Loretta's blog has moved!

All new posts and press releases can now be found at Loretta Sawyer Agency.

FARM Showcases: A Note of Thanks | November 20, 2013

Special thanks to all the artists who performed a set in the “Uncorked” showcase hosted by Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts at Folk Alliance Regon Midwest Conferece in St. Louis; Mark Dvorak, Chris Vallillo, David Hawkins, Amy Dixon-Kolar, James Curley, Nathan Bell, Rob Lytle, Sue Fink, Jenny and Robin Bieneman, Craig Siemsen and Patty Stevenson, Adrienne Frailey, Chuck Vandervennet, Wayne Greene. MD_Award

Congratulations to Mark Dvorak who was presented the Folk Alliance Region Midwest Lantern Bearer Award. This recognition is presented by the F.A.R.M Board of Directors to an individual who has contributed locally and regionally to folk performance arts and the folk and dance community for twenty-five years or more.

farmvallillohawker farmAmyDixonKolar farmmarkd

On Sunday December 1 the DISH TV Network will present a national broadcast of WoodSongs In Ireland: Celebration of Bluegrass at 1:30PM EDT on Dish Channel 102 as part of the BlueHighways TV Network programming.

Loretta Sawyer Promotions assisted Lonesome Day Records in the promotion of Jeff Parker’s new CD It’s Christmas Time www.lonesomeday.com

Mark Dvorak’s book “Bowling for Christmas and other tales from the road will be available for holiday gift giving…pre-order at www.markdvorak.com.

The article Karl Shiflett 20 years and Still Kicken' written by Loretta Sawyer will be published in the December 2013 issue of Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine.

Loretta Sawyer Promotions is providing specialized radio distribution and promotion to Folk and Americana stations for the following 2014 new releases:

Amy Dixon Kolar – Dancing Through the Storm www.amydixonkolar.com

James Curley-There Used to Be a Train www.jamescurley.net

Inside Out Studios-Premier Collection; Great Ducks from the Same Magnificent Puddle www.inside-outentertainment.com

Thankful for the wonderful artists I get to work with by promoting their songs and stories. Happy Thanksgiving!


Fall's Music Foliage | September 16, 2013

Michael Johnathon and the WoodSongs crew head to the Ozarks for a special broadcast.
The internationally syndicated radio, TV and online broadcast of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour is going to Eureka Spring, Arkansas for a special double broadcast taping at The Aud on Saturday, October 26. Michael Johnathon will also be performing a concert set Friday evening October 25 as part of the Ozark Folk Festival’s Music in the Park.

Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts will be hosting the “Uncorked” showcase room at Folk Alliance Region Midwest Conference in St. Louis, October 24-26.  Thursday night “Uncorked” presents the F.A.R.M. Lantern Bearer reception in honor of Mark Dvorak who is the 2013 recipient of the award for his contribution to folk music and the music community. Dvorak’s career as a performer, songwriter, recording artist and educator has spanned more than 25 years.  Friday and Saturday nights the “Uncorked” showcase room will feature 13 different artists.

Loretta Sawyer Promotions provided publication guidance and customized local promotion for the new book A Grieving Widow's Journal; A Collection of Thoughts by Nancy Steker and Susan Troppito.

Comfort Food (Vicki & Rich Ingle) team up with The George Mattson Trio for a special evening of music honoring the songs and career of Illinois singer/songwriter John Prine at the Maple Street Chapel Folk Concert Series in Lombard, IL on October 19.

Uncommon Ground on Clark in Chicago, IL presents Songwriter Triple Play- Mark Dvorak, Donna Adler and David Hawkins (Three songwriters/Three Styles) on Sunday October 20 at 8pm. Visit markdvorak.com for a complete schedule and news.

"I Hate to See the Summer Go" is a song on Mark Dvorak’s Time album, and one that certainly fits how most of us will be feeling as summer winds down and we move quickly into fall.


Hot Summer News | August 16, 2013

The Circle Game is the new CD by Chicago Old Town School of Folk Music student Marge Weber. Mrs. Weber started taking lessons at 70 years old. The 9 song album is produced by her instructor Mark Dvorak, who also accompanies her on the tracks. LSP is providing customized promotion for the project, which has already resulted in three newspaper feature articles. The Daily Herald article was distribution by Association Press nationwide and reprinted in newspapers across the country. A CD release concert was held at The Grafton Pub in Chicago.

