Monthly Archives: August 2015

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.

Uncommon double bill at Lakeview club September 15

CHICAGO IL – Uncommon Ground, 3800 N. Clark Street, will present Chicago’s “official troubadour” Mark Dvorak, and Florida’s acclaimed singer-songwriter and vocalist, Lauren Nicole Heintz at 8:00 pm on Tuesday, September 15.

Heintz, an Air Force veteran who worked on U-2 spy planes, and then became a Silicon Valley software engineer before launching her music career, has won numerous awards for songwriting. The Uncommon Ground date on her current Midwest tour marks the return to her Chicago-area roots.

“When I knew I was coming back to Chicago,” Heintz said, “I really wanted to include Uncommon Ground. It’s a legendary venue for songwriters. When they suggested a double bill, I started asking around, looking for a great artist to collaborate with. Everyone I asked suggested I get in touch with Mark,” she said.

“This is going to be great,” said Dvorak, the eclectic and sometimes fickle folk master who once listed the Old Town School of Folk Music as his address on his tax return.

“A friend called me last winter and said Lauren was coming to town in the fall, looking for a co-bill. I looked her up and sent a note. It was that easy,” he said. “Her voice is so down-to-earth, and unearthly at the same time. And I love her guitar playing,” he said.

“Back Home,” released in July, is Dvorak’s seventeenth album. It is a retrospect of current and archival music produced on his own label, Ten Fingers.

“It’s the kind of project I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” said the singer. “There’s some live stuff, which I love, and some new songs. I wrote a book of essays and decided to read one of the stories, and that’s in there too. To be honest, it’s my favorite track.”

General admission is $10. Reservations for dinner will guarantee a seat for the show. Contact Uncommon Ground at 773-929-3680 or visit online at www.uncommonground.com.

CD release concert with Chicago folk legend in Mt. Morris September 12

MT. MORRIS WI – The Black Hawk Folk Society welcomes Chicago’s “official troubadour” Mark Dvorak for a special CD release concert on Saturday, September 12 at the Mountain View Community Center, N3137 21st Lane in Mt. Morris at 7:00 pm.

When the singer-songwriter began his career in music, he knew right away he was in it for the long haul. Thirty-four years later, “Back Home,” his latest release on Ten Fingers, marks an important milestone.

“At this stage of the game,” said Dvorak, “I feel like I’m doing my best work. ‘Back Home’ has a lot of variety and is a sampling of what I like to do before a live audience.”

Of the ten tracks on the disc, three of them were recorded live in 2012. It features a spoken word essay, “North Platte, Nebraska,” and two new original songs, “Pueblo, Colorado” and “Old Friends.”

“This is the first project where I did everything myself,” he said. “I arranged all the material and played all the instruments. I took all the photographs, except one, and designed the jacket.”

“Mark always gives us a very wonderful show,” said Black Hawk Folk Society concert director Betty Trowbridge. “We tried to schedule him for our festival last July, but weren’t able to work it out. We’re thrilled to have him as our September featured artist.”

“He’s the real deal,” said Bau Graves, Executive Director of Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music. ”Mark has made music his life and livelihood. He’s been a top faculty member at the school for more than twenty-five years. His performances are elegant, rich and powerful.”

General admission is $8. Reservations can be made at 920-787-7475 or at www.blackhawkfolk.org.

Folk musician Dvorak back home with new CD

RIVERSIDE IL – When singer-songwriter and Riverside, IL resident Mark Dvorak began his career in music, he knew right away he was in it for the long haul. Thirty-four years later, “Back Home,” his latest release on Ten Fingers, marks an important milestone.

“At this stage of the game,” said Dvorak, “I feel like I’m doing my best work. ‘Back Home’ has a lot of variety and is a sampling of what I like to do before a live audience.”

Of the ten tracks on the disc, three of them were recorded live, at a WFMT 98.7 fm “Folk Stage” event in 2012: “Ruben You Can Play Your Banjo,” “I Hate to See the Summer Go,” and Dvorak’s rousing commentary, “It’ll Be Better.”

“North Platte, Nebraska,” is a spoken word essay, from Dvorak’s 2013 book, “Bowling for Christmas & Other Tales from the Road.”

“Once I Had an Old Banjo,” is a traditional song Dvorak learned from a cassette recording of Old Town School of Folk Music banjo legend Fleming Brown teaching it to a class around 1965. Dvorak also arranged the medley, “Over the Waterfall/Arkansas Traveler,” two tunes he, “picked up somewhere along the way and have always admired,” he said. They are done in a style Dvorak describes as, “a strange hybrid of Pete Seeger’s approach to the banjo. I just stayed with it until it seemed to work.”

Two classics from the Great American Songbook are also included in the set. “It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie,” was first recorded by Fats Waller in 1936 and over the years has become a concert favorite for Dvorak. George and Ira Gershwin’s, “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “was a challenging arrangement to get on top of,” said the singer. “The melody is just beautiful; the theme eternal,” he said.

“Pueblo, Colorado,” is a story-song written by Dvorak, and came after a conversation with a young man just out of the service, he met at a roadside diner in Kansas. The CD ends with another Dvorak original, the country-flavored, “Old Friends.”

“This is the first project where I did everything myself,” he said. “I arranged the material and played all the instruments. I took all the photographs, except for one, and designed the jacket.”

“All the tracks were recorded in my upstairs studio here at home,” Dvorak added. “I have lots of new ideas and I hope to do at least one CD a year.”

“Back Home” was released July 15, and is available from iTunes, amazon.com and CDBaby.com. For more information and to order a copy, visit www.markdvorak.com.

Musician, teacher, songwriter and author Mark Dvorak has served as a resource for arts and community organizations and venues across the country. The Chicago Tribune has called him, “masterful,” and the Fox Valley Folk Festival describes him as “a living archive of song and style.” In 2012, WFMT 98.7 fm Fine Arts Radio named him “Chicago’s official troubadour.”

“He’s the real deal,” said Bau Graves, Executive Director of Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music. ”Mark has made music his life and livelihood. He’s been a top faculty member at the school for more than twenty-five years. His performances are elegant, rich and powerful.”
Dvorak has won awards for children’s music, journalism and was honored in 2008 with the Woodstock Folk Festival Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2013 he received the FARM Lantern Bearer Award from Folk Alliance International.

“For me, folk music has always been a part of our shared history,” said Dvorak. “But it also gives us a language we can use to express ourselves; to let others know what we are thinking and what we are feeling.”