Category Archives: Michael Johnathon

Finding the Folkway Tour with Mark Dvorak – May 7 to May 19 (Part 2)

Picking up where we left off, heading from Norwood, Ohio to Mount Vernon, Kentucky.

Monday May 13- When we left Lawrenceburg IN, Mark drove. Decided he would drive to Lexington, KY Exit 110 where there is a Cracker Barrel. He did well, and I was not nervous or nauseous. Have not had anyone drive me in over 25 years. He said the vehicle is good. He bought an accordion at Cracker Barrell. Said he would annoy me by playing it as I drove. But it sounded quite good.

We changed drivers and we stopped at the Kroger in Richmond KY for supplies. Then drove to the Days Inn Mt Vernon. We will be back here again on Friday for SongFarmers. They are remodeling the hotel. We got two nice rooms side by side. We brought desk chairs out from our rooms and Mark had his small table, so we sat outside and had some wine as the owners walked by a couple of times checking on the renovation. Very nice people. I think they were amused. There was the Limestone Grill on top of the hill.  We went there for dinner. Mark had a ribeye, a bit chewy. I had a burger and fries and ate the whole thing. Went back to his room for a glass of wine. We always keep the door open. I sat in the chair by the door and Mark decided to lay on the bed. The TV was on and within a few seconds he was out like a light. I got up and quietly shut the door behind me. The next day, he said he woke up when he heard me close the door and wondered if he said something wrong. Ha! This whole schedule, getting up early each day, is totally not what he is used to. But he has been doing great. 

Tuesday May 14- We left at 7am for Knoxville for the Blue Plate Special Radio Show. Load in is 10:30 am. It is located on Gay Street, downtown Knoxville, at the Visitors Center. We walked the Main/Gay Street.

The Blue Plate Special is a great space. Mark was on with 16-year-old Parker Collins, a banjo player from Louisville. Parker was on WoodSongs before. Mark went first and played a half hour great set. Red Hickey-she is so cute- was the DJ, and she asked him some good questions. Then Parker played, and we left about 1:30 for Salisbury North Carolina for the Library show there tomorrow. Driving I-40E was much better. We took a frontage road and went to the Super 8 Salisbury who said they did not have our two-night reservations. Mark checked the paperwork and saw that it was the Days Inn that we passed. So, we went back to the Days Inn that turned out to be a run-down transient motel. I did check in, gave Mark a room key, and he said the rooms were “questionable.” I took a look at the rooms, dirty, smelled like smoke and chemicals. He was already taking things out of the vehicle and I said we are not staying there. I called the Super 8 and they had two rooms for two nights for us. I told the guy at the Days Inn we needed to cancel; we had the wrong hotel. I think he knew that when we checked in. We didn’t belong there. Went back to the very nice Super 8. He said he would charge us for one night and credit the next one.

I booked all the rooms in advance through Wyndham, which is Super 8, Days Inn and Baymont. I could not believe they would have something like this on their website.  

It was an early night, 9:30pm. We watched the end of the Cubs game.

Wednesday May 15- Kind of an easy day before the Library performance this evening. We did computer work. I filed a complaint with Wyndham about that Days Inn Salisbury and caught up on some texts.

We took a drive to downtown Salisbury to see where the library was. It was surprising. They have a festival this weekend called Cheerwine Festival. It’s a local soft drink. Mark bought us each a bottle of the chilled beverage. It is a bottle like an antique Coke bottle and tasted like a Dr. Pepper without the pepper. We had fun walking down main street sipping Cheerwine.    

Stopped at a grocery store. Eating in, hummus, pita, and salad after the Library concert tonight at 7.

“This is better than any cruise or destination vacation.”  That seems to be my moto for this whole tour.

Thirty plus people were at the library concert. Dave, who does the booking, plays music, and he did a song with Mark at the end playing a washtub bass that he made. Mark did great- funny, personable. He sang and played great, and I could see he was having a good time. We went back to the hotel for our dinner of snacks and wine. Called it a night at 11:30.

