Category Archives: WoodSongs

Springing Ahead

Well it is quite busy here for Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts and for me personally…

WoodSongs/Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts was at Folk Alliance International Kansas City, MO
February 15-18th. Thanks to all who stopped by the trade show booth… artists, presenters, DJs. Great meeting you all!

Loretta at FAI 2017

Loretta at FAI 2017

Friday Feb 24th, Brian Ashley Jones was at Uncommon Ground/Devon-Chicago, Saturday Feb 25th brought the music of Tony Bennett at the Mercury Theater. I completed proofreading the new WoodSongs III book for Michael Johnathon, and it had me laughing and crying!

Thursday March 2nd  was my graduation class performance at the Old Town School of Folk Music… yes, I have been taking guitar lessons, now that I have the new Martin guitar I wanted to try it out. So I started again with Guitar 1 at OTS, it was a small class and we all had it going on, of course my instructor (Mark Dvorak) always has it going on. The class gave me structure and incentive and I am looking forward to the next session. I am sorry that there is not a picture or video of the event. They even had lights and microphones! I now have a deeper respect for those of you who make your life/living on the stage!

March 4th was the Annual Paul Seiwert Foundation Benefit for Children with Cancer. David Noll was at Two Way Street Coffee House in Downers Grove, Friday March 10th. Met David at the Folk Alliance Conference Region Midwest where he introduced his new CD Serenade to a Life.

Mark Dvorak filled the Acorn Coffeehouse at the Burning Bush Art Gallery in Wheaton, IL this past Saturday.  A very nice place for art and music.

Michael Johnathon returns to the Hickory Ridge Concert Series in Lewistown, IL this Saturday March 18.

Mark Dvorak will be a showcase artist at the Illinois Library Association Reaching Forward Conference in Rosemont, IL May 5th.  LSAA is doing a special promotion of this
to Illinois libraries.  You can find more information about this and Mark’s complete schedule at www.markdvorak.com

There are a couple of wonderful community music events being planned as fund-raisers for non-profit organizations.  Stayed tuned for more information!

Looking forward to Spring!
Lo

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! A new year brings new bookings and promotion.

Loretta Sawyer Agency has been working on adding more shows to Michael Johnathon‘s schedule for 2017 and beyond.

Mark Dvorak continues to have a full schedule which he balances between traveling to concerts, teaching, and performing for library and senior events. Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts provides press releases for his various performances. The Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago recently recognized Mark Dvorak with the Distinguished Teachers Award.

Chris Vallillo is busy with his program O’Freedom! Songs of the Civil Rights Movement which he is performing at libraries and historical museums.

The Folk Alliance International Conference is Feb 15-19 in Kansas City, MO. WoodSongs/Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts will be having a trade show booth there Feb 16-18 from 11am-3pm. Stop by and visit! Pick up CD samples, information on the WoodSongs Front Porch Association, and become a SongFarmer.  WoodSongs Coffeehouses and SongFarmer Clubs are sprouting up all over the country… folks are gathering to play music and sing songs!

I have signs on my desk that say PEACE and LOVE… and that is what I wish you!

Lo

Summer 2016

I Hate to See the Summer Go is an original song by Chicago Troubadour Mark Dvorak, and it’s all too true. Summer has been speeding by… so here’s some news to catch up on from Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts…

Last weekend I was on the road… driving two lane Wisconsin highways with corn fields and farms for scenery,  to two special music events…The Shawano Folk Music Festival in Shawano, WI, and then on to The Black Hawk Folk Society concert series in Mt. Morris, WI.  Both are wonderful community music events. Thanks to Black Hawk Folk Society for hosting Michael Johnathon; it was truly a special night.

Michael Johnathon has released two new CDs… SongFarmer (recorded on an iPhone) and The Dream which will be making its debut to radio for International Day of Peace  (Peace Day) on September 21.

