Category Archives: Uncategorized

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,

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!



Summer Update from Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts

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 returned to the Chicago area twice in one week. Lillie Kuzma hosted Michael for a concert at WDCB radio on July 10, prior to his on-air spot during her Folk Festival radio show. Michael returned to Concerts on the Creek in Rockford, IL July 14 for a night of stories and songs shared with a wonderful and generous audience.

Michael has been writing, composing, and rehearsing for his “Songs of Rural America” concert. Michael will perform songs with a symphony orchestra. This will be recorded for public radio and filmed for public television.  Be part of the WORLD PREMIER Performance Saturday Oct 6, 2018 at the historic Ariel Opera House in Gallipolis, OH.  For more info visit

Mark Dvorak’s schedule is always full. Check it out at Mark was involved in three Oak Park Illinois Thursday Night Out Folk music events held monthly in  June, July and August, showcasing some great Chicago area talent to the Oak Park community audience. Mark is also working with a new trio out of Old Town School called $11 Supper and has done several co-bills with them. They have been called “Chicago’s new vibrant acoustic trio.” You can check out their Facebook page for more info.

Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts will be going on road trips this fall and will be hosting the Uncorked late night showcase at two upcoming music conferences: FARM in Grand Rapids, MI and NERFA in Stamford, CT. LSAA is also a sponsor at FARM.

Uncorked flier

See the Uncorked FARM banner here and on the FARM website. Watch this site for the Uncorked schedules for FARM and NERFA as soon as both are completed!

Thanks for visiting and enjoy the rest of the summer days that we have left…



SERFA Weekend Update

Montreat NC, is where the 11th Annual South East Region Folk Alliance (SERFA) Music Conference was held May 17-20.

We set out early Wednesday Morning from Chicago and made a stop in Knoxville TN for the night, after driving through three bouts of very heavy rain. Thursday Morning was an easy two hour drive to Montreat.

Loretta with the official SERFA T-shirt.

Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts was a SERFA Sponsor; very cool having the LSAA logo on the back of the SERFA T-shirt. LSAA hosted the Uncorked private showcase room for Thursday and Friday nights. Thanks to all the artists who shared their songs and stories in the Uncorked room.

Mark Dvorak jams with conference attendees in the hotel lobby.

Saturday was a vacation day and chance to get away for a bit. 45 minutes away in Flat Rock, NC is the home where Illinois born poet, writer, and editor Carl Sandburg lived his final very productive years. The Farm is called Connemara. Sunday was the 700 mile drive home in 11 hours.

A visit to the Carl Sandburg Home, Flat Rock, NC.

Thanks to Art Menius, the SERFA Board members/officers and volunteers for the wonderful conference.

Mark Dvorak: On The Road Again

It promises to be a busy summer for Mark Dvorak. MD hits the road Thursday June 9 for a series of shows in Illinois, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky.

  • In concert: On Friday, June 15, MD makes a return visit to The 3rd Friday Coffeehouse in Somerset KY, and will make his second appearance at Charles and Myrtles Coffeehouse in Chattanooga TN on Saturday June 16.
  • On the air: On Saturday, June 16 at 12:00 noon, MD makes his debut appearance on  The Blue Plate Special hosted by Red Hickey. It’s a LIVE radio performance show before a LIVE audience in the WDVX Studios in the newly renovated Knoxville Visitors Center, Knoxville TN.
  • At the fest: On June 9 and 10, MD makes his twentieth appearance at the Homeplace Pickin’ Party. Located on an historic 1840s working farm in the heart of Land Between the Lakes, the festival features music, demonstrations, food and jamming. MD joins the Dixie Volunteers, Common Thread and a host of other acoustic performers.
  • Community Concert Partnership: Other appearances on the tour include Evergreen Place Assisted Living in Normal IL, Sayre Christian Village in Lexington KY and a private House Concert in Cincinnati OH along with other engagements still in the works.

Get in touch to see how easy it is to bring Mark Dvorak to your performance series, venue or event. Learn more at Book Mark.

