the ingredients are still – say it with me – macaroni and cheese. I don’t understand the confusion.

Peace be with you.

Grand Theft Dinnerware

spaghetti-warehouseA Meetup group I’m a member of, Dallas Ukulele Headquarters (DUH), is having a Christmas party at the Spaghetti Warehouse (formerly the Old Spaghetti Warehouse) in the West End. I’m not able to make the party, but it got me to thinking about the Old Spaghetti Warehouse (OSW for brevity). When I first went to OSW, there was no West End. There was a parking lot and car lot nearby. It was a warehouse district – hence the name. Which made it cool and unique, but could be a pain in the ass to park. And it was dark in the area.

In the early ‘70s, a bunch of friends and I decided to dress up and go to OSW. Just to do it for one thing. And for another, no one ever “carded us” to buy liquor or beer when we were dressed up. Mark, Brian, and myself would dress up and go down to Gatsby’s Bicycle Bar in the Hilton downtown and drink tequila sunrises (thanks to the Eagles song and it being a good drink). No one ever ask for our i.d. But that was a different time.

Anyway, we arrived at OSW, parked, and trekked to the restaurant. We were seated on the second floor, which was for larger parties – the DUH party is on the second floor. I think there were about eight of us. It was about even, male and female, but all mostly friends. If not, no one knew yet. The restaurant was busy and it took a while to get served anything other than water.

Keep in mind, we were teenagers on the loose, with time left on our hands waiting for the waiter. Small talk led to silly talk which led to strange thoughts. I said it was the ‘70s, right? A lot of giggling and outright guffaws ensued. For amazingly little reason.

Then we came up with a master plan. Someone had the bright idea that we could take the entire table of place settings without leaving a trace. I’ll cop to it being me because it sounds like something I would come up with (I was a writer even then), but I have no idea as to why. Probably because we were bored, left alone, and we could. I’ll also cop to it because what actually happened was excellent.

I put silverware up my sleeve. I would like to point out – just because – that I got a lot of wear out of that suit. I got married both times in that suit. It had a vest, so I think that was how I got plates. The napkin was easy. I think the girls got the glasses in their purses/bags. When we were done, there was nothing on the table but the tablecloth and centerpiece. And we did it in seconds – maybe almost a minute. And no other customer or waiter on the second floor noticed – like I said, it was really busy.

We sat there, full of pride and nervous as hell, and had a hard time acting serious. Finally, a waiter – I’m not even sure it was ours – walked by and actually turned around to gave us an inquiring look. And headed off, obviously intent on finding a manager. Which he did, of course.

In almost less time than it took to abscond with the dinnerware, we had the table set back up. Almost better than it had been when we arrived. The manager thought the waiter was a little off. That was one of the best spaghetti dinners I’ve ever had. I still feel a little bad about the waiter being “caught in the middle.” But other than that, it was one of the slickest thefts that never was.

Peace be with you.

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