Folksinger Michael Johnathon

“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


Watch the 4-minute biography clip produced by Kentucky Tourism and the Kentucky Arts Council on Michael Johnathon’s work and career:

My Tribute to Pete .

To acknowledge the great work, music and influence of Pete & Toshi Seeger, I now add the banjo to my signature. Read why click here

Michael’s 20th album release, Garden of Silence

GARDEN OF SILENCE It starts with a song about the day Van Gogh passed away and concludes with a tribute to folksingers everywhere. On the journey between those two musical bookends are songs about Thoreau (Winter Song) the spirit of the front porch (Front Porch Symphony) Narcissism (Narcissistic Blues) dancing with your lover (September Eve) a tribute to Pete Seeger (Seeger Mashup) and the banjo-driven instrumental about the fragrant scent of earth following a rain fall (Petrichor) He composed ten of the eleven songs and produced all, his Martin guitar and long neck banjo are dominant throughout textured with string quartets, Gazebo horn sections, piano and more.

READ how Michael is helping reshape the world of music & art click here

MJ receives the prestigious Milner Award for the Arts click here

MJ’s Bio
Among the throngs of artists in the music world, few have elevated “dreaming” to such a high art form as folksinger Michael Johnathon. He recently won the prestigious Milner Award of the Arts in 2020, presented by Governor Andy Beshear in Kentucky.  The Painter a tribute the Vincent Van Gogh, is his 17th album release. Cosmic Banlo, released earlier this year, is a celebration of the long neck banjo. His 19th album, AFTERBURN: Folk at Arena Level was released the end of May 2022. His 20th album GARDEN OF SILENCE was released in 2023
This past March, Michael organized the collection of over 1,000 musical instruments that were distributed FREE of charge to folks in Mayfield, Dawson Springs and Owensboro that had their homes and live decimated by the massive tornados. (See and again a few months later when floods destroyed much of Appalachia (See
Michael created the worldwide organization of SongFarmers, with nearly 100 active chapters from Australia, across America and Ireland as an alternative for musicians struggling with a changing music world. Their 6th National Gathering of SongFarmers will happen at the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame the last week of April. On April 30, WoodSongs was inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame with a huge exhibit featuring the history of the show and include the original, autographed stage sign used on over 1000 broadcast tapings.
 He is a touring songwriter, author of six published books, the screenwriter for the upcoming Caney Creek motion picture, playwright of the Walden Play performed in 42 countries, composer of the opera, Woody: For the People, organizer of the national association of front porch musicians called SongFarmers, the full symphony performances of SONGS OF RURAL AMERICA and as the creator and host of the live audience broadcast of the WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour with a radio audience of over two million listeners each week on 500 public radio stations, public television coast-to-coast, American Forces Radio Network in 173 nations and now on the RFD-TV Network nationwide.
His most recent project is the production and launch of 26 completed episode of WoodSongs Kids for TV & Radio (See and the satirical composition and release of the BALLAD OF ELON MUSK

(read the long form bio)

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WoodSongs 5: A Folksingers Compendium & Van Gogh Reader

The next volume in the popular WoodSongs Book & CD Series. 176 pages, full color plus the Painter CD album. MEDIA Review copies available in September. Hard copy and digital/Kindle versions available: ORDER now click here

“The WoodSongs 5 book is for the “creatives,” those who birth into reality what the mind says does not exist. They are the poets, painters, dreamers and time travelers, world-wanderers and highway vagabonds, rail riders and drifters. They dream what is unseen so others can appreciate what has been created. 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, searching, singing, trying to get this world in tune.”

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Coming January 2022_

Order the 3 CD pak – the new GARDEN OF SILENCE, THE PAINTER plus the SONGS OF RURAL AMERICA symphony concert album. All three for $25 post paid (USA)new “Legacy” album and get the “Songs of Rural America” symphony CD for FREE … $20 post paid in the USA