Thursday May 16 – Left Salisbury at 6:15 am and got to Lexington KY at 2pm. Stopped twice, once at McDonald’s and another time for gas. We took I-64 (a long and winding road) to Lexington. We went through a Tunnel in West Virginia and Mark took a video. He has been documenting the trip on his Facebook page. As I drove through the tunnel and he was taping I had to keep quiet, while my inside was saying “Holy shit!” At the end of the tunnel was a bright light, like entering heaven, and then everything was green and then there was the sign: West Virginia – Almost heaven. A very cool moment. 

I was exhausted by the time I got to Lexington and could barely walk. Checked into the Red Roof Inn, like home to me. I have been staying there for years when I go to Lexington. 

Mark’s shows that evening at 4 and 6 for Sayre Christian Village went great. One of the women wanted to adopt him. Marie Wilson does wonderful work there, keeping the residents active. She is a total joy, a shining light. 

Stopped at Kroger for snacks. Each night we eat, have a glass of wine, and review the day. Mark is very grateful. We travel well together, which may seem odd for some folks. As I type this, I have come to realize that Mark reminds me a lot of my brother Steve, who passed away in 2005. Our conversations and his stories– something always sparked a story, and Steve was a teacher to me about life and helped me to overcome my shyness. Also I have come to realize that on this tour, I have gone days without using the F-word!!!

Friday May 17 – Left Lexington for Mt. Vernon, Kentucky.  We drove by the Kentucky Hall of Fame and Music Museum so Mark could see where it was located. Then drove through the small town of Mt. Vernon and checked into the Days Inn. This time we have rooms on the other side, not as nice as before. They’re still renovating. Mark caught up on some computer things and then we went to the SongFarmers Gathering. Met Shannon working the registration table and Gavin. Michael was not there yet. Ron Pen, the two Rics, Josh and his wife, Chris Desa and his wife were there. When I helped work registration, Mark was outside in the tent conducting a song circle. He also recorded a video of himself playing “Bluebells in Kentucky” in Kentucky, very cool. He also did a turn at the open mic concert and accompanied an old friend who was playing the ukulele. Michael arrived and had an issue because the food truck bailed, so he ordered pizza for the crowd. It was Little Ceasar’s; I had a piece of cheese, not bad. Ran into Bryan Klausing a bit later. He said that he and Abby (The Rainjunkies) are working on some music. Their song “Into the Sun” is my favorite.  

It was raining out. During a break, Mark and I went to the vehicle and had a beverage standing under a tree. We left about 6:30 and went back to the Days Inn. Had pita, hummus and salad for dinner. Big day ahead tomorrow.  

Later that night in my room, I checked the page for the Marietta Days Inn where would be staying on Saturday, our last night. It had some bad reviews, like a dead person in a chair in the parking lot and a couple in the hallway spooning under a blanket watching a movie on a phone. My radar went up. We were not staying there and would have to find something else. 

Saturday May 18- Road to Atlanta. We left for Atlanta at 6:15am. I told Mark about my room concern and he said we would look for something else. Seems like I am coming down with a cough, feels like an allergy thing. Hacking and eyes watering. Stopped at McDonalds for breakfast to go.

Mark called Frank and Kristi and said we should be there by 1pm. Plan is to go to their condo, then to lunch, then to visit the Frank Hamilton School and then to the venue. This booking for the Atlanta Area Friends of Folk Music is what started this whole tour.

Mark called Marianne from the vehicle to check in. Plan was to have her talk to Frank during lunch.  I overheard Marianne say, “I can’t wait to see you.” That is when I knew my job was to bring him safely home to her. 

Mark tried to look up another hotel, the Baymont Kennesaw. I called and got the reservation line; they said they had two rooms. We stopped and found out that they only had a suite, and we took it. Separate bedroom and sofa sleeper. Check-in was at 3pm and we would be back after the show that night.

Finally got to Kristi and Frank’s condo. Seeing Frank and Mark meet was very touching. Kristi gave me the condo tour and we sat at the kitchen area table. She gave me some water and cough drops. Mark was working on tweaking one of Frank’s banjos in the living room. Then Frank came and sat with me for a chat, asking about my work, education, writing, music, etc.

