Johnsmith 2019 Autumn newsletter


In this issue: 

Where I’ve Been: Ireland, Scotland, OR, CO, ID, AK, IA, TX

Where I’m bound: WI, MI, WA, OR, CA, CO, British VI, TN, AR, OK, TX, LA, FL, and more. 

Heh everybody, Johnsmith here. Long time, no newsletter eh? Sorry I don’t write more often but a few newsletters a year seems to be enough for most folks’ inboxes. 

hope this finds you all well and soaking up a rich October so far. I’d say October could be one of those months that is sweet wherever you are in the US from Maine to California, from Alaska to New Orleans. Even in Ireland. 

It’s been a crazy stretch these past months. I had two incredible back-to-back tours in Ireland in April and May plus I had a fantastic time as always at the Kerrville Folk fest. Then my wife, Jo, and I hosted a week long cruise along the Alaskan Inside Passage. Breathtaking views every day, several concerts on and off the boat with Dan Sebranek and Larry Dalton, and several open jams - magic. I’m sure we’ll do it again in a couple years. Jo and I stayed on for a week in Homer, AK with our friends, Bud and Heather Johnson, who showed us a fantastic time exploring the area . . . bears, whales, puffins, moose, glaciers, boat rides, and more. 

In July, I attended my 50th High School reunion In Iowa. A milestone to say the least. I was also inducted into our small town hall of fame. A really sweet honor. You can read about it at:

In July, on a whim, I flew over to Scotland for a week to explore the landscape and its people in hopes of organizing musical trips to Scotland. Stand by for more about that in the months ahead. 

I made the drive up to Bayfield, WI, home of Big Top Chautauqua, to see Greg Brown and Bo Ramesy’s last concert there. Thanks to my dear friends, Pat and Judy Sebranek, I soaked it all in from the front row. Greg has been a huge inspiration in my musical journey. I’m very proud of my Midwest roots and no one has flown his freak flag truer than Greg. Well done, Greg. 

In late July, I was off to Idaho to join my group of friends and fans for a week floating down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Baptism by Mother Nature at its finest. I then jumped onto Darrell Scott’s trip down the Main Stem of the Salmon river. Another wonderful magical musical trip. 

In August, my whole clan camped at Larryfest for 4 nights, glorious. Then we played LaCrosse, WI Great River Folk Fest. Congrats to 44 years and counting.  Jo and I then drove our VW camper through SD, NE, and onto CO. Visited old and new friends in Boulder, where Jo and I met in the 70’s at Celestial Seasonings herb tea company. We then attended the awesome Four Corners Folks Fest in Pagosa Springs. We loved it. I then jumped on a plane to Sisters, Oregon to teach and play at the song camp and festival - a must see fest, folks. 

It was then off to Ireland for two of my best yet Ireland tours: West Cork, Kerry’s Dingle Peninsula, West Clare, Donegal, Derry, County Mayo and more. Music with John Spillane, Donogh Hennessey, Seamus Beagley, Teresa Horgan, Blackie O’Connell and Cyril O’Donoghue,  Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh from Altan w Manus Lunny from Capercaillie, Dermot Byrne, Ian Smith, Siobhan O’Donnell w/ David Ducey and Stephen Dougherty, harpist, Laoise Kelly, Luka Bloom, and more. 

It’s hard to believe, but these trips only get better and better every year. I hope, with a little Irish luck, several of us will be able to share more of Ireland’s magic in the years to come. 

Where I’m Bound

Lots of fun shows ahead. One of my favorite gigs of the year will be this Friday night at Leo and Leona’s in Newburg Corners WI 7:30pm w Dan Sebranek, Larry Dalton, and Rad Lorkovic. The energy level of this roadhouse is the best. 

Later this month my wife, Jo, will join me as we travel around doing shows in WA and OR, one of our favorite regions in the country. 

After a year of not teaching at the Esalen Institute, I’ll be back with our tribemates digging in to our “Songwriting From the Heart” Workshop. 

No gigs in December! My fallow season to recharge, write, cross-country ski, and hang with family. Merry, Merry. 

Later in January, Jo and I plan to go sailing for a week in the British Virgin Islands. We’re not sailors but we’re joining a small group that are. Watch for some of Jo’s great photos on FB. 

Lastly, Jan 23-30 2021 (note: 2021, NOT 2020). Inishfree Goes to Sea. Jo and I will be joined by our Irish tour partners for a 7-day Caribbean cruise. This will be an Irish music cruise with several incredible Irish artists including John Spillane, Seamus Begley, Cathy Jordan, Donogh Hennessey, Blackie O’Connell, and Cyril O’Donoghue. Check it out: 

All in all, I’m one lucky duck. Thanks everybody for all your continued support. It means the world to me. Enjoy this autumn season wherever you are. Hope to see many of you at shows, or in Ireland, Scotland, on an Idaho raft trip, or on an Irish music Caribbean cruise. 