I am honored to be a creative board member for the WoodSongs Front Porch Association. The annual gathering will be held at Shaker Village near Lexington,  Kentucky September 23-24. For more information visit www.songfarmers.org

Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts hosted a private showcase room at the SERFA in North Carolina Conference this past May thanks to all the artists who were part of the schedule; especially Brian Ashley Jones and Brad Cole for bringing their fan clubs and filling the room and to Freebo for closing out the room with a special jam. Next conference is FARM (Folk Alliance Region Midwest) in October in Iowa City, IA where the Uncorked showcase will be going for three nights. Looking forward to presenting exceptional talent!

Loretta Sawyer Promotions has sent the following CDs to radio, thanks to the DJs for the airplay.

Eric Lambert- 75 A Bow to Bob
Dave Rudolf – Let It Roll
Dave Rudolf- All Folked Up Vol. 3
Lambert & Walz-Self Titled
Curtis & Loretta – When There’s Good To Be Done
Rob McNurlin – The Gospel Guitar
Rob McNurlin – Blue Nashville Guitar
Common Thread – A Bushel & A Peck

On a personal note, my biggest news is that I bought a new guitar… A Martin 000 with a spruce top.  Not a high-end model but I never knew a guitar could feel so good. Looking forward to the songs I will bring out of it.

Enjoy the rest of the summer days and warm starry nights…

See you on Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/loretta.sawyer.9

Lo

 

Michael Johnathon introduces the Martin Michael Johnathon model 0000-28s “WoodSongs Quad” guitar at special September Performances

Sept 11 – Rockford, IL- Just Goods Concert Series welcomes singer/songwriter Michael Johnathon on Friday September 11, 2015 at 7PM.  Just Goods is located at 201 7th Street, Rockford, IL  815-965-8903. Donations.

SEPT 12 Lupus, MO- Lupus General Store Music Series welcomes singer/songwriter Michael Johnathon on Saturday September 12, 2015 at 7:30PM  Lupus General Store is located on Main Street, Lupus MO.  $10  660-849-2217.

Sept 18- Warwick, NY -9 am Michael Jonathon will be Jon Stein’s special guest on WTBQ Hootenanny Café.

Sept 18-Princeton, NJ- The Princeton Folk Music Society welcomes singer/songwriter Michael Johnathon on Friday September 18, 2015. The concert will be held at The Christ Congregation Church, 50 Walnut Lane, in Princeton, NJ. 8:15 pm Ticket prices: $15 (members) $20 (non-members), $10 Students, $5 for Children under 12.

Folksinger Michael Johnathon has a long-standing career in acoustic arts, as a songwriter, playwright of Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau,  creator of the opera Woody: For the People, and as the host of the live audience broadcast of the WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour with a radio audience with over two million listeners each week on 500 public radio stations, public television coast-to-coast, the BlueHighways TV Network on DISH, plus American Forces Radio Network in 173 nations.   In addition to his album, books, concerts and other projects the Martin Guitar Company recently introduced the Michael Johnathon model 0000-28s “WoodSongs Quad” guitar.

Growing up in New York, Michael Johnathon was Pete Seeger’s neighbor. Now settled in the foothills of Appalachia, the Kentucky-based songwriter is a prolific artist with ten released albums, two published books and several national projects. His play Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau has been performed over 8,000 times in 42 countries. A tree-hugger at heart, he performed two thousand Earth Concerts at schools and colleges, plus benefits for the homeless, farm families, and shelters helping battered women and children. In all, he sang to over two million people in one four-year stretch. Billboard Magazine headlined him as an “UnSung Hero.” He has been featured on CNN, TNN, CMT, AP, Headline News, NPR, Bravo and the BBC.

Photo from SERFA 2014

Loretta Sawyer was pleased to present a workshop at the Southeast Regional Folk Alliance (SERFA) Conference titled Making a Career for Yourself via Alternative Venues & Thought last week in Montreat, North Carolina, along with Christine Stay and Jan Krist.