Kristi drove us to Pan Asian restaurant. We sat outside, which was nice. Frank is so kind and vibrant. Kristi is the same, glowing personality and so good for Frank. I had broccoli chicken with a veggie egg roll. Mark had pad Thai. Kristi brought their own turmeric and ginger tea, which was good. 

Mark called Marianne, so she was able to talk to Frank and Kristi. Mark bought lunch. Kristi drove us back to the condo so we could get the Tahoe and follow them to the Frank Hamilton School. Kristi dropped Frank off and would pick him up later. Frank gave us a tour of the building. Very nice with several classrooms, office, kitchen, library. A bluegrass jam was going on. Frank and Mark joined them for about 4 songs. Mark had a good time, then we had to leave for the venue.

Got to the venue at 5pm. Met Chris Moser and his wife and other volunteers. I helped Mark set up the merch table. The other band, Blackfoot Daisy, was also just loading in. Showtime was 7pm. The refreshment table was open, and I got Mark a red blend and me a pinot grigio. Mark did sound check and sounded good. Frank and Kristi came, and Frank will be doing a few songs with Mark at the end of his set. Mark would go on first and Blackfoot Daisy second. Had a nice crowd and Mark sold some merch. 

I guess we got back to the Kennesaw Baymont at 11pm. Our suite was on the second floor up the stairs, no elevator, wo we only took in what we needed. I tossed things in a bag and so did he, and he had his instruments. The important stuff.

It was a nice room. I gave him the bedroom, with his own TV.  I had the sofa sleeper in the living room area. The room was large and the bathroom was in the middle. We had some wine and a review. Pulled out the sofa sleeper and I found a blanket and pillow in a drawer, and he tossed me another pillow from his room. Plan was to leave at 6:15am and head for home. He went into his room and shut the door and I went to the bathroom to take out my contact lenses. I remember pulling the blanket up to my chin and being so comfortable, then I was out like a light. When I woke up, my phone was on the floor.

At 6:15am we headed for home. I got some coffee and egg product ( scrambled eggs shaped in rounds) from the lobby. 

And off we went. I thought I was going to take I75 North through Lexington to I64 West to I65 North, the route that I know and have traveled before. Well, no…the GPS and its controller said to take 24 West through Nashville. It was curves and slow moving, and I felt I could run faster than what the vehicle was moving. I started coughing more and my sinuses felt like I was wearing heavy glasses. Glad it happened on the last day. I drove till Franklin IN then gave Mark the wheel for about 1 ½ hours. He said he would take us in, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen. He got us through Indy, and we switched at exit 152. We had 150 miles to go. The home stretch.

I dropped Mark and his stuff on his front lawn at 5:45pm.  Marianne came out to greet him with an embrace and a kiss.  My job was done. He was safely home!!

Marianne gave me a beautiful flowering plant, candy and a lovely thank you card. I got home at 6:30 pm. Only took myself and my purse inside the house. I left everything in the rental vehicle, planning to transfer it to the Jeep tomorrow. When I opened the front door, I expected to be greeted by a jumping, barking beagle. Instead, Lukey was lying on the sofa and wagged his tail, wanting his belly rubbed.  Guess he had too much yard work that day. Home.

“This was better than any cruise or destination vacation.”  

The following week, Mark still carried on the tour, doing area shows, and then had to go to Eagle River and Minocqua, Wisconsin.  I went back to work, and on May 22, my birthday, I took myself to Immediate Care just to have the cough/sinus thing checked out. Negative Covid test and was told to take some cough meds and a nasal spray. 