Be well, friends,



Friday, October 11th, 2019 

Newburg Corners, WI  Leo & Leona's 7:30pm 608-452-3637 

w Dan Sebranek, Larry Dalton, and Radoslov Lorkovic 

Saturday, October 12th, 2019 

Shawano, WI   7pm Music potluck meal 5:30 PM

home of Joel Kroenke : W9050 Broadway Road  Reservations: (715) 853-6879    Suggested:   $15/adult


Sunday, October 13th, 2019 

Crystal Falls, Michigan  4pm Second Sunday Folk Dance (SSFD) 

The Fortune Lake Lutheran Camp, Crystal Falls, Michigan


Friday, October 18th, 2019 

Port Townsend, WA Northwind Arts Center 7pm  701 Water Street, Port Townsend WA

for info 


Saturday, October 19th, 2019 

Seattle, WA  Seattle Folk Society 7:30pm. Phinney Neighborhood Center 6532 Phinney Ave N (lower building)for info for tix online 800-838-3006 


Sunday, October 20th, 2019 

Tumwater, WA  Pizza and Potluck House concert at 3pm

Music at 4pm Suggested donation is $20  360 357-5957


Thursday, October 24th, 2019 

Portland, OR House concert Doors 6PM, music at 7PM. Contact Bill Valenti 
Phone: 206-227-0194. 


Friday, October 25th, 2019 

The Dalles, OR  Landmark Concert Series 7pm at Old St. Peters Landmark. Doors at 6:15 

405 Lincoln. Tickets available at Klindt's Booksellers $15  315 E. 2nd Street, |  541-296-3355  |  Store Hours: Mon – Sat: 8AM – 6PM, Sun 11AM – 4PM


Saturday, October 26th, 2019 

Sisters, OR Harmony House Concerts 8pm contact Katie



Sunday, October 27th, 2019 

Eugene, OR 3pm Songwriting workshop followed by potluck and 7pm House Concert contact 

Saturday November 2 2019  

Los Gatos CA The Great room House concert (open to public) contact Suzanne Suwanda 415 519 8031 -- 7pm Door and snacks, 8pm music.  


Sunday–Friday November 3-8, 2019

Big Sur CA Esalen Institute “Songwriting From the Heart’ songwriting workshop. (sold out – wait list only) 


Saturday, November 16th, 2019 

Fort Atkinson WI  Cafe Carpe 8:30pm (920) 563-9391


Thursday November 21, 2019  

Cedaredge CO 7pm Grand Mesa Arts & Events 195 West Main Street. Call 970-856-9195. with Dan Sebranek. Tickets available at Starr’s Guitars $20 ph 970-856-2331 or


Friday November 22, 2019 

Westcliffe CO Hardscrabble House concerts private event. With Dan Sebranek 


Saturday November  23, 2019

Fort Collins CO Avogadro’s Number 7pm w Dan Sebranek contact Steve  970-412-6731


Sunday November 24, 2019 

Fort Collins CO Unity of Fort Collins service 10am w Dan Sebranek 1401 W Vine Dr.


Sunday November 24, 2019 

Fort Collins CO Avogadro’s Number 7pm w Dan Sebranek contact Steve  970-412-6731


Saturday January 4, 2020 

Minneapolis MN Warming House 8pm 4001 Byrant Ave. South Minneapolis


Friday/Saturday Jan 10 & 11, 2020  

LaCrosse WI Pump House 7:30pm w Dan Sebranek and Larry Dalton



Other Upcoming 2020 shows 

In Feb: 

6th Fayetteville AR. Details TBA 

7th Norman OK house concert Details TBA

8th Garland TX house concert Details TBA

9th Shreveport LA house concert Details TBA

13th Key West FL 

Feb 22- Mar 20 Big Sur CA Esalen Institute Workstudy 

Mar 21 Boatworks House concert Oakland CA 

May Kerrville Folk Fest. 

June back to back Ireland tours

July 11 DeWitt IA Opera House w Dan Sebranek and Larry Dalton  details TBA 

July – Aug Middle Fork and Main Salmon river raft trips. 


For current info on shows and events Visit 

Johnsmith's newest CD

John's preferred method is for you to buy the CDs directly from him by emailing him at 

Price is $15 for 1 CD plus $3 shipping or buy multiple CDs

To buy DOWNLOADS of the Backroads CD or individual tracks, go to John's Bandcamp page. Bandcamp link to Johnsmith Backroads CD



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