Michael Johnathon with Melissa Deaton performed the Formal Showcase set.

mjserfa

Michael Johnathon and Melissa Deaton showcase at SERFA 2014

WoodSongs Celebrates the Life and Songs of Pete Seeger

Lexington, KY- PETE SEEGER was a folk icon and musical hero to many including Michael Johnathon host of the Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour. Pete Seeger’s public TV show Rainbow Quest were the seeds on what would become WoodSongs. For this special broadcast of WoodSongs, Michael Johnathon will be celebrating the life and music of Pete Seeger with a few close friends and artists. This special event will held on Monday March 31, 2014  6:45pm at The Lyric theater and Cultural Events Center in Lexington, KY Call 859-252-8888 for reservations.

Special guests for this event include:

MARK DVORAK is a folk singer, songwriter, teacher and touring musician. Since 1998, Mark has toured with WeaverMania! playing the role of Pete Seeger. WeaverMania! celebrates the sounds and songs of Pete’s legendary folk group, The Weavers. Starting in March, he is conducting a new class “Pete Seeger & The Power of Song” at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music where Mark has taught since 1986. Mark is also known for conducting community sings and jams in the Pete Seeger style. Mark will be performing with fellow WeaverMania! member Chris Walz and Frank Hamilton who is the co-founder of the Old Town School of Folk Music and was a member of The Weavers from 1962-1963.

RIK PALIERI is a folksinger from Vermont. When he was fifteen, he taught himself the 5-string banjo from Pete Seeger’s famous banjo book. In the mid 70’s he joined Pete Seeger and The Hudson River Sloop Singers and became a regular performer at Clearwater events. Rik’s latest project is following the footsteps of the legendary “The Almanac Singers” made up of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Lee Hays & Mill Lampell. Rik and George Mann traveled to some of the same places and towns as the legendary “The Almanac Singers” did in the summer of 1941. Rik will be performing with Rick Nestler who’s another member of the Hudson River Sloop Singers. banjo.net | almanactrail.com

MICHAEL JOHNATHON  is a folk-singer, songwriter, concert performer, author who created and hosts the worldwide broadcast of the “Wood Songs Old-Time Radio Hour” with a radio audience with over a million listeners each week on 500 public radio stations, PBS-TV coast-to-coast plus American Forces Radio Network in 173 nations. He also created the world’s first multi-camera weekly music series broadcast on the Internet. Growing up in New York, Michael Johnathon was Pete Seeger’s neighbor. Now settled in the foothills of Appalachia, the Kentucky-based songwriter is a prolific artist with ten released albums, two published books and several national projects.  He performed two thousand Earth Concerts, plus benefits for the homeless, farm families, and shelters helping battered women and children. In all, he sang to over two million people in one four-year stretch. Billboard Magazine headlined him as an “UnSung Hero.” He has been featured on CNN, TNN, CMT, AP, Headline News, NPR, Bravo and the BBC.

Acoustics at Oaks End Welcomes Michael Johnathon-Folksinger/Songwriter

Smyrna, GA Acoustics at Oaks End house concert music series welcomes Kentucky based folksinger /songwriter Michael Johnathon for a special concert of original and traditional songs on Saturday April 12, 2014 at 7:30 pm  For more information and reservations (RSVP required) visit the website at http://www.cruisewomen.com/aaoe/acoustics.htm.

Michael Johnathon is a folksinger, songwriter, concert performer, author who created and hosts the worldwide broadcast of the “WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour” with a radio audience with over a million listeners each week on 500 public radio stations, PBS-TV coast-to-coast plus American Forces Radio Network in 173 nations. He also created the world’s first multi-camera weekly music series broadcast on the Internet. Michael is also a playwright… his play Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau has over 8,000 registered performances in 42 countries and translated into four languages. He  wrote a full symphony opera to commemorate the 2012 Centennial of Woody Guthrie titled Woody: For The People, set on February 23, 1940 – the day he wrote “This Land Is Your Land.”

His new CD is Front Porch and he is working on a new CD of live tracks to be ready late spring 2014.

