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Folksingers … album liner notes

They are the poets, dreamers and time travelers, world-wanderers and highway vagabonds, rail riders and drifters, like mirrors held up to the world to reflect back what they see. They sing so other voices can be heard, they feel hoping others can feel with them, and make friends instead of fans. They dream what is unseen so others can appreciate what has been created, like musical miners exploring great treasures hidden deep within dusty vinyl vaults.

They crave community, communication, flannel shirts and coffee, peace with appreciation and love without regret. They are spiritual log cabin dwellers living in cars, vans and hotel rooms, organic gardeners eating in sleepy cafes along dark roadsides and your best friend, met once on the side of a stage, never to be seen again.

They are 5-string politicians, 6-string therapists, banjo barristers, acoustic lovers and penny-pinching peacemakers … because those who sing together can not fight. They are still there. Still writing. Still searching. Still singing. Still trying to get their world in tune.

They are America’s folksingers.



The STATUE is a song about the political divide remaining between the north and south, black and white, conservative and liberal. The point is simple: pulling the statues down is the right thing to do, especially for the community they offend. Realistically, unless you solve the reason the statues where put up in the first place, bringing them down will accomplish nothing.

MAPLE TREE was recorded live on a Warren May built dulcimer.

LOG CABIN TWINS is for Makayla and Caleb

MELISSA’S SONG about the day we met.

SOMETHING’S WRONG … well, there is.

HIPPY LUV is for every granola-chomping, sandal wearing, tie-dyed, Mother Earth News reading post-retro hippy freak.

GROWING OLD … well, we are.

(I Hate Your) SMOKE was written in the hope of helping anyone, everyone stop this dangerous and filthy habit. Sure, we are free to do what we want. But when someone you love is unsafe, and this is VERY unsafe, please help them want to stop.

$5 WIFE is my re-worked rendition of the classic song made popular in the early days of the Grand Ole Opry by Uncle Dave Macon, later by Stringbean. I play the Vega long neck open back banjo and Isaac May plays on the Franzke mandolin.

DAZED & CONFUZED written about the high speed tsunami of useless over-hyped insistence that we all think the same. We can’t. And we should not.



Michael Johnathon
Martin 0000-28s, 000-28s, D28s, Vega longneck banjo,
Warren May dulcimer, piano, Franzke mandolin,
tamborine, harmonica, Vietnamese bells

JP Pennington – electric guitar, vocals
Rob Ickes – dobro
Bob Bryant – bass
John Johnson – drums, tamborine, shaker
Kristy Kirsh – flutes and recorders
Melissa Johnathon, Vicky Myers – vocals
Lee Carroll – piano, Hammond B3
Isaac May – Franzke mandolin
Ruth McLain – upright bass, vocals
JR Williams – banjo
Al White – mandolin