Looking forward,


Finding the Folkway Tour with Mark Dvorak – May 7 to May 19 (Part 1)

This tour schedule started about 4 years ago when Mark Dvorak’s booking for the Atlanta Area Friends of Folk Music’s Fiddler’s Green Coffeehouse got rescheduled to May 18, 2024 because of Covid. When venues started opening again Mark developed a booking campaign called “Ready When You Are” and sent out mailings. Some were to be fill-ins for the road to Atlanta date. One by one requests came in and dates were filled. Some required miles and hours of driving in between and criss-crossing a bit. But in the end, looking at the calendar, it was all doable, with only two nights off without a performance during the 12-day tour. Not bad. The tour coincided with Mark’s release of his new book “31 Winters; Finding the Folk Way” and his new CD “Live & Alone”. He has been working on the production of those for quite a long time. Perfect timing.

Here’s the schedule, followed by my notes from the road, as I tried to document each day. 

Alton IL • Tuesday May 7 • 6:30 pm • What a Wonderful World Family Concert • Jacoby Arts Center • 627 Broadway • Sponsored by the Hayner Public Library District

Asheville NC • Thursday May 9 • 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm • Music My Mother Would Not Like • With Bruce Swan • Listen in the Asheville area 103.3 fm • Streaming live at

Black Mountain NC • Thursday May 9 • SERFA Conference • 

Black Mountain NC • Friday May 10 • SERFA Conference • 

Metamora IN • Saturday May 11 • 7:00 pm • Metamora Opry Barn • 19189 Pennington Road

Norwood OH • Sunday May 12 • 7:00 pm • Queen City Balladeers • Leo Coffee House • Zion UCC • 2301 Indian Mound Road • 513.399.7227 • • 

Knoxville TN • Tuesday May 14 • 12 noon • Blue Plate Special • WDVX fm • 201 S. Gay Street • 865.544.1029 • • 

Salisbury NC • Wednesday May 15 • 7:00 pm • The American Folk Song • Rowan County Public Library • 201 Fisher Street • 980.432.8670 • • 

Lexington KY • Thursday May 16 • 4:00 pm • Friendship Christian Village Community Concert • Baunta Building Cafe • 3816 Camelot Drive • Private event • 859.271.9000 • 

Lexington KY • Thursday May 16 • 6:00 pm • Friendship Christian Village Community Concert • Friendship Towers • 580 Greenfield Drive • Private event • 859.271.9000 • 

Mt. Vernon KY • Friday May 17 • Songfarmers National Gathering • Kentucky Music Hall of Fame & Museum • 2590 Richmond Street • 606.256.1000 • •

Atlanta GA • Saturday May 18 • Fiddler’s Green Coffee House • First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta • 470 Calendar Park Drive NE • 404 378 5570 •

Monday May 6 – I picked up the rental vehicle…a very large Chevy Tahoe.  Room enough for a sound system, 3 instruments, merch, Mark’s other stuff, snacks/beverages, my Uncorked showcase room stuff and my clothes. 

Tuesday May 7 – Picked Mark up at 9:30 and loaded the vehicle, on the road to Alton IL. Made it to the Days Inn Alton after GPS took us on a one lane country winding road that seemed to go for miles. Careful driving–didn’t want to ditch the Tahoe. Jacoby Art center is cool. It used to be a family run furniture store, now an Art center and a listening room. Good turnout, lovely audience.  Mark sold some merch. Off to a good start. 

Wednesday May 8- Travel day… Checked into the Days Inn in Sevierville TN.  We dodged the bad weather. Tornadoes behind us. It was a long haul. We had dinner at Longhorn. I accidentally ran over the median when I was making a left turn out of the restaurant and didn’t cut it wide enough. Resulted in some comments from the passenger. Still getting used to this big vehicle. The steering is a bit loose, not tight like my Jeep. Nice hotel on a river/ stream, the rooms have a little balcony. I actually saw some large fish in the water. Catfish, I think. 

