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American Songwriter: Chatting It Up With Good Old War



Dan Schwartz can sing higher than you. He’s been schooled by Jerry Douglas, he wears a size 8 shoe, and he spends most of his ‘alone’ time in a van on the road with Keith Goodwin (who can dance better than you) and Tim Arnold (who can hambone better than you). When he’s not spending his down time with two other dudes, he’s playing two guitars at once for Good Old War.

In order for us to have the best conversation ever, Schwartz has begged that we go somewhere with some of Nashville’s best treats — barbeque and bushwhackers. So, over an alcoholic milkshake, Schwartz and I chatted it up on the porch of Edley’s, where befuddled onlookers cast glances at our witty conversation and tried to figure out how the rock star in the Ray-Bans managed to get a date with such a beautiful blonde.

This Philadelphia native knows a good restaurant, and a good town, when he visits one—as he should, considering Good Old War has spent the last months (and years) all over the country with Anthony Green, Dr. Dog, Xavier Rudd, Guster, and pretty much anyone else you can think of. By the time you forget to read this, they’ll be somewhere deep in America with Counting Crows. For now though, he’s sitting with me, claiming to be allergic to the Tennessee air.

Schwartz is the quintessential American songwriter. He’s been writing songs since he was about ten, going through a brief Bon Jovi phase and somehow ending up with quite a knack for writing folk-pop gems. After some of his first songs at a young age, he continued writing songs year after year, joining up with former Days Away members, Tim Arnold and Keith Goodwin, to form a group named after pieces of their last names. Schwartz and I obligatorily talk songwriting first, sweating and laughing through most of the discussion of the group’s writing process.

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Guitar World Video: Good Old War’s Dan Schwartz Tackles Metallica, Pantera Riffs on Banjo


These videos were just sent our way, and were too cool not to post. This is Good Old War guitarist Dan Schwartz breaking in a new banjo with “Master of Puppets” and “Cowboys From Hell.” Enjoy!

Good Old War's latest album, Come Back As Rain, is out now on Sargent House Records.

"For this record we all sat down and took a hard look at everything in the song being proposed," drummer Tim Arnold recently told Under the Gun.” Every line was a discussion, every chord change, feel, tempo, key. Everything was examined and taken apart and put back together. In the past it was more Keith or Dan coming to the table with a song and all of us being like, ‘Great! Let’s lay it down!.’ We had our best pal Jason Cupp produce the whole thing as well which changed it up a bit.”

Stay tuned for the Guitar World interview with Dan Schwartz in the near future!


JUMP Philly Interview with Good Old War: A Close-Knit Family


Our Jillian Mallon spoke to Tim Arnold, the percussionist and vocalist from the Philly band Good Old War.

You were in the band Days Away before forming Good Old War with Keith Goodwin. What made you decide to switch from the sound of Days Away to the harmonies and acoustics of Good Old War? Was it a conscious choice to adopt a folkier sound?

I think the choice was no necessarily to adopt a folky sound, It was kind of just to simplify things, you know? And, you know, tone it down, use acoustic instruments. We kind of talked about just simplifying things and then other things kind of took shape, like the harmonies, for example. But we weren’t really, like, saying, “Hey, let’s make a folk band.” We were kind of just like, “Let’s just turn the volume down and concentrate on writing songs.” It kind of evolved naturally that way.

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Good Old War Co-Produce and Play on Anthony Green’s New Song / DL Big Mistake

On July 7 Circa Survive vocalist Anthony Green released his latest solo song, “Big Mistake” for fans to stream and download for free. The song was recorded in the winter and will be on his upcoming solo album, Beautiful Things

The song, “Big Mistake” was recorded in the same house his debut solo Avalon was recorded at, which was released August 5, 2008 via Photo Finish Records. The indie-rock back Good Old War (Keith Goodwin, Tim Arnold, and Dan Schwartz) had a hand with some of the tracks. “Big Mistake” was produced by Jason Cupp, and Good Old War.

Exclusive Interview with Anthony Green

During my exclusive interview with Green he had this to say about his upcoming solo album, “I have six or seven songs recorded, and as soon as I get off this tour I have to re-record some vocals. There are a couple extra songs, like three or four songs I want to record extra. There is some time I want to take with my other band, with Good Old War and they are writing the whole album with me. Before, they came in and played on four or five songs in like two days. About a year ago, last January we got together and messed around with these seven songs I had written, and they just made the songs incredible.”

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