Author Archives: admin

A Special Love is in the Air This Year!

Greetings! Hope you are all keeping safe, warm and healthy. I know I am looking forward to spring!

Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts recently completed the CD distribution of Jeff and Teresa Davidsmeyer’s new release Songs from the Cabin to select Folk DJ Reporting Stations.

Michael Johnathon recently received the prestigious Kentucky Milner Award for his arts contributions. He continues to work on new projects. Look for the release of his new CD The Painter.

Mark Dvorak is busy at work on a new CD Live & Alone and a collection of essays, 31 Winters, both due out this spring.

I’m very excited about the upcoming release of my first novel, The Interview, a story of love, loss, and the power of a song. Integral to the storyline is “Your Special Love,” performed here by my friend Mark Dvorak of Chicago. You can view the YouTube video here. The song has been released to FOLK-DJ radio stations for Valentine’s Day programming.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

A Shelter-in-Place Update


I hope you are all doing well.

Here are a few things that are going on, as we try to make our way through this uncertain and uneasy time.

Chicago area singer/songwriter Dave Rudolf is releasing two new CDs. Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts is doing the distribution to select FOLK DJ Reporting Stations. As The Town Turns to Dust is Dave Rudolf’s 38th album and was completed in February 2020, just as the pandemic shut everything down. This is his primary acoustic album. Dave decided to forge ahead and write another album; of the 15 tunes on The Ebb & Flow, he wrote 12 of them in a three-week (shelter-in-place) period. The songs reflect our current situation.

Mark Dvorak is doing several virtual Zoom concerts, fundraising events organized by Music and Potlucks. Recently he did a streaming performance for Rich Warren’s Folkstage on WFMT.

Even in shelter-in-place and live music isolation, Michael Johnathon keeps busy expanding his own art and music. He has spent the past few months painting canvases. His art is a reflection of his artistic hero Vincent van Gogh. Michael is also in the studio working on his next recording, The Painter, and his fifth book is planned to be released in 2021.

As mention in my January 2020 blog, I have been updating several manuscripts in hopes of finally publishing the books. The Interview has been in editing by Abby Lane, who has a keen eye and sense for detail and dialogue. I am looking at a December publishing and a January 2021 release.

Visit my Facebook page for more updates and news!

Be well and stay safe,

Happy New Year!

In the New Year… Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts will be working with various artists on press releases and promotion for concerts and special events and will provide select and custom CD distribution of new releases to folk radio.

Mark Dvorak will be releasing his new CD Let Love Go On in February 2020. The new release of great new material includes original songs by Mark and the song “Parade of Fools, Downtown” written by WVPE Folk DJ Al Kniola.

Michael Johnathon will be releasing his new CD Legacy in March 2020. The title song is described as being “The American Pie of the 21st Century,” It is an epic, original, 9-minute rocking journey through the world of music from Pete Seeger to Josh White, Joni Mitchell to the Kingston Trio, Dylan to Denver and more, in the context of a collapsing record business that all artists must struggle with. Legacy is an album of “derivatives”… original songs, original lyrics, original chord patterns but written and recorded to remind you of another song.

A big step forward for me was having Michael Johnathon read my book manuscript The Interview. He describes it as “a draft of a very fine new book in a music setting; the plot is very well thought out.” My goal was to have a novel published and many years ago I started writing for music magazines and newspapers covering music artists and events. I read in one of those “how to get published” books that it was good to have some sort of published work. I wrote lots of articles throughout the years. The novel idea was put aside. It was during several interviews with performers and attending different music events that I realized there was a need for publicity and promotion.

I then started Loretta Sawyer Agency/ Acoustic Arts. Aside from doing the publicity and promotion, one of my favorite things is going to Folk Alliance Regional Conferences and presenting artists in my late-night Uncorked showcase.

2020 marks the 25th anniversary of my first published article. So it would be epic for 2020 to be the year of my first published book. Will work on it 😉

I wish you much music, love and good health in 2020!



Summer of Music Wrap-up

Mark Dvorak sings an original song, ”I Hate to See the Summer Go”

Summer certainly speeds by fast! It’s been a time of outdoor art fairs, festivals and events… and some fine indoor things too:


Michael Johnathon in performance

Michael Johnathon in performance

Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts had a great time hosting the Uncorked room at SERFA (Southeast Region Folk Alliance Conference) May 16 & 17 in Chattanooga, TN. Then we took a short road trip to Atlanta for Mark Dvorak’s performance May 18 at the Atlanta Area Friends of Folk Music. At Fiddler’s Green Concert Series, Mark reconnected with Frank Hamilton, and it was a special night of music!