Here comes 2016: A Post from Lo

Thank you to all the artists, venues, DJs, music organizations and media that I have had the honor to work with during the past year. By working together we continue to share the songs of musicians hearts to the listening audience.

Looking forward to 2016… LSA will be sending many new CDs out to radio, working with the WoodSongs Front Porch Association/WoodSongs in the Schools, booking Michael Johnathon for the SongFarmer tour, hosting showcase rooms at SERFA and FARM conferences, and supplying publicity/promotion for concerts and events. Stay tuned by visiting

I wish you love, peace, joy, success and good health! Happy New Year!

Love, Lo

Looking back at Spring and ahead to Summer

It been a very busy spring for LSA! May brought Mark Dvorak to the Lexington KY area with a co-bill with Ma Crow and the Lady Slippers at Natasha’s,  a senior concert for the wonderful folks at Sayre Village, a Family program at the Tates Creek Library and a guitar workshop at The Leeds Center for the Arts in Winchester, KY. This is all part of his Community Partnership programs.

I have enjoyed  attending several concerts in the Chicago area… Acoustic duo Hungrytown at the Windy City House Concerts, a wonderful house concert series in Chicago. Dan Weber made a stop at Uncommon Ground on his national tour. I met Dan at the FARM conference a couple years ago. Patty Stevenson & Craig Siemsen CD release at Uncommon Ground-Clark. Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts/Promotions is sending their new CD Paint Me A Picture to radio. It has already received airplay in; IL, TX, IN, MI, OH, NJ,CA and NH.

Michael Johnathon came to the Chicago area for two special concerts. With David Hawkins at Uncommon Ground on Clark St. And then a concert for the wonderful folks of Lake County Folk Club with Chicago’s Sue Fink.  Loretta Sawyer Agency books Michael’s concerts and Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts promotes his special events. Up Coming is The WoodSongs Front Porch Association (WFPA) Gathering set for Sept 25 & 26 at the historic Museum of Appalachia Norris, TN. The Gathering will be held on eleven beautiful acres at the cabin village of over 40 log structures and porches. Showcases, workshops, lectures, films, children’s stage, great food and a lot of music are planned.

Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts is honored to do radio promotion for a very special project by The Young Stracke All Stars, It Was A Dream is their debut CD. Since 2008, Chicago’s Young Stracke All-Stars have been building bridges between legendary figures like Carl Sandburg and Woody Guthrie and the youth of today. The band, made up of youth musicians ages 8 to 14, play music; celebrating the legacy of folk singer, education pioneer and co-founder of Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music Win Stracke.

Enjoy summer!


Chicago Folk Icon Eddie Holstein & Dave Rudolf at Uncommon Ground-Clark

Chicago,IL – The Uncommon Ground on Clark Street welcomes two Chicago area Award Winning songwriters; Eddie Holstein & Dave Rudolf on Sunday April 19th at 7pm.
The Uncommon Ground is located at 3800 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60613 $15 cover, Reservations recommended at 773-929-3680.
Eddie Holstein has been a mainstay of the Chicago Folk Scene for almost 50 years. His songs have been performed and recorded by such artists as Tom Rush, Steve Goodman, Bonnie Koloc, Bette Midler, Chad Mitchell, Martin Simpson and Pure Prairie League. Eddie performs throughout the Midwest. Besides his own CD, Eddie is features on the Grammy-winning Tribute to Steve Goodman, alongside John Prine, John Hartford, Richie Havens, Bonnie Raitt and many others. His unique blend of folk songs, blues and humor always entertain.
In the early days of the Chicago Folk Boom Eddie and his late brother Fred performed at legendary clubs like The Earl Of Old Town and Somebody Else’s Troubles where folks like Goodman, John Prine, Bonnie Koloc & others got their start. The Holstein brothers owned a self named club that featured national touring acts until the late ‘80s. Eddie Holstein is the resident folk icon at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music.
Dave Rudolf is a long time performer and a multi award winning singer/songwriter who is working on his 30th and 31st Album right now…He’s a Gold Record, Grammy nominated artist, 15 time nominee for Entertainer of the Year awards from NACA (The National Association for Campus Activities), has 30 albums many of which have won various awards. He is an award winning childrens author, wrote for Disney, did a TV pilot for the All New Captain Kangaroo several years back, written for Second City, and lots more stuff we won’t bore you with…Dave is currently touring in support of his new CD.. He’s shared the stage with Steve Goodman, John Hartford, The Smother Brothers, Michael Smith, Megon McDonough, The Gatlin Brothers, Sha Na Na,The Beach Boys, The Everly Brothers, The Mam as and Papas, and weirdly back in the day, Cheech and Chong to name a few…His latest CD, “Acoustic Live” is getting national airplay on various folk radio stations throughout the country…He also has writing workshops and music Biz workshops should you be interested . The 3 Wise Guys will be joining Dave on stage at Uncommon Ground.

