Take the inventiveness of Bob Dylan, the melodic voice of John Denver,
add the showmanship of Garrison Keillor and that’s Michael Johnathon.”
-Bob Spear – Publisher, HEARTLAND REVIEW
PRE-RELEASE SPECIAL April 2017: WoodSongs III Book & CD CLICK HERE for details
A SONG ABOUT THE EARTH AT PEACE:
I hate war, I hate fighting, I’m tired of all the shooting … THE DREAM is a song about our world finally at peace recorded with four children choirs in English, French, Spanish and Russian plus a 61-piece symphony. To HEAR “The Dream” full song CLICK HERE
Folksinger Michael Johnathon has a long-standing career in the arts as a songwriter, playwright, composer 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, plus American Forces Radio Network in 173 nations.
This ‘Woody Guthrie in a Cyber World’ grew up in upstate New York along the shores of the Hudson River. At 19 years old, he moved to the Mexican border town of Laredo, Texas and found a job working as the late night DJ on a small radio station. One night, he played ‘Turn, Turn, Turn’ by the 60’s folk rock group The Byrds. As the song played, he recalled seeing the songs writer, his neighbor Pete Seeger, performing in his Dutchess County hometown in New York. By the time the song had ended, he decided to pursue a career as a folksinger.
Two months later, he bought a guitar and a banjo and settled into the isolated mountain hamlet of Mousie, Kentucky. For the next three years, he traveled up and down the hollers of the Appalachian mountains knocking on doors and learning the music of the mountain people.
Michael experienced hundreds of front porch hootenannies where folks would pull out their banjos and fiddles, sit on their front porches with him and play the old songs that their grandparents taught them.
Soon enough, he began performing concerts at hundreds of colleges, schools and fairs. 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.
Now settled in the foothills of Appalachia, the Kentucky-based songwriter is a prolific artist with twelve released albums, three 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. Billboard Magazine headlined him as an “UnSung Hero” and he has been featured on CNN, TNN, CMT, AP, Headline News, NPR, Bravo and the BBC.
Recently, Michael helped organize the national WoodSongs Front Porch Association to help organize rural and community music and a massive educational program. Members of the WFPA are called “SongFarmers,” which is also the title of his recent album, the very first national CD release to be completely recorded on an iPhone. His new book WoodSongs III will be released Spring 2017.
In addition to his albums, books, concerts and other projects the Martin Guitar Company recently introduced the Michael Johnathon signature model 0000-28s “WoodSongs Quad” guitar. He lives in a log cabin on a hill surrounded by meadows, streams and woods outside of Lexington, Kentucky with his wife Melissa and family.
Visit his websites: WoodSongs.com WaldenPlay.com WoodyGuthrieOpera.com SongFarmers.org
Visit the MERCH page for album and book details.
READ: Michael’s “26 Commandments for Musicians”; Keeping your PIG Small; The new SongFarmer album was completely recorded on an iPhone. Find out the reason why: VISIT MICHAEL’S BLOG HERE
BRONZE STAR: What is the BRONZE STAR that MJ wears during the WoodSongs broadcast? CLICK HERE
Here are just some of Michael’s ongoing projects:
SongFarmer Album: the full-length CD was recorded at Michael’s log cabin artists studio in Kentucky. The CD has several new compositions like Hippy Luv, The Coin, plus standards like Little Maggie (on the banjo) … plus the story song written in the tradition of Alice’s Restaurant called “Pamper Creek” based on an actual experience MJ had while living in Mousie KY. What makes this album really unique is that it is being completely recorded on an iPhone 6+ instead of recording studio gear using an Apoge mic. Visit the SongFarmer page … and download the song Pamper Creek for FREE. Visit the MERCH page for details.
Original WOODSONGS Album re-release (2017) This is the song that begat the album that begat the book that inspired the idea that became the national radio broadcast that turned itself into a public television series and found a proactive audience that started WoodSongs Coffeehouses around the world that brought the kids onto the stage and formed the classroom program that showed how important the “front porch” is and became the national association of SongFarmers. Visit the MERCH page for details.
WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour: Michael created and still hosts the multi-format syndicated, live audience broadcast. The show airs to nearly two millions fans each week on 509 radio stations, the American Forces Radio Network in 173 nations, plus in millions of USA TV homes across north America on public television (WoodSongs.com)
The Walden Play: his four character, two act, one set play about the final two dats Henry David Thoreau spent in his cabin before leaving Walden Pond has been shown on nationwide TV on PBS stations and has been registered for performance over 8700 times in 42 countries. (WaldenPlay.com)
The Woody Guthrie Opera: is a fully orchestrated, traditional opera Michael composed about the day Woody Guthrie wrote his classic song, This Land Is Your Land. The opera’s main characters of Woody, Pete Seeger and Paul Robeson sing about the very dramatic and true encounter Woody had when stranded in a snowstorm outside of Pittsburg PA and saved by a Pennsylvania Ranger. You can hear some of the orchestrated arias here WoodyGuthrieOpera.com
Folk-Book Social Media site: Michael conceived the Arts and Music social media site that is free of advertising, ad links and pop up windows. The site is designed by Ian Hart and proceeds from the project help the WoodSongs broadcast. A lifetime membership is only $5.95 and members can watch the live-as-it-happens broadcast taping of WoodSongs (Folk-Book.com)
Caney Creek – The Legend of Alice Lloyd motion picture: the true story of Alice Lloyd begins in a hospital out side of Boston MA. The doctors tell her she has only a few months to live, longer is she moves to the warmer climate in the south. Along with her mother, Alice moves to Knott county Kentucky in November 1916. In February, a mountain man named Abisha Johnson has a dream this “ferrin woman” would teach his children to read, he crosses two mountains through a snow storm and begs her to come to Caney Creek. What happens next is nothing short of stunning. See details at CaneyCreekMovie.com