Mark Dvorak's new live video is available. The taping was done at the WoodSongs coffeehouse at Willis Music in Florence, Kentucky.

Michael Johnathon and crew headed to Dublin, Ireland for a double taping of WoodSongs on July 18th. LSP provided media promotion for the event. The event sold out the 2000 seat venue at the Dublin Convention Center.

Loretta Sawyer Promotions Acoustic Arts will be hosting the "Uncorked" showcase room at the upcoming Folk Alliance Region Midwest (FARM) Conference in St. Louis, MO in October 2013. FARM has selected Mark Dvorak as recipient of the "Lantern Bearer" Award at the 2013 conference. The Lantern Bearer Recognition is given to an individual performer of folk music and/or dance who has contributed locally and regionally to folk performance arts and the folk music and dance community for 25 years or more. The person recognized is selected by the FARM Board of Directors.

Spring blooms into a hot summer | June 3, 2013

Special thanks to all the artists who performed and everyone who came to listen in the Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts "Uncorked" showcase room at The South East Region Folk Alliance (SERFA) Conference in Montreat, North Carolina. LSP/LSA will be doing it again at the Folk Alliance Region Midwest Conference in St. Louis, MO in October.

It was great meeting, hearing and being the host to Jason Heath and the Greedy Souls, an Americana/Rock/Folk band from California. Hope to see JH&TGS at NERFA and Far-West Conferences in the future. Chris Farrell CD release concert for My Circus Days will be at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago on June 22. Mark Dvorak keeps a full schedule nationally performing concerts, presenting workshops, leading folk jams and teaching classes at The Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. Check out Chris Vallillo's concert schedule at www.ginridge.com. Loretta Sawyer Promotions continues to provide publicity and promotion for Chris' booked shows. Loretta Sawyer Agency continues to build the tour schedule for Michael Johnathon. Michael Johnathon has a long-standing career in acoustic arts, as a singer/songwriter, playwright of Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau, creator of the opera Woody: For the People, and as the host of the WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour.

Enjoy a hot June of music!

For Immediate Release: Announcing Loretta Sawyer Agency | April 7, 2013

Chicago, IL – Introducing the Loretta Sawyer Agency: networking singer-songwriters with venues to bring quality entertainment to the national audience.

loretta sawyer agencyThe Loretta Sawyer Agency's main focus is acoustic arts. Our artists reach audiences with a variety of music concerts and presentations that entertain and educate. Based in Chicago, Illinois, Loretta Sawyer, principle agent, has worked in the music business for almost two decades in music and entertainment writing, media relations and publicity, and radio distribution and music promotion.

Licensed, bonded and insured, the Loretta Sawyer Agency brings professional credentials to our roster of artists and talent buyers. Publicity and promotion for booked events is provided in partnership with Loretta Sawyer Promotions.

Loretta Sawyer Agency is privileged to have folk singer-songwriter Michael Johnathon as our featured artist. Michael Johnathon has a long-standing career in acoustic arts, as a playwright (Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau), performer, creator of the opera Woody: For the People, and as the host of the WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour heard on 509 radio stations, American Forces Radio network, online and on PBS television stations across the nation.

Visit the website at www.lorettasawyeragency.com.

Heading Toward the New Year| December 29, 2012

2012 brought Loretta Sawyer Promotions (LSP) the opportunity to work radio distribution for new releases by Tom Irwin, David Hawkins, Jeff Davidsmeyer and Birdy. It has been a pleasure to work with these artists. Thank you DJs and chart reporting stations for the airplay.

Thanks to print and radio media nationwide for their support in printing press releases and announcing event listings for various concerts publicized by LSP.

It has been an honor to continue to work with Michael Johnathon providing specialized promotion for the Woody Guthire Opera CD, the new Front Porch CD and close captions for the WoodSongs PBS TV Series.

Special thanks to the board members of SERFA (South East Region Folk Alliance) and FARM (Folk Alliance Region Midwest) for the great conference experiences; looking forward to the 2013 conferences and hosting the "Uncorked" showcase room.

2013 is guaranteed to bring some new music opportunities and news... stayed tuned for updates via website and Facebook posts.

May 2013 be a musically wonderful year for all of you... filled with many blessings.

