Skip to content
Culture & Religion

Getting Over Rock and Roll, With the Help of Lead Belly

 So, let’s say you’ve achieved 80’s rock stardom, complete with the bar tours, a beer commercial, historically singular hair cuts, and even an album called “Smoking in the Fields”—where does one go from there? For Dan Zanes, the answer wasn’t exactly straightforward, and there were a couple of ill-fated solo albums in the mix, but he eventually took a cue from the mysteriously inspiring folk legend, Lead Belly, and found a new and remarkably successful path

Zanes has since launched a highly successful second career as a children’s musician, with a Grammy to his name and a gig with the Disney Channel. Does he miss the rock-n-roll days? Definitely not. And he’s now in the place where he doesn’t have to suffer the whims, and illogical IP rights of the music industry’s crumbling monoliths.

 Zanes also gives some unique insight into song writing: imagine the party, the deadheads and concert-goers dancing to your music while writing it—this makes it more fun for everybody. Plus, Zanes gives some insight into another somewhat uncommon situation in his life: he was approached and wound up with a role in a recent Mathew Broderick movie, A Wonderful World, about a dark and failed children’s musician—how did he take such an offer?


Up Next