Thursday May 9- On the road to Black Mountain NC for the SERFA Conference. Stopped at Pizza Hut to order pizza for the Uncorked showcase that evening to be delivered by 9:45pm. Went to check in at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly where the conference was held, but check in was not till 3pm. Drove into Black Mountain for lunch at a small café. Nice place. Then back to the YMCA to check in. A bit pressed for time. We have to be in Asheville for a radio show from 4-6. Checked in and got rooms. I’m in the basement of the main building and Mark is in another building up the hill. Registration said it was a 3-minute walk. Headed to Asheville for Bruce Swan’s Music My Mother Would Not Like radio show.  Had a lovely visit with Louise Baker as well. Back to the YMCA, unloaded and put the Uncorked room together. Pizza was delivered and the room went great. 11-2am. Mark walked back to his place. I was hoping he didn’t meet a bear.

Friday May 10 – Took down the Uncorked décor and loaded it in the truck. Leftover pizza for breakfast. Went into town to the grocery store. Had lunch and dinner at the YMCA, salads. Mark sat in the lobby and changed strings on his instruments, a good way to meet and reconnect with folks. Visited a couple late night showcases. Mark played Roots and Sources at midnight. He did a great set, got the room singing. Heading out at 7am tomorrow for Indiana and Ohio.

Saturday May 11 – Brought the vehicle around at 6am and Mark walked his stuff down the hill. The elevator at the YMCA is a bit tiny… will fit a cart and one person. The door kept closing on the cart and I had to manually push it open. It wacked my arm a couple of times as I tried to prevent it from closing. I do not like elevators to begin with.  Got on the road by 7. Eight hours later, got to Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Will be at the Baymont for two nights. Could not check in for another hour, so we went to the grocery store. 

Took narrow winding roads to the Metamora Opry Barn.  No way could I drive this road in the dark. Mark says “Whoa” when I swerve or slow down to let a vehicle pass.  The vehicle is large, but not heavy as I expected it to be.

The Metamora Opry Barn is a very cool place. There was a country singer, Tay Bronson, who opened. Really good Nashville sound. Did a fun song called “Golf Cart”.  Small but mighty audience. Mark sold a few CDs.   

Driving back to the hotel, had to take the narrow winding road 12 miles in the dark. I was counting each mile that went by. Went slow- not much traffic, and a few cars did pass me. I get blinded by the oncoming lights of cars, especially on dark country roads with no other lights. It took 45 minutes. I was glad to get back to the Baymont and a glass of wine. 

Sunday May 12th (Mother’s Day)- I expected it to be a slow day. Workshop and performance are tonight in Norwood, Ohio. I think it was 8:30am when I got the text “Awake and Ready”. What? Mark wanted to do laundry, so we headed to the small town of Aurora, Ohio for the laundromat, and he showed me how these new digital washers work. Then walked down the quiet small street looking for coffee, and there it was. A flag said open. It was a small coffee/book shop. Two young cute girls behind the counter.  Got coffee and sat outside. Mark brought his guitar and played a little. Then he took a walk to the river, to make a phone call to check in at home. I stayed at the table and enjoyed watching the small town wake up on this Sunday morning. 

Took a drive along the river and then another country road, curvy with blind spots. Drove it for what seemed like several miles. Made me nauseous. Lost the GPS signal so had to turn around.  He makes fun and it’s okay. I just want us to be safe. Told him I would give him the key to the vehicle, and I would take an uber to the airport. I was joking, of course. 

There was one diner in town, but it was crowded, so we went back to the main road and stopped at Frisch’s for breakfast. Not a good idea. 

Stopped at the Kroger. We don’t eat out much. We’d rather buy supplies from a grocery store: fruit, vegetables, hummus, pita, a rotisserie chicken, tortilla chips and pico de gallo for me. Carrots, celery, granola bars, salami, cheese, V8, sometimes a healthy frozen concoction to microwave for him. The Days Inn/Super 8/Baymont has coffee and usually continental breakfast but sometimes the nicer hotels have hot breakfast options like biscuits and gravy and sausage, which I can’t eat, but they also have scrambled eggs, so I get to have that with my coffee. Sometimes we stop at McDonald’s, and I can get two round eggs and an English muffin, and I am good for the day. 

Drive to Leo Coffeehouse took 35 minutes on the interstate. Mark did a workshop at 5:30 on performance. It was well attended with very good interaction. 