Growing up in New York, Michael Johnathon was Pete Seeger’s neighbor. Now settled in the foothills of Appalachia, the Kentucky-based songwriter is a prolific artist with ten released albums, two published books and several national projects.

He performed two thousand Earth Concerts, plus benefits for the homeless, farm families, and shelters helping battered women and children. In all, he sang to over two million people in one four-year stretch. Billboard Magazine headlined him as an “UnSung Hero.” He has been featured on CNN, TNN, CMT, AP, Headline News, NPR, Bravo and the BBC.

WDVX Blue Plate Special Welcomes Folksinger/Songwriter Michael Johnathon

Knoxville, TN- WDVX Blue Plate Special live performance radio broadcast welcomes Michael Johnathon on Friday April 11. The WDVX Blue Plate Special is a live performance radio show held at noon, Monday through Saturday, at the Knoxville Visitor Center on the corner of Gay Street and Summit Hill Drive. It’s free and open to an audience of all ages!  Hosted weekdays by Red Hickey, the WDVX Blue Plate Special is broadcast and webcast around the world. Can’t make it down for a show? Listen live online. If you’re in town, bring your lunch and join us for real, live music in beautiful downtown Knoxville.

Michael Johnathon is a folk-singer, songwriter, concert performer, author who created and hosts the worldwide broadcast of the “WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour” with a radio audience with over a million listeners each week on 500 public radio stations, PBS-TV coast-to-coast plus American Forces Radio Network in 173 nations. He also created the world’s first multi-camera weekly music series broadcast on the Internet. Michael is also a playwright… his play Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau has over 8,000 registered performances in 42 countries and translated into four languages. He  wrote a full symphony opera to commemorate the 2012 Centennial of Woody Guthrie titled Woody: For The People, set on February 23, 1940 – the day he wrote “This Land Is Your Land.”

His new CD is Front Porch and he is working on a new CD of live tracks to be ready late spring 2014.

Growing up in New York, Michael Johnathon was Pete Seeger’s neighbor. Now settled in the foothills of Appalachia, the Kentucky-based songwriter is a prolific artist with ten released albums, two published books and several national projects.

He performed two thousand Earth Concerts, plus benefits for the homeless, farm families, and shelters helping battered women and children. In all, he sang to over two million people in one four-year stretch. Billboard Magazine headlined him as an “UnSung Hero.” He has been featured on CNN, TNN, CMT, AP, Headline News, NPR, Bravo and the BBC.

From Loretta: Heading Toward Spring

January 2014 began with Loretta Sawyer Promotions sending three new CD releases to radio; Amy Dixon-Kolar’s Dancing Through the Storm, James Curley’s There Use to be a Train, and Inside out Studio (Gary Gordon) Premier Collection.  All continue to receive airplay on Folk and Americana radio stations.

Folk Alliance Trade Show

Loretta Sawyer Agency shared a trade show booth with Michael Johnathon’s WoodSongs

February was the Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City, MO.

Loretta Sawyer Agency shared a trade show booth with Michael Johnathon’s WoodSongs. LSA has worked with Michael Johnathon on various projects providing publicity/promotion and national booking  Thanks to all the artists, DJs and venues who stopped by the trade show booth, it was great meeting you!

MJ Folk Alliance

Michael Johnathon workshop at Folk Alliance

 

Michael Johnathon conducted a workshop at the conference titled Why Free Works to a full room. Other highlights of the conference was a very sincere and touching key note address by Graham Nash and a presentation about Climate Change by Al Gore. Of course… music was everywhere!

 

 

Mark Dvorak provided social hour and dinner entertainment for the Paul Seiwert Foundation’s annual dinner dance fundraising event for children with cancer in Park Ridge, IL on March 1, 2014

Mark Dvorak provided entertainment for the Paul Seiwert Foundation’s annual fundraising event for children with cancer.

Mark Dvorak provided social hour and dinner entertainment for the Paul Seiwert Foundation’s annual dinner dance fundraising event for children with cancer in Park Ridge, IL on March 1, 2014. Thanks to all for your support in making this a very successful evening.