Suburban Widows Release Journal Book On Grieving

Loretta Sawyer Promotions provided publication guidance and customized local promotion for the new book release by Nancy Steker and Susan Troppito.

Suburban Widows Release Journal Book On Grieving

Westchester, IL– Nancy Steker and Susan Troppito had happy suburban marriages and families, until they both became widows way too soon. A Grieving Widows Journal; A Collection of Thoughts is the book they wrote, with intent to share the journey of loss.

“Nancy and I only knew each other through the grammar school our children attended,” explains co-author Susan Troppito. “One day, as Nancy was consoling me, we began discussing our feelings as widows; loneliness, fears, confusion, etc.  So, we decided to write it all down and publish a book.  We each wrote about our personal journey since becoming widows. For me it has been three years and for Nancy it has been eight years since the loss of our husbands.   We certainly don’t feel like we know all the answers but we hope our experiences and thoughts can bring comfort to other widows or anyone suffering from losing a loved one.”

Book signings, readings and presentations are being planned.

Visit the website at or mail for more information and to order a copy of A Grieving Widows Journal;  A Collection of Thoughts.


Mark Dvorak to receive Lantern Bearer Award at October Midwest Conference

CHICAGO IL – The Folk Alliance Region Midwest (FARM) Board of Directors has named folk singer Mark Dvorak as the 2013 Lantern Bearer Award recipient. The award will be presented at the annual conference on October 24 at the Sheraton Westport Plaza Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri.

“The Lantern Bearer recognition is given to an individual who has contributed locally and regionally to folk performance arts and the folk and dance community for twenty-five years or more,” said Robert Hofbauer, President of the FARM Board of Directors. “Mark’s body of work as a performer, song writer, educator and community builder is most impressive, and we are so pleased he’ll be joining us for the conference, and pleased to honor his work in the community over the last twenty-five years.”

Dvorak has helped launch no less than five grass-roots arts organizations in the Chicago area, most notably The Plank Road Folk Music Society, now in its twenty-seventh year. He became a key member of the faculty at the Old Town School of Folk Music when that venerable institution was revitalized in the 1980s.

“I feel lucky,” said the singer. “I came to the Old Town School of Folk Music and came into this work at a time when there wasn’t a lot going on. Everywhere I turned, I found people working together to learn music, and to provide the space for music to happen. It’s been an interesting ride so far and I’m looking forward to the next chapter.”

As a performer, Dvorak has given concerts in almost all the United States and made visits to Finland and Ireland. He has released sixteen albums to date, of traditional and original music. His songbook ranges across the American heartland, his performances are characteristically informative and inspirational.

He has won awards for children’s music, journalism and was honored in 2008 with the Woodstock Folk Festival Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Chicago Tribune has called him “masterful;” the Fox Valley Folk Festival describes him as, “a living archive of song and style.” Last year WFMT Midnight Special host Rich Warren named him, “Chicago’s official troubadour.”

For more information on Mark Dvorak, visit his website at For more information on the annual FARM conference log on to