Then had to wait till 8:15 for him to do his 45-minute set. There were two performers ahead of him, a woman trio and a couple. It was a good turnout. They had chairs and also some couch seating areas in the main room and all were taken. 

Going back to the Baymont, Mark said I would get pulled over for going too slow.  Almost got sideswiped as I was turning to go on the hotel road. A car came speeding around the right. I think he turned from the other road.  So that led to more comments.

Time for a glass of wine. We review the day. The venue, the performance. Mark said he should drive the vehicle because we will be sharing the driving on the road back home from Atlanta. It will be a long drive.

See Part 2, coming soon, for the next installment of the tour blog!

uncorked flyer

Catching up!


Actually, it has been quite a while since I updated my website blog. I am more visible on Facebook, and you can view my page here!

So, let’s see what I need to share…


January 2023 – Luke the beagle is adapting very well since his adoption on December 30th. He is a good boy and has his own personality. I give him a massage and sing to him every night.

2023 was a year of loss. My ex-husband Vince passed away on April 7, and a childhood friend, Helen, on September 9. A bit of a wake-up call to enjoy each day.

September 14-16, 2023 – Went to Lexington, KY. Michael Johnathon had an art show on Friday, September 15, late afternoon in Paris, Kentucky, showing his beautiful original paintings. Then I headed to the Lyric Theater for the Garrison Keillor show and bought a couple of his books for a friend in Chicago.

October 19-21, 2023 – Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts presented the Uncorked showcase at the FARM (Folk Alliance Region Midwest Conference). Always a great time, and I always have a Free Pizza Friday social to start the room on Friday night. It was in Naperville/Lisle, Illinois, and close to home.

November 14, 2023 – I saw The Eagles at Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY. Though I try to veer away from large venues for concerts, this one was easily accessible, and my hotel was right down the same road. Lexington has been like a second home to me for the past 25 years. The Doobie Brothers opened. One of the best larger shows I have seen in a long time. And to be under the same roof as Don Henley after all these years was a treat. Felt things were coming full circle. Bought two t-shirts.

November 17, 2023 – Singer, songwriter, and friend Dennis Warner from Minnesota played at Wesley’s in LaGrange, IL.

November/December 2023 – Mark Dvorak had some vehicle issues, so I drove him to Rockford, IL, Algonquin, IL, and Milwaukee, WI, for shows. It was fun to do the day trips on the road.


February 10, 2024 – I saw Rod Stewart at the Hard Rock Casino in Gary, Indiana. I heard he was doing a stint in Vegas, and I actually thought about going there. Glad I didn’t spend the money for that. I stayed at the Quality Inn in Hammond just down the road and next to the Gentlemen’s Club. The venue was small, 1200-1600. Rod’s show was Vegas: six girls in sequins, several wardrobe changes, and three male band members who all talented and knew how to carry him through the performance. He gave his three female singers each a chance to do a song while he went off stage. At the end, he did a song and then left the stage never to return. No encore, no good night. A couple of times through his performance, he did thank the audience. The concert was 1 hour 20 minutes straight through. I bought a t-shirt and wore it during the concert.

April 6, 2024 – Don McLean at Rivers Casino in Rosemont, IL. This venue seated about 800. I had a second-row middle seat. The ticket was about $80, including taxes and fees. Couldn’t believe I was seeing him at that price and so close to home. What a great show, Don played straight through for about 90 minutes. His band members were Nashville-based, and some have been with him for 30+ years. They accompanied him and did not overpower him. Don didn’t have a merch table, so I went online and bought a t-shirt for $10.

Up next: a recap of a 12 Day, 7 state music tour in May 2024. Stay tuned!



2022 in Review

Wow, the year certainly went by fast!

Music venues started opening again, and it was great to see live performances this past year by Mark Dvorak, Michael Johnathon, Dennis Warner and many more.

April 2022 was the SongFarmer Gathering in Renfro Valley, Kentucky, where WoodSongs was inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum. 

Loretta at the Woodsongs exhibit at the Ky Music Hall of Fame
Loretta at a section of the Woodsongs display at the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum, 2022.

