When asked if he would cut the Arts from the government budget to support the war effort, Winston Churchill looked at the reporter and said,


“Then what the hell are we fighting for?”

Dear Friends,

Are you tired of the social distancing lifestyle yet? I am, but making very good use of the opportunity.

You know, it’s ironic. It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious. This past December I posted that I was going to take a creative sabbatical for a few months. I put out so many projects in such a short amount of time … 44 WoodSongs broadcasts a year including the 1000th broadcast, concerts of my own around the country, I wrote and released thee books, the latest being WoodSongs 4. I wrote and released three albums, including Legacy and the  Songs of Rural America symphony concert.

The Troubadour Concert Series continued to be strong. I completed the script for the new Troubadour motion picture and the treatment for The Painter, a movie about Vincent van Gogh coming back in the 21st century to see his work, once completely ignored, now revered around the world. Plus kids, twins and keeping up a log cabin.

“I could use some rest,” says I.
Little did I know …


So many of my friends are rethinking their place in music. There are no record store chains left in America, record labels are shutting down and the only place to sell your CDs and TShirts are at the gigs, the concerts and bookings where artists perform in front of an audience.

When the pandemic hit, all the venues closed and musicians were all out of work. They still are.

One of the only upsides to this is the time, the space, the loneliness that comes with isolation. It is the fertile breeding ground of great art. Writing is, as James Taylor said, one of the most painful experiences he knows. With great respect to moms everywhere, he likened it to childbirth.

Writers and artists have the chance to pause, to feel and to create. I am looking forward to the grand new wave of masterpieces that will be revealed once the pandemic is over.


Even with the economic shutdown, WoodSongs has been adding a tremendous amount of new radio affiliates … like Spokane Public Radio/NPR in Washington, Jefferson Public Radio/NPR in Oregon, the huge Interlochan Public Radio/NPR in Michigan, stations in Itally, France and across Canada and the USA and others have all recently joined the WoodSongs radio family.

The new season for PBS stations and the RFD-TV Network have been edited, close captioned and sent to the networks. The shows include out 1000th broadcast with Riders in the Sky, plus the Kingston Trio, the Jug band celebration with EmiSunshine and more.

At the time of the shutdown broadcasts with Ron Block (Alison Krauss and Union Station,  Billy Ray Cyrus and the legendary Don McLean were all in the works.

As America and the rest of the world reopens, WoodSongs will soon be back in production. Can you keep your partnership current till then? It’s the only was we have to keep our affiliate base intact and WoodSongs on the air.

Become a WoodSongs Partner click here

If you have already renewed, Thank You! On behalf of all the artists our incredible WoodSongs volunteer crew we are so grateful to you for being such a vital part of our celebration of the music of America’s front porch.

In the meantime, subscribe to our free YouTube channel. Just go to this link to sign up, watch what you want and stay part of the WoodSongs community … it’s all free:


Speaking of venues, concerts and musicians out of work …

“If art is to nourish the roots of our culture,  

society must set the artist free to follow  

his vision wherever it takes him.”  

John F Kennedy

I am a big supporter of changing the venue licensing laws in America. For a venue … a theatre, coffeehouse, club or festival to present music they have to pay for license. Not just one. They need THREE. Usually the cost is so high the venue decided NOT to present live music.

Litigation has replaced freedom in music.

If we change from VENUE licensing to ARTIST licensing, there will be an explosion of new venues nationwide, musicians and songwriters will suddenly have more work opportunities they can handle and, once in front of audiences, will finally start selling the CDs and TShirts sitting in boxes on garage shelves.

It’s like a driver’s license for artists … play anywhere you want and the venue only has to provide the stage and the audience.

Read my proposal here

Winston Churchill’s response to that reporter was classic. I hope he actually said it, even so the principle of it is valid.  Art reflects the quality of life. It expresses the value of life. Songs are the soundtrack of the human existence. Music is what love sounds like.

So stay positive, stay strong, be safe, be careful, stay on your own front porch … and wash your hands after every song.
Michael Johnathon
from the Log Cabin


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