Saturday, April 3, 2010

Johnny Don't Go!

Here's JohnsmithImpersonator/aka Jaybowers singing a John Spillane song with a message for Johnsmith. Does it get any more convoluted than that???

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Irish Party Slideshow

What a FANTASTIC and memorable time we all had for three days on March 17th, 18th and 19th. Sixteen of our original group of Forever Friends who traveled to Ireland in September of 2009, gathered together in Wisconsin for a fun extended celebration of St. Patrick's Day. We were later joined by nine more local friends. In that short time, we covered a lot of territory between the Dells, Madison and Fox Acre cabin. Our stops included The Del Bar in the Wisconsin Dells, Erin's Snug Irish Pub and Brocach's Irish Pub in Madison, and finally the Red Fox Irish Pub cabin in the woods of Wonewoc. We traveled by plane, car, Dells Ducks and even a red double decker bus that took us on a tour of the capitol city of Wisconsin. Along the way we sang Irish songs together and were even serenaded by a Master bagpiper! Our final day was a festive celebration of Irish food, drink, music and most of all, friendships that were renewed and strengthened. The Parting Glass found us all looking forward in anticipation of our next gathering in October in Vermont. See you there!

A very big thank you to all who made a great effort to be part of our first F.F. reunion!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bantry, Ireland

I was out at the La Crosse airport last week and was reminded that La Crosse has a sister city: Bantry, Ireland! I took this photo of the flag that hangs in our airport. Down in Riverside Park along the banks of the Mississippi River in La Crosse, you will find the beautiful Riverside International Friendship Gardens and our 6 sister cities (others are Russia, China, France, Germany and Norway) are represented there. For any gardeners or just someone anxiously awaiting Spring, here's some inspiration for you in these links below. (The photos were taken before work had begun on the Norway and Ireland gardens but are still worth a look!)

Also, Jay found a very interesting site that I think you might enjoy:

Tom talks about his tours and sings The Contender

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Johnsmith Performs All For You

Johnsmith performing at the Pumphouse in La Crosse, WI

Johnsmith Performs Juni Rae Live at The Pump House

John was joined by Larry Dalton on string Bass, Dan Sebranek on lead guitar, and John's daughter, Elisi, singing harmony

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Johnsmith Concert

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Johnsmith performs annual show in La Crosse, WI at The Pump House

Folk singer Johnsmith says his concert each January at the Pump House is one of his favorite shows of the year.

* What: Johnsmith concert with Dan Sebranek and Larry Dalton
* When: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 15-16
* Where: Pump House, 119 King St.

January in La Crosse. Most folks wouldn’t plan a concert here then. But most folks aren’t Johnsmith, a local troubadour who spends most of his life on the road.

But in January, he always comes home to perform at the Pump House. This year’s concerts will be at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 15-16.

“It’s going to be me and Dan Sebranek and Larry Dalton,” Johnsmith said.

Sebranek is a longtime collaborator, but Dalton will be a new twist to the musical evening.

“I’ve wanted to do something with Larry forever. I think he’s one of the best around the country playing bass.”

Much of the material Johnsmith will perform will be from his latest CD, “Gravity of Grace.”

“The new CD has done really good. It was No. 1 this summer on the folk charts, so that was way cool.”

Johnsmith also won the Great Lakes Songwriting Contest with the song, “From My Window.” “It’s about my dad in a nursing home, struggling with Alzheimer’s.”

The song ended up being used in a national Alzheimer’s campaign.

Johnsmith also led four tours to Ireland, where he and an Irish partner connect tour participants with the Irish countryside and plenty of opportunities to hear music.

“This is my sixth season (leading tours), and two of them are already sold out for next year.”

Johnsmith also is doing lots of teaching, including at the Esalen Institute by Big Sur in California.

If all this sounds a little exotic for a humble acoustic musician, well, life is what you make it, and Johnsmith has managed to craft his love of music and people into a multifaceted career that can be arduous but is always interesting.

“I am gregarious that way,” he said, which has helped him in his life as a troubadour. “I’m that way when I leave my house. But when I’m at home in Trempealeau, I’m really under the radar.”

Those of you who have known Johnsmith throughout his music career may remember what brought him to the Coulee Region in the first place, and it wasn’t music.

“The reason I ended up in Trempealeau is I got hired as a naturalist at Perrot State Park.”

He still loves nature, he still loves living in Trempealeau, and he still loves coming back to play for the folks at home. Another thing he loves is coaxing his family up on stage with him.

“My daughter Elisi (Smith-Waller) will sing with me, doing harmony on a number of songs. It’s fun to come home and do the Pump House show. That’s one of the funnest things I do in the year.”

Johnsmith Fans Old and New

Juni Rae with her Mom Elisi

Ireland Photo Album......recognize anyone?????

Mystery Fan