October 2022 was the first FARM (Folk Alliance Region Midwest) Conference since 2019. It was so great to host the Uncorked late-night showcase for three nights and to see everyone again.  This year it was held in the Naperville/Lisle, IL area, so it was close to home.

uncorked flyer

Foundation is a local neighborhood restaurant; the third Thursday of each month is a Sing for Your Supper event hosted by Chicago Acoustic Underground and Michael Teach. It was a fun night in December listening to Mark Dvorak and Donna Adler and sharing a booth with Sue Fink. 

I published two books in 2022… The Troubadour in June and SwanSong in November. These follow my first Book The Interview that was published in 2021. These are the three stories I started writing 20 plus years ago and I am pleased to share them. If you are interested in reading them, please email to order!

3 books by Loretta Sawyer

Looking forward to 2023

Michael Johnathon is releasing his 20th Studio album Garden of Silence.

Mark Dvorak continues to add to his community arts performance schedule.

Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts is pleased to be doing the promotion of Minnesota singer-songwriter Dennis Warner’s community and children’s performances in South Africa this March.  It all started with a song that led to a children’s book.  When Warner was driving home to Minnesota after a concert in Illinois, the words to the song started to evolve. The song, “Beads on One String”, will take Dennis and a team throughout South Africa this March to perform 18-20 concerts.

“On the way home to Minnesota I wrote the song that would change my life,” Dennis explains. “’Beads on One String’ was written after I visualized a beaded necklace where every bead is a different size, shape, and color but all held together by one string. This image is how I see us all around the world; we are all different sizes, shapes, and colors. I started writing it as a cultural diversity song, with the importance placed on the beads and how their individual differences are what make them (us) great. And I believe that’s true, but struggled to make it an interesting song. So I changed directions and went 180 degrees the other way with it. Instead, I focused on the things we have in common with each other and NOT our differences. The song was now about the importance of the string that keeps the beautiful beads together on the necklace. ‘Beads on One String’ soon became a children’s book that is being used throughout the U.S. and beyond in bully prevention/positive behavior curriculums in elementary schools.”
Here’s a link to the song: Beads on One String

So, that’s the update here.  I wish you all a happy, healthy and musical 2023!

In closing I would like to share with you the quote that opens my third book SwanSong…

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.

                                      -From the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians

Love, Lo 

Loretta with Mark Dvorak
Loretta and Mark Dvorak, 2022.

Springing Ahead

It has been a busy couple months around here.

April 1 was the renewal date for Loretta Sawyer Agency… licensed, bonded, and insured for another year. 

April 1 was also my 1st Pfizer vaccination shot.  Except for a sore arm the next day, no side effects. 

April 2 the Big Brown Truck (UPS) delivered 9 boxes (250 copies) of my book The Interview: A Story of Love, Loss & the Power of a Song. I finally got to hold the book in my hand!  It was a long journey for this book to become a reality and I share my writing and music adventure in the Author’s Note pages in the back of the book. Michael Johnathon designed the cover; it is an actual picture of his guitar. And Mark Dvorak performs the original song from the book, “Your Special Love,” in the promotional video.  

April 22, Earth Day! This was also the day of my second Pfizer shot. It was such a great feeling. Energized, felt like I want to go out for a run- and as most of you know, walking can be challenging for me sometimes! Then a few hours later there was a calm mellow feeling. Getting vaccinated is a step to getting back to normal- getting back to the live music.  

May 13 I made my first road trip to Lexington, KY in a year. When I arrived in Lexington, 7 hours and 400 miles later, I did my first zoom interview about The Interview with Rik Palieri for his upcoming Music Showcase program. It was odd being on the other side of the table, being the one interviewed. Thanks, Rik, for making it fun. A link to the broadcast will be posted here and on my Facebook page when it is available 

A link to buy the book will be available on this site very soon, as will a Facebook page for the book. Meanwhile, if you would like a copy of The Interview email me at
Follow this page and my personal Facebook page for more updates!