Michael Johnathon: Folksinger, Songwriter, Radio and TV Host, Homesteader

By Staff
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Name: Michael Johnathon

Occupation: Folksinger; Songwriter; Playwright; Composer; Radio and TV Host;  Homesteader

Place of Residence: Lexington, KY   

Background:  Michael describes himself as an organized vagabond, a home-loving traveler, folksinger, a poet and writer and tree-hugger. Originally from New York (where he was a neighbor of Pete Seeger), he moved to Kentucky in the 1980s and now lives in a log cabin on seven rural acres where he plays his banjo on its “grand front porch.”  He is the founder, producer and host of WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour, a radio and television program featuring Americana, folk and other American roots music.  In 2007, Michael wrote the play Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau, which has been performed in more than 7,400 colleges, community theaters and schools in nine countries. A film version of his Thoreau play aired nationally on PBS stations and was a winner of the 2009 John Muir Award for feature film.  

He has released nine CDs, featuring primarily his own compositions, and has recorded many traditional and cover songs as well. In addition to his songwriting and composition, he has penned several books of poetry. His latest album is called Front Porch. He wrote a fully scored opera last summer that was released to classical radio in summer 2012.  

Michael has what he calls a “fairly big organic garden,” and says he counts himself lucky to have a lot of dedicated and generous friends. He loves music, from the blues to bluegrass, Mountains O’Mourne to Over the Mountain. He says he believes in tradition, home, family, love, romance and loyalty. He’ll be writing about homemade “front porch” music, folk songs, the community that organic music-making fosters and the tradition of folk songs and homesteading.  

Current Projects: He is completing a fully scored opera Woody: For the People, about the day Woody Guthrie wrote his most famous song, This Land Is Your Land.  He is completing his third book: WoodSongs III, a Folksinger’s Log Cabin Commentary, Song Book & Front Porch Manual. 

More Places to Find Johnathon on the Web: