Author Archives: jimknable

June 04


Songs about how parents have had their good lives and now it’s entirely their 20-something progenies’ turns piss me off. You would think that would make me hate the AJR concert I went to the other weekend. And yet, I enjoyed it, being there as I was with my family, including my two sons and […]

March 08

KNABLE GAZING: Reflections on a Dylan Dream

“We were in front of a house I knew in the dream but never in real life. He had a black Camaro that I regularly took him out for rides in. I had to do the driving and it was my honor. Top down, dirty old car, two-door so it opened wide and he climbed […]

October 13

KNABLE GAZING: The Performance or the Nachos?

In college, I had a part time job at the Music School stage managing the final recitals for the graduate students. It was just the musicians and me in the tight backstage space, so I would see them intimately in their pre-performance states before they walked out through my expertly held door and throughout the […]

August 16

KNABLE GAZING: Mel and The Tall Boys in the Delta of Rockwood

An experiential concert review I’ve never felt so uncool as when I stood in the back of the venue where I played in my band’s halcyon days, the only medically masked man in a room full of people in their 20s. The three-man band opening for Mel and the Tall Boys played covers with originals […]

June 18

KNABLE GAZING: Diana Drollinger and the Awakening Influence of Music

I met Diana Drollinger the first time I went to “Song Club,” in the back room of the sadly-now-shuttered Fawkner on Smith Street in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. She came across as a self-possessed and exuberant woman in her sixth or seventh decade, exuding matriarchy while simultaneously glowing with a teenage enthusiasm for music. As in, […]

May 17

KNABLE GAZING: Songwriters Under the Influence of Songwriters

I was at an open mic once in my early NYC songwriter days at which a singer introduced himself by saying that he was running out of influences because mainly he just listened to tapes of his own songs when he was driving in his car. I remember nothing about the song he sang, but […]

March 13

KNABLE GAZING: The Songwriter Parent

Making babies and making songs are not the same thing despite all the metaphorical comparisons we make about each to the other. A song may be said to be born as a dependent creature that eventually becomes independent, but a baby is not a well-crafted 2-5 minute experience that can be recreated through live performance […]

January 26

KNABLE GAZING: Antifolk This

Or, Reckoning with Someone Else’s Antifolk Playlist* On February 5, Ain’t I Folk? Weemayk Music Covers Antifolk Classics drops on BandCamp followed by a February 17 drop on all streaming services. Its lead single is Herman Düne’s “Futon Song” as covered by Cucaracha, a.k.a. Cockroach. ///**// Cockroach, I remember ye well. Hunched and buggy with […]

January 08

Knable Gazing: Talker-Songwriters in the Age of COVID

I have a secret dream that’s not so secret anymore because I’ve told too many people about it. I want to be a late night talk show host. Somewhere between Steve Allen and David Letterman, with a twist of Wallace Shawn from My Dinner with Andre. I have actually been fortunate enough to dabble with […]

December 03

Knable Gazing: Jasper Lewis and his “1000 Songs” on Yard Deer

I thought I was a prolific songwriter. Then I met Jasper Lewis. Probably not an uncommon experience. At the time, he was in the midst of his year of answering every single weekly song challenge thrown out by Niall Connolly (or his proxies) in the glorious days of Big City Folk Song Club at Fawkner […]