Michael Johnathon returned to Illinois the end of May for performances at Two Way Street Coffee House in Downers Grove, IL and Concerts on the Creek in Rockford, IL.  Michael is touting his new releases of Dazed + Confuzed, The Songs of Rural America, and his WoodSongs 4 book. 


There was a night of blues and Americana at Wishbone North in Chicago on June 21 with Mark Dvorak, Donna Herula and Jon Shain.

Mark Dvorak by concert poster

Mark Dvorak at Fiddler’s Green Concert Series

A trip to Kentucky took Mark Dvorak to Lexington on June 27 for two performances for the wonderful folks of Sayre Christian Village.  June 29, we headed to Batesville Indiana for Mark Dvorak’s afternoon workshop and evening concert for the Batesville Library.


July 11 was the annual Island in the City Festival where my favorite Chicago festival band 7th Heaven performs each year.



Loretta with Colista Ledford

Loretta with Colista Ledford in Winchester, Kentucky

July 24 was another road trip to Kentucky. I had a meeting in a castle in Versailles, Ky and enjoyed a lovely lunch with Colista Ledford in Winchester, KY, then headed to London, KY and met up with the Higher Vision Band at the Pickin for the Kids Festival! It was great to catch up with Ronnie, Rob, Dedria, Kelly, and Steve.


Mark Dvorak (with Manuel Adduci on bass) returned to Concerts on the Creek in Rockford, IL on August 10th. The duo Last Acre opened the evening of music.

Michael Johnathon returned to the Hickory Ridge concert series in Lewiston, Illinois on August 17, and that is a story for the record books that only Michael can tell you!

Higher Vision in concert

Higher Vision in concert

Mark Dvorak returned to Mather’s Café in Chicago on Friday, August 23. Thanks to Our Village and Nadig newspapers for picking up the press release. It landed in four newspaper editions!

Now that August is here, planning is being done for the FARM (Folk Alliance Region Midwest) Conference in Grand Rapids, MI October 24-27. LSAA will be hosting the Uncorked room for three nights, and the schedule is already full! Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts is also a Gold Sponsor for FARM 2019!

Meanwhile, I’ve been catching up on some movies. I especially like the ones that are music-related… Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen), Rocketman (Elton John), Yesterday (The Beatles), and Blinded by the Light (Bruce Springsteen).

So that is the update here at Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts.

Enjoy the rest of the summer days ahead.



Mark Dvorak dancing with little girl

Mark Dvorak two-stepping in Batesville

Uncorked Showroom at SERFA 2019


Uncorked schedule

Uncorked Showcase 2019

Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts is pleased to present 24 artists in the Uncorked Showcase at 2019 SERFA- Southeast Region Folk Alliance Conference May 16 & 17 in Chattanooga, TN.

The SongFarmers Documentary and Q & A will be at the SERFA conference on Friday afternoon. SongFarmers Perry & Diana Brake will be performing in the Uncorked showcase Friday night followed by Michael Johnathon.

Mark Dvorak schedule

Mark Dvorak SERFA 2019

Chicago singer/songwriter Mark Dvorak will be returning to the SERFA Conference. Here is a link to his SERFA Schedule:


New! LSAA tote bags for SERFA 2019

Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts has a new swag item…tote bags, along with the corkscrews, plastic wine glass and pens. All will be available in the SERFA exhibit hall and in the Uncorked showcase! Hope to see you there!

Get your official Uncorked corkscrew at SERFA 2019!



Springing Ahead…

The beginning of a New Year starts with reviewing artists’ schedules and pitching for fill-in dates. Sending out Press Releases to media to promote a concert and community event is always ongoing. Check out my Facebook page for more up to date info on shows I am promoting!

Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts will be hosting the Uncorked showcase room at the SERFA (South East Region Folk Alliance) Conference in Chattanooga, TN May 16 & 17. Stay tuned for the schedule of amazing artists I will be presenting at this conference.

Mark Dvorak continues to have a full schedule which he balances between traveling to concerts, teaching, and performing for many community events. Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts provides press releases for his various performances and works on connecting him with new music venues to fill out his tour schedule.

Michael Johnathon has released two new projects, Dazed & Confuzed and Songs of Rural America. “The Statue” music video, a song about hate, violence and the symbols of racism in America, with Lesson plans available is from the Dazed & Confuzed: 21st Century Folksinger album. The Songs of Rural America album was recorded live with the Ohio Valley Symphony orchestra and debuted as a TV event on RFD-TV on February 22nd.

Keep Springing ahead!