Michael Johnathon returns to Two Way Street Coffee House in Downers Grove, IL on Friday March 7 and then rides out of town to join Michael Martin Murphy in concert in Winchester, KY the next day. Stay tuned for more press releases about Michael’s upcoming concerts.

Mark Dvorak is conducting an audience participation concert and sing along celebrating the life and songs of Pete Seeger, Saturday March 15 at 8:00 pm in Woodstock IL.

 

In celebration of Women’s History Month in March, local folk musicians have arranged a fundraiser for Family Shelter Service at Caribou Coffee, 5100 Main St., Downers Grove, on March 22, 7-9 p.m., featuring songs “about, by and for women.” The musical lineup includes: Comfort Food (Rich & Vicki Ingle), Robinlee Garber and Amy Dixon-Kolar.

Michael Johnathon’s WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour will be presenting a Pete Seeger celebration broadcast on Monday March 31 that will include a Chicago Old Town School of Folk Music reunion of Mark Dvorak, Chris Walz and Frank Hamilton performing songs of The Weavers.

Thanks for visiting the LSA website and stay tuned!

Lo

Chicago Troubadour Mark Dvorak Celebrates Pete Seeger

Chicago, IL- Chicago folksinger, songwriter, teacher and touring musician Mark Dvorak will be performing concerts and conducting classes and workshops to celebrate the music and life of the Pete Seeger.

Dvorak, who was named “Chicago’s Troubadour” by WFMT 98.7 FM fine arts radio, has sustained a career of performing, recording and teaching that has spanned more than twenty-five years. He has performed in thirty-six states and several countries abroad with only his guitar, 5-string banjo and his songs. He is also known for conducting community sings and jams in the Pete Seeger style. Classes and workshops will be held at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music, where Dvorak has taught since 1986.

Old Town School of Folk Music • Beginning Tuesday March 4 • 6:30 pm • Pete Seeger & the Power of Song • An 8 week class for players of all acoustic instruments • Old Town School of Folk Music • 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue • Chicago IL • 773 728 6000 •

Woodstock, IL  • Saturday March 15 • 8:00 pm • We Remember Pete • A very special concert of songs and stories celebrating the life and music of Pete Seeger • Sponsored by Off Square Music • Unity Spiritual Center • 225 Calhoun Street • 815 338 5164

Evanston IL • Friday March 28 • If I Had a Hammer: A Tribute to Pete Seeger • a cast of Chicago All-Stars • Evanston SPACE • 1245 Chicago Avenue • Tickets $30-50 • Proceeds to benefit the Sloop Clearwater Foundation • tickets on sale now •  847 492 8860

Lexington KY • Monday March 31 • WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour • An historic Old Town School reunion celebrating the life and songs of Pete Seeger • with Mark Dvorak, Frank Hamilton and Christopher Walz

Chicago IL • Sunday April 20 • 2:00 pm • How to Play the 5-String Banjo by Pete Seeger • For beginners • A 80 minute hands on workshop to get you headed down the banjo trail first blazed by the legendary songwriter, activist and folk icon Pete Seeger • Old Town School of Folk Music • 4545 N. Lincoln Avenue • 773 728 6000 • $25

Chicago IL • Sunday April 20 • 3:30 pm • How to Play the 5-String Banjo by Pete Seeger • For intermediate players • A 80 minute hands on workshop Pete Seeger’s classic book & recording, “How to Play the 5-String Banjo.” • Old Town School of Folk Music • 4545 N. Lincoln Avenue • 773 728 6000 • $25

Chicago, IL  • Tuesday April 29 • 6:30 pm • Pete Seeger & the Power of Song • An 8 week class for players of all acoustic instruments • Old Town School of Folk Music • 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue • Chicago IL • 773 728 6000

Glenview IL • Tuesday, June 10 • 7:00 pm • Pete Seeger & the Power of Song • a special free one hour concert and singalong celebrating the life and music of America’s folk master • Glenview Public Library • 1930 Glenview Road • 847 729 7500