Health and Happiness,

A Note of Thanks... | November 26, 2012

Special thanks to the artists who performed in the Loretta Sawyer Promotions “Uncorked” showcase room at FARM-Folk Alliance Region Midwest Conference in St. Louis: Tom Irwin, David Hawkins, Jeff Davidsmeyer, Sue Fink, Amy Dixon-Kolar, Chuck Vandervennet, Robin & Jenny Bieneman, Simeon Peebler, Wayne Greene, Adrienne Frailey, Craig Siemsen & Patty Stevenson, Jaime Michaels and Rob Lytle. Thanks to all the FARM board members and volunteers for a great conference!

Tom Irwin (Jan release) and David Hawkins (May release) charted again on the Illinois Roots Music Report Chart week ending Nov 2nd. Thank you to the DJs who have played LSP distributed releases in 2012 by Tom Irwin (Sangamon Songs) David Hawkins (Hello Mr Death & Other Love Songs), Jeff Davidsmeyer (Takin' Our Time) and Birdy (Magic Days) and to all the friends and fans for your continued support of the music.

Some special events coming up…
December 7th Peggy Lipschutz Art Fund Reception, Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago....with special musical performance by Mark Dvorak and others.
December 8th WDCB Folk Festival’s Holiday Hoot.
December 20th Chicago acoustic musicians gather for hurricane relief benefit show at Uncommon Ground.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Fall Music Foliage | September 22, 2012

Loretta Sawyer Promotions (LSP) is providing specialized radio distribution and promotion for Magic Days, the new CD from Chicago music group Birdy. Birdy features outstanding vocals and harmony, creative musical arrangements, impressive covers and fine originals. A CD release concert will be held Nov 4 at Schubas in Chicago with special guest Mark Dvorak.

LSP will be hosting the “Uncorked... The Songs Pour” showcase room at the Folk Alliance Region Midwest conference in St. Louis, MO October 11-14. Scheduled performers are Tom Irwin, David Hawkins, Jeff Davidsmeyer, Sue Fink, Amy Dixon-Kolar, Chuck Vandervennet, Robin & Jenny Bieneman, Simeon Peebler, Wayne Greene, Adrienne Frailey, Craig Siemson & Patty Stevenson, Jaime Michaels and Rob Lytle.

The Folk Duo Comfort Food (Rich & Vicki Ingle) will be teaming up with The George Mattson Trio for Legal Smile: The Songs of John Prine, to celebrate the songs of Prine during his birthday month of October. Concert promotion by LSP.

All tracks on David HawkinsHello Mr. Death & Other Love Songs have received radio airplay in North America and made the FOLK-DJ Charts for June & July 2012!

"I Hate to See the Summer Go" is a song on Mark Dvorak’s Time album, and one that certainly fits how most of us will be feeling as summer winds down and we move quickly into fall.


Hot Stuff | August 7, 2012

Loretta Sawyer Promotions is providing specialized radio distribution and promotion for Jeff Davidsmeyer’s new release Takin’ Our Time.  This marks Davidsmeyer’s third recorded project, the first with producer Gary Gordon of Inside Out Studios in Sparta, IL. Takin' Our Time is a collection of 13 original songs, blending instrumentally and melodically with depth and thought. The sounds transcend folk and bluegrass genres.

Thanks to WDCB Radio and Lilli’s Kuzma for featuring Tom Irwin on the Folk Festival Radio Broadcast July 24th! 

Loretta Sawyer Promotions is providing press releases for booked Illinois concerts for Debra Cowan and for Comfort Food (Vicki & Rich Ingle).

LSP will be hosting the “Uncorked…The Songs Pour” showcase room at The Folk Alliance Region Midwest Conference (FARM) in St. Louis in October.

Music events coming up… Brown County Bluegrass Festival in Georgetown, OH, August 25; WDCB Folk Festival Concert An Evening with Danny Schmidt & Andrew Calhoun August 28; The Annual "Midnight Special" Festival Concert at Fox Valley Folk Festival, Geneva, IL Sept 1.

And yes, that was me driving Joan Osborne and band around in the Mercedes SUV for the special Buffalo Trace Distillery WoodSongs Concert Event! 



