January 2017 big chill Newsletter

Hello everyone, Johnsmith here along the very frozen Mississippi wishing you all a fruitful happy New Year.

Jo and I had a sweet holiday season here at home with all our kids and grandkids around us, sledding through the hills getting our Christmas tree, watching movies, playing games, cheering on the Packers, and eating way too much. Glorious.

2016 was a very good year for songwriting classes, Irish tours, Salmon River raft trips, and many sweet concerts and gatherings across the country.

2017 promises more of the same. There are two things I especially want to share today.  My annual two nights at the Pump House in La Crosse, WI with Dan Sebranek and Larry Dalton are just around the corner - Jan 13th and 14th.  For reservations, go to   or call the Pump House at (608) 785-1434.

The other thing I especially want to mention up front is about my 2nd annual raft trip in the pristine Middle Fork of the Salmon River out of Stanley Idaho on Aug 8-13. More details at

Here’s what one guest had to say about last year’s trip.

   ‘“Our 6 days on the magnificent Middle Fork of the Salmon with Johnsmith and Middle Fork River Expeditions (MFRE) was possibly the trip of a lifetime. The majestic canyon, untouched wilderness and the gin clear river, provided the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable outdoor adventure. The Middle Fork provided us with challenging whitewater, crystal clear pools, relaxing hot springs, Indian petroglyphs, fantastic fishing and scenery beyond belief. MFRE provided us with professional, knowledgeable and fun guides, great equipment, expert instruction and healthy gourmet meals. Johnsmith provided us with memorable music and helped us bootstrap a real inspiring community from 23 strangers. Folks, it doesn't get any better than this. In 6 short timeless days we managed to capture lightning in a bottle. Barbara and I could not recommend the trip more. Hats off to everyone involved.” Randy & Barbara Brown

Also coming up is my annual month-long songwriting workshop at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA as well as gigs in AR, TX, WI, NE, and MN. And, of course, four Inishfree Ireland tours June-Sept. See the list of dates below.

I wanted to say a heartfelt thanks to all of you who have come to shows, bought CDs, share my music with friends, and continue to find a little solace in a song. These times ahead will be full of ups and downs.  I know the fall political climate was an ugly one. But let us all focus on the good we can all bring to this world in need of love and compassion. Let’s be there for each other. Spring will always return.

All the best,



Friday, January 6th  Dubuque, IA  Grand Opera Theater 135 W. 8th St  w/ Dan Sebranek and Larry Dalton contact: Box Office 563-588-1305

Saturday, January 7th  Hinsdale, IL  8pm Acoustic Renaissance Concert series split bill w/Beth Wood  contact  630/941-7797  

Friday & Saturday, January 13th-14th La Crosse, WI Pump House 7:30pm with Dan Sebranek and Larry Dalton tickets at or CALL 608-785-1434

Monday, Jan 16 - Feb 11 Esalen Institute, Big Sur, CA Month-long Workstudy program visit

Friday, Feb 24 Fayetteville, AR Buffalo River House Concert Series at 7pm open to public contact Rick or call 501-940-0872

Sunday, Feb 26 Eureka Springs AR Eureka House Concerts - 17 Elk Street Doors open 5pm, show at 6pm or call box office at 479-244- 0123 

Saturday, Mar 4 Terlingua, TX Starlight theater  6pm Contact 432-371-3400

Saturday, Mar 11 Amherst, WI 7:30pm Jensen Center w/ Chris Kokesh and Larry Dalton  tickets online at  or call 715-824-5202

Thursday, Mar 23 McCook, NE 7:30pm Bieroc Café 312 Norris Ave. with Dan Sebranek  for tix call 308-345-6500 

Friday, Mar 24 Loomis, NE at the Balcony w/ Dan Sebranek  advance tickets at or call 308.991.0733

Saturday, Mar 25 Hastings, NE at The Lark 7:30pm w/ Dan Sebranek contact or call 402-984-4073  

Friday, Mar 31 Winnsboro, TX 7:30pm The Bowery Stage at Winnsboro Center for the Arts

Saturday, April 1 Dripping Springs, TX Sycamore Creek House concerts 7pm for more info go to

Sunday, April 2 Cedar Creek, TX (outside Austin) 3pm

Saturday, April 29  Mequon, WI 7:30pm Wi Songwriter series Unitarian Church - North 13800 North Port Washington Road Mequon. With Dan Sebranek 262-470-3061

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