NERFA Conference 2018 Wrap-Up

Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts headed to the NERFA – Northeast Region Folk Alliance Conference in Stamford CT November 8-11. LSAA hosted the Uncorked showcase on Thursday and Friday nights, presenting an outstanding lineup of artists who “uncorked” their songs and stories during the late night guerilla sessions.

I was also pleased to present Chicago singer songwriter Mark Dvorak to the NERFA community. Mark last appeared at NERFA in 2011 and had some exciting new material to share.

It was also great meeting folks at the Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts booth in the exhibit hall at the conference.

Until next time!

mark dvorak uncorked showcase

Mark Dvorak at the Uncorked Showcase

LSAA banner

Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts banner decorates the Uncorked room




Folk Alliance Region Midwest (FARM) Conference friends….WOW…what a weekend Oct 25-28!

I need to thank Smitty, Annie, the board members and volunteers who worked so hard to give us a fabulous weekend of music and friends. Thanks to all the artists who played in the Uncorked showcase hosted by Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts… you filled the room to the max each night. Special thanks to Mark Dvorak… It would not be Uncorked without him… He also brought $11 Supper to the FARM family table  What a fun trio. Thanks to those who stopped by the Uncorked room to listen…venues, DJs, friends,.. I am grateful for your support.

Mark dvorak uncorked

Mark Dvorak in a packed Uncorked Showcase room

mark dvorak listening party

Mark Dvorak listening party in Uncorked showcase room

michael johnathon uncorked

Michael Johnathon in Uncorked showcase room


LSA Hosts Uncorked Showcase at FARM Conference This Weekend

Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts is hosting the Uncorked showcase room at Folk Alliance
Region Midwest (FARM) in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Oct 25-27.
We are looking forward to presenting these talented artists!
Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts is a Gold Sponsor for FARM and will be hosting the
welcoming reception on Thursday afternoon of the conference. On Friday evening
Uncorked will be hosting a Pizza/Listening Party, presenting Mark Dvorak’s new CD
Brand New Wings. 
Hope to see you there!

Uncorked Showcase 2018

Uncorked Showcase Room 115

showcase room schedule

Uncorked Showcase 2018 Schedule

2nd Annual Acoustic Music Gathering in Oak Park Arts District October 12 & 13

The Oak Park Arts District in Oak Park, Illinois will play host to three acoustic music events on Friday and Saturday, October 12 and 13, to support the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry, Housing Forward and the Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation.

The second annual event, FolkTober Fest, is presented by Music & Potlucks, a community organization dedicated to presenting cultural programs that directly benefit those in need.

On Friday, October 12 at 6:30 pm the FolkTober Fest Acoustic Jam takes place at District Kitchen and Tap, 220 Harrison Street. Players of all acoustic instruments, singers and listeners are invited to the free event. Donations to support the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry, Housing Forward and the Oak Park Community Foundation will be accepted.

On Saturday, October 13 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, the the FolkTober Fest Showcase will take place at Val’s Halla Records, 239 Harrison Street. The free performance will feature acoustic performers and singer-songwriters including $7.34 Supper, Acoustic Neighbors, Jeff Burke’s Jam Class, the Young Stracke All-Stars and others. Donations to support the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry, Housing Forward and the Oak Park Community Foundation will be accepted.

The Saturday, October 13 evening activities shift to The Buzz Cafe, 905 S. Lombard Avenue for a dinner show and a tribute to folk icon Pete Seeger. At 6:00 pm the dinner show entertainment will be provided by Oak Park’s own Dropped Notes String Band. The Buzz Cafe will create a special menu for the event and guests are welcome to bring along their own adult beverage.

At 7:00 pm, A Tribute to Pete Seeger will be presented by Chicago’s “official troubadour” Mark Dvorak and the Power of Song Singers. The one-hour presentation will feature some of Seeger’s most memorable songs. “If I Had a Hammer,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine,” “Turn, Turn, Turn” and others have become standard in the American folk repertoire. Donations to support the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry, Housing Forward and the Oak Park Community Foundation will be accepted.

“We feel the need to continue to nourish our community,” said Music and Potlucks co-director Stephanie Schrodt. “Across the board, there is a lot of fear and concern. There are needs that must be addressed. We feel that music is an important tool that can help bring our community together.”

“Music is the medicine our spirits need,” said Elizabeth Sweeney Backes, President of the Board of the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry. “Learning together, singing together and enjoying music together is the basis where positive, good things can begin to grow.”

Tickets to the Saturday evening event are $20 per adult. Reservations can be made at Brown Paper Tickets, event 3578160. For more information on the event or to make a donation contact

Read more about these events and programs at