Spring blooms into hot summer music| May 27, 2012

Thank you to the performers who shared their songs in the “Uncorked…The Songs Pour” showcase room hosted by Loretta Sawyer Promotions at the SERFA Music Conference in North Carolina: Michael Johnathon, Tom Irwin, Debra Cowan, Brian Ashley Jones,  Matt Borrello, Annie & Rod Capps, Jefferson Ross, Rob Lyte, John Batdorf, Friction Farm, Tom Castle, Greg Trafidlo and David Rosenfeld!

David Hawkins' new CD Hello Mr. Death & Other Love Songs is going to radio via distribution by Loretta Sawyer Promotions.

Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show’s new CD Take Me Back on Pinecastle Records is headed to radio. Street date for retail sales is July 17.  Loretta Sawyer Promotions is doing publicly for the new release.

A special WoodSongs show and broadcast taping will be held on Saturday June 23rd at Buffalo Trace featuring performances by Joan Osborne & Bobby Osborne.

Old Town School of Folk Music will be presenting the Woody Guthrie 100th Birthday Celebration on Saturday June 30. Mark Dvorak is in the featured line-up for the concert.

Dean Osborne  & Higher Vision will be performing  at several festivals and events this summer check out their schedule at highervisionband.com.

Library concerts are now being booked for Tom Irwin's Sangamon Songs presentation. Visit his website at tomirwinmusic.com.

The Rainjunkies are performing at the Arts on the Green Festival in LaGrange, Ky on June 2 and finishing their upcoming release. Also see their website or Facebook page.

Keep cool!

Springing towards new music adventures...| March 7, 2012

Spring is just around the corner… music events and news are sprouting!

Tom Irwin's Sangamon Songs has charted on the Illinois Roots Music and the Folk DJ Charts. All 12 Tracks have received airplay in North America since the release to Radio Jan 17th via Loretta Sawyer Promotions. Thank you DJs and Stations!

Michael Johnathon and several of the arias from his original opera "WOODY: For the People" were the focus of the nationally broadcast program THE STORY with Dick Gordon (American Public Media).

Noam Pikelny, who was awarded the first Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in banjo and bluegrass, credits his first instructor Mark Dvorak and Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music on The WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour…you can view the broadcast online at www.woodsongs.com and click on archives show #648.

Pinecastle Records is pleased to announce that it has signed The Karl Shiflett and Big Country Show. Their upcoming album Take Me Back will be released summer 2012. See our More Musicians page for more info!

Loretta Sawyer Promotions is making plans to attend the Folk Alliance Region Midwest FARMette conference in April and the South East Region Folk Alliance (SERFA) Conference in May.

More information soon on the new Left Field Sounds, Inc. under the direction of Loretta Sawyer.... Left Field Sounds, Inc. is grassroots approach to connecting Folk, Bluegrass, and Americana/Roots Music artists with venues to increase their live audience.

Happy Spring!

A New Year Begins...| January 20, 2012

Entering the New Year brought news that Mark Dvorak’s Time Ain’t Got Nothin’ on Me release positioned #64 on the Folk DJ 2011 list for the year. Time also made the 2011 top favorites individual lists for several DJ’s, out of the hundreds they receive. It has been a privilege for Loretta Sawyer Promotions to work with Mark Dvorak on this project. Check out the Mark Dvorak page here for the highlights of the promotional campaign. I also invite you to visit Mark Dvorak’s new website at markdvorak.com.

Loretta Sawyer Promotions is providing radio service distribution and press releases to print and social media for Tom Irwin's new release Sangamon Songs. On Sangamon Songs, singer-songwriter and folk musician Tom Irwin sets to music entries from an 1893 diary written by Harry Glen Ludlam, a teenager who lived on the Irwin farm in Sangamon County just outside Springfield, Illinois, from 1880 to 1894. For more information visit Tom Irwin’s page on the website here under More Musicians.

Kentucky friends: hope to see you February 9, 2012, when the Dean Osborne Band with Special Guest Mark Dvorak will be at Natasha’s in Lexington. Visit Natasha’s website at beetnik.com. You can also see them at Willis Music in Florence, KY on Saturday February 11, 2012.

Plans are being made to attend conferences, concerts and festivals... looking forward to the new music adventures 2012 will bring!

