Michael Johnathon, the creator of the popular Americana Music TV and radio show ‘WoodSongs’, will perform this weekend in Cincinnati
Michael Johnathon’s “folk singer” credentials are of the highest standard. The singer / songwriter took Pete Seeger’s advice and moved from Texas to the Appalachian Kentucky to further study the tradition of folk music, and he continued to perform alongside weighty icons like Odetta and Judy Collins.
He is also the founder and host of the most popular folk / American music TV / radio show on the air, WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour. Johnathon began hosting the program in 1998 and it has grown to be broadcast on more than 500 radio stations, including US Forces networks, putting it in more than 173 countries around the world. It also airs on public television and has featured legendary and contemporary artists like Richie Havens, The Avett Brothers, Chris Stapleton, Ralph Stanley and Roger McGuinn, among hundreds more.
In his own career, Johnathon has released several albums since 1986, as well as a piece based on Henry David Thoreau’s Walden and an opera based on the life of Woody Guthrie. His songs are, naturally, steeped in the tradition of folk music, never shying away from social / political commentary. “The Statue”, its just released Dazed and confused album, was written following the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia and inspired by the ongoing debate over Confederate-era statues.
“It’s a lyrical condemnation of prejudice and racism and the harm it causes,” Johnathon said of the song.
Johnathon’s performance in Cincinnati Sunday is part of the Leo Coffeehouse showcase of local folk music organization Queen City Balladeers, which has been operating in the city for 56 years (coincidentally, Leo’s performances began in the year of the birth of Johnathon).
7 p.m. Sunday. Suggested donation of $ 5. Zion United Church of Christ, 2301 Indian Mound Ave., Norwood, queencityballadeers.org.