As the Year Ends...| December 13, 2011

As 2011 comes to a close I am thankful for the great year the music industry has given me.... the songwriters I have had the opportunity to work with, the conferences attended: FA Memphis, FARM and NERFA. Thank you to the artists who performed in "The Pitcher’s Mound" and "Time Ain’t Got Nothin On Me" showcase rooms hosted by Loretta Sawyer Promotions. Thank you to the venues for the stages, the DJs for the nationwide airplay and to the audiences for their continued support. There have been some very memorable moments shared between artist and audience raising their voices together in song. I have had the wonderful experience of working with Mark Dvorak on his new release Time Ain’t Got Nothin’ On Me. Visit Mark Dvorak’s updated page here on the website for more information.

Onward into 2012… I will be working with Michael Johnathon providing the international promotion of the Woody: For the People opera. 2012 is the Centennial celebration of Woody Guthrie. This project is a unique collection of music that will introduce Woody Guthrie to different music genres and the world.

Look for the new release by Tom Irwin “Sangamon Songs." Karl Shiflett and Big Country completed recording a new CD, title pending. The Rainjunkies are completing an EP recording due next spring.

February 9, 2012 The Dean Osborne Band with Special Guest Mark Dvorak will be at Natasha’s in Lexington. Visit Natasha’s website at www.beetnik.com. You can also see them at Willis Music in Florence, KY on Saturday February 11, 2012

The next conferece will be the South East Region Folk Alliance (SERFA) in May... Loretta Sawyer Promotions is planning to host "Uncorked...The Songs Pour" showcase room there.

I am bracing myself for New Year’s Eve and sound of Old Lang Syne, which always tugs at the heart. Looking forward to the wonderful opportunities the New Year will bring. May it be a musically wonderful year for all of you filled with many blessings

Leaves and Other Topics| October 24, 2011

It has been a colorful fall... from the hues of turning leaves to the sounds of new music in the air.

A topic taken from the headlines... "I’m the 99" is a new song by Mark Dvorak. Here is the YouTube link. Those who have viewed this video have been touched by the lyrics and photographs.

Loretta Sawyer Promotions is hosting a guerilla showcase room called “Time Ain’t Got Nothin’ on Me” (after the title of Mark Dvorak’s CD) at the North East Region Folk Alliance (NERFA) Conference in November in Kerhonkson, NY. The Recording Academy (Grammy) voting members saw Mark Dvorak’s name on the ballot in consideration for the 54th Grammy Awards nomination for his album.

Michael Johnathon has a new release called "Front Porch." The album is a 10 song collection of songs about the literal, emotional & global "front porch." It is a simple acoustic album of banjos, mandolins, guitars & string quartets. Studio cuts include the title song, and live tracks include an amazing folk rendition of the classical piece Pachelbel's Canon.

Singer/Songwriter Tom Irwin from Springfield, IL is working on a project called "Sangamon Songs"- 1893 journal notes are set to song.

No tricks when it comes to music... just treats!
Happy Halloween!

Summer moves into fall... | September 16, 2011

Time certainly is moving fast… in more ways than one!

15 for 15...all fifteen tracks from Mark Dvorak's new CD Time Ain't Got Nothin' on Me has received North American Airplay since its April 2011 release. Time Ain’t Got Nothin’ on Me has been submitted to The Recording Academy and is in consideration for the 54th ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS.

I am now contributing articles to The Geneva Lakes Weekender… writing profiles on music events in the Lake Geneva, Wisconsin area.

August 15th was the show at Natasha’s in Lexington featuring Michael Johnathon, Rob McNurlin and Mark Dvorak. Thanks to all who came out for the wonderful evening of music!

I attended the Brown County Bluegrass Festival in Georgtown, Ohio on August 27th and The Kentucky Friends of Bluegrass Festival in Clay City, Kentucky on Sep 10th. Great to see everyone there.

Loretta Sawyer Promotions will be hosting a Guerilla showcase room called “The Pitcher’s Mound” at The Folk Alliance Region Midwest (FARM) Conference on Sept 23 & 24 in Bolingbrook, IL.

A Guerilla showcase room called “Time Ain’t Got Nothin’ on Me” is also being planned for the North East Region Folk Alliance (NERFA) Conference in November in Kerhonkson, NY.

"I Hate to See the Summer Go" is a song on Mark Dvorak’s Time album, and one that certainly fits how most of us will be feeling as summer winds down and we move quickly into fall.



Hot music and hot days ahead... | June 10, 2011

Mark Dvorak’s new CD Time Ain’t Got Nothin’ on Me has received positions on The Illinois Roots Music Chart, Roots Music Report Chart and Folk DJ-L chart. Loretta Sawyer Promotions continues to pitch the CD to radio and monitor airplay tracking. We have hosted several very successful and fun CD release concerts. Visit Mark Dvorak’s website www.markdvorak.com for complete concert schedule.

Higher Vision has released their new CD Gospel Journey...Live Performances. This limited edition release is available at their shows. Check out their schedule at www.highervisionband.com.

A special singer/songwriter night has been booked August 25th at Natasha’s Bistro in Lexington, KY. Michael Johnathon, Rob McNurlin and Mark Dvorak will be on stage sharing songs and stories. Natasha’s website is www.beetnik.com.

Enjoy the warm summer nights ahead....


'Time' and Folk Alliance | April 17, 2011

“Time” has been spinning… Mark Dvorak’s new CD “Time Ain’t Got Nothin’ On Me” has been released to radio. 12 out if the 15 tracks have already received airplay. I am doing the playlist tracking for the CD. Thanks to all the DJ’s spinnin’ 'Time!' Thank you to everyone who came out to the CD releases parties held at the Grafton Pub in Chicago and The Stained Glass Coffeehouse in Deerfield. Your support has been amazing. Check out Mark’s website for more information and for his concert schedule. We continue to “spring” forward with this project.

Had a great time with The Dean Osborne Band, AKA Higher Vision, when they played at the Kentucky Friends of Bluegrass Music Hall in Clay City. Higher Vision is currently working on a live performance DVD and CD. Michael Johnathon came to the Two Way Street Coffee House in Downers Grove, Illinois, accompanied by Jo Nardolillo playing Violin; it was a wonderful performance. Looking forward to his new CD “Front Porch” and they continue to work on “Woody: For the People” Folk Opera. Websites to look at: www.woodyguthrieopera.com and www.woodsongs.com.

The success of “The Pitcher’s Mound” showcase room at Folk Alliance/Memphis has me planning for the F.A.R.M (Folk Alliance Region Midwest) Conference in September and N.E.R.F.A (North East Region Folk Alliance) in November. But certainly do not want to rush the spring and summer months and all the music events that will be happening. Looking forward to more trips to Lexington, KY as I continue to grow a strong music base here in Chicago.

Happy Spring!

Folk Alliance... on the road to Memphis | February 10, 2011

Feburary 16-20, 2011 is the National Folk Alliance Conference at the Marriott in Memphis. I will be hosting “The Pitcher’s Mound” showcase on Thursday and Friday nights with performances by Mark Dvorak, Michael Johnathon, James Lee Stanley, Carolyn Martin, The 23-String Band, David Hawkins, and Heather Styka. Saturday evening will be a special CD Showcase concert by Mark Dvorak introducing his new release “Time Ain’t Got Nothin’ On Me” on Waterbug Records(see full press release for "Time" below). If you are attending Folk Alliance, stop by “The Pitcher’s Mound” and check out the fine music! Lookin' forward to walking in Memphis!


Press Release: Mark Dvorak: New Release on Waterbug Records | Feb 2, 2011

(Chicago, IL) The time has come… for a new album by folk singer and songwriter Mark Dvorak. Time Ain’t Got Nothin’ On Me will be released February 2011 on Waterbug Records.

“This is my third release with Waterbug” states Mark Dvorak “Being associated with a recognized and well established label, as Waterbug, will give this project an opportunity to be heard by those who have their ears towards this kind of music.”

For this new project, Dvorak incorporated the studio mastership of Producer John Abbey and recorded at John Abbey's Kingsize Recording in Chicago.

“I worked with John Abbey on an Old Town School project and he was impressive as an engineer and producer,” says Dvorak. “February 2010 I sent him two discs of live performances and demo material. He listened to them. He said we wouldn’t go into the studio till he “got inside” the material and I respected that. We started recording in May 2010. As we worked through the list of songs, a certain priority seemed to make itself known, the theme of “Time” became more obvious.”

“We strived to have the recording sessions sound as live as possible,” explains producer John Abbey. “All of the vocals and guitars were recorded together to achieve this.”

An all-star cast of musicians was invited join Dvorak in the studio sessions. Contributions are made by; Michael Smith, Ellen Shepard, Christopher Walz, Frank Rosaly, Colby Maddox, Sue Demel, Deb Lader, Don Stiernberg, John Williams, Brian Wilkie and John Abbey.

“John brought everyone together,” comments Dvorak “He selected them on their ability to contribute to the specific needs of the project.”

“I'm very proud to have played on a couple of these songs, and grateful for the opportunity. I’m sure the other accompanists feel the same way,” comments Don Stiernberg. “ Hearing a spirited performance of a great song reminded me of why I wanted to play music in the first place. Thanks Mark, and also John Abbey, for capturing more than most recordings do.”

“This is different from Mark’s previous traditional album,” says John Abbey referring to the styles of music that are visited on the release.

The recording begins with “Middle Years” an up-tempo song about getting older. The listener is then sent on a music path of surprising sounds. Album highlights include a unique duet with Michael Smith and Mark Dvorak on “God Bless The Open Road and You”, a hint of bluegrass music is apparent on “Bluebells of Kentucky” and “My D-18”. A visit to the southwest/Santa Fe sound is visible on “Promise of the Promise Land” Dvorak’s respect for the blues is paid homage with “Livin’ with the Blues” . “Ruben” is the banjo tune, “Two Little Boys” receives the traditional nod, “I Hate to See the Summer Go” a Dvorak original could very well be a classic contemporary song of an era gone by. The CD ends with the very beautiful “We Become” reminding us that we are always in a state of becoming.

“Mark eases his way through the various styles,” comments John Abbey.

All songs transform well into the solo live performances that Mark Dvorak is known for with guitar and banjo.

Following in the footsteps of the folk music forefathers, Dvorak’s original songs, twelve on the new release, resonate with truth and substance. His words linger…leaving you with a thought, a feeling, a remembrance. His artistic phrasing of words is combined with intricate compositions on guitar and he certainly knows how to make a banjo ring. Time Ain’t Got Nothin’ On Me is a declaration of this and more…. the album takes the listener on a musical journey of life, love and time.

"Mark Dvorak's latest recording is a significant development that employs songs with constant humanistic messages, those messages that come from the heart and reflect the honest emotion of real people. Mark has always performed with sincerity and conviction. Because this is Mark Dvorak's style over the years, time ain't got nothin' on him, " comments Frank Hamilton, Co-founder of The Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago.

With the release of Time Ain’t Got Nothin’ On Me, Mark Dvorak is sharing a musical reflection on the passing of time… looking back while still keeping an eye focused on the new.

“I am older now,” says Mark Dvorak “I’ve spent almost thirty years traveling and coaxing sounds out of the guitar and banjo. It seemed time to get this down in a meaningful way. I’m hoping this CD will last a long time and open up something new that’s been waiting.”

Visit Mark Dvorak’s website at www.markdvorak.com for complete liner notes/credits

Booking is provided through Artists of Note www.artistsofnote.com

Waterbug Records www.waterbug.com

Publicity and tour support www.lorettasawyerpromotions.com

A New Year Approaches | December 27, 2010

I can’t remember when I have ever felt so positive about the approaching of a New Year… of course, the hearing of “Auld Lang Syne” always tugs at my heart. Time moves on way too quickly. The reverence of time is beautifully and creatively addressed in Mark Dvorak’s new CD “Time Ain’t Got Nothin’ On Me” to be released in February 2011. A special CD introduction concert will be presented on February 19th in the showcase room I am hosting at Folk Alliance in Memphis. 2011 will also bring new music and original songs by The Rainjunkies. Higher Vision will be releasing their first live concert DVD that will include footage from their performance at Carnegie Hall and their recent Alaska shows. Plans are also being made to attend more concerts, festivals and conferences in 2011. I am looking forward to 2011 as a year for musical growth. May each of you find your special song… sing it loudly… share the joy!


Autumn | October 27, 2010

Fall… months are certainly flying… like the leaves in the wind. Outdoor events are now over and time to focus on some indoor updates and activities. I am currently working with Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show on the promotion of their new self-titled DVD. They are also in the studio recording a new CD. You can check out the KSBC website. Mark Dvorak has completed recording his new project “Time Ain’t Got Nothin’ On Me.” I will be making a big noise about the release date. Mark will be performing at The Two Way Street Coffeehouse 40th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday November 6th. Congratulations to Dave Humphreys and staff on producing a successful stage for local and national performers. The Rainjunkies are back in the studio recording more original songs for their upcoming CD.
I will be hosting a private showcase room at Folk Alliance Feb 17-19, 2011 in Memphis. Performers planning to attend the conference, if you have interest in being considered for a time slot, drop me an e-mail through the contact page here on the website for more information. Slots are limited and going fast!

Beautiful autumn wishes to you all,

Midsummer Updates | August 10, 2010

Here’s an update of some things that are going on… First, I would like to introduce you to Mark Dvorak, click on his star at the left for some background on Mark. Mark is currently finishing a new CD for a fall release… strong writing and surprising sounds. The Rainjunkies are recording some great new material too also available in the fall. I will be seeing them in Lexington on August 19th with The Tillers at the Green Lantern! My article on Michael Johnathon and Woodsongs is in the July/August issue of Bluegrass Music Profiles. I also had the privilege of writing the article for Greg Cahill and Special Consensus’ 35th Anniversary in Bluegrass Music. It will be in the Sept/Oct issue of Bluegrass Music Profiles. Upcoming festivals… Osborne Brothers Hometown Festival in Hyden, KY… Brown Country Bluegrass Festival in Georgetown, OH and the always a good time… JD Crowe Festival in Wilmore, KY
See you!

Here Comes Summer Music... | June 10, 2010

The warm weather is finally here and with it comes an abundance of concerts and festivals. A couple of great shows coming up… Mark Dvorak is at Foundry Hall in South Haven, MI on June 11. The Rainjunkies are heading to Cincinnati, OH for a concert at The Crow’s Nest on Saturday June 12, sharing the stage with The Tillers. You can check out their page here for more on them. Both Mark Dvorak and The Rainjunkies are working on new CDs. I will be posting updates about their progress. Also check back to see what festivals and concerts I will be attending throughout the season.
See you on the road!

Moving Forward... | March 16, 2010

It was a fun time at the Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis and meeting everyone that stopped by the WoodSongs booth at the trade show. I was able to attend many showcases, including Michael Johnathon performing at a songwriter’s in the round and my guitar instructor Mark Dvorak (Old Town School of Folk Music) do several performances. Mark debuted a song called “When the Bluebells in Kentucky are Blooming in the Spring.” This will definitely become a bluegrass hit. While I was in Memphis I went on the tour of Sun Studio and to Graceland. These two places represent incredible music history.

It was great seeing The Rainjunkies at Natasha’s in Lexington on March 5th and debuting some new songs, looking forward to their new CD. Met up with Kentucky songwriter Bill Castle at Ricky Wasson’s Music Store in Clay City, Kentucky last weekend. Ricky is the lead singer for JD Crowe and the New South. Ricky and his family also do the Youth Bluegrass Boot Camp at the Bill Monroe Bean Blossom Festival, for more info visit the website at www.beanblossom.com/bootcamp.html

Country singer Billy Dean did an acoustic solo set at Natasha’s in Lexington last Sunday.
Lots of great songs and a very audience friendly performance. Check out his website at www.billydean.com

We moved the clocks forward last weekend… a sure sign that spring is here!

Happy Spring!

Memphis Bound... | February 10, 2010

Right now I am preparing for Folk Alliance next week in Memphis. The Trolley Stop Bar in the Marriott Hotel-Memphis will serve as a WoodSongs Theater during Folk Alliance on Thursday, Feb 18. Several PBS-TV/Theatre broadcasts of WoodSongs will be shown on the big screen. Thanks to Louis and crew for helping make this possible. Also, in rotation on the hotel TV system are: The Making of WoodSongs documentary, Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau, and WS with Michael Martin Murphy & Tom Rush.

Stop by the WoodSongs booth at the trade show on Thursday, Friday and Saturday
and visit with me.


It's a New Year | December 31, 2009

The months leading to the end of the year were very busy. In October, Timothy B. Schmidt of the Eagles came to Chicago, two days before the release of his new solo project Expando. This quiet bass player for The Eagles is a multi-instrumentalist and exceptional songwriter. The show was a mix of folk, acoustic, and rock music, and TBS also served up some Eagles tunes and early works from his Poco days.

It was the start of Halloween weekend when The Wizard came to town. The great Bob Dylan at the Aragon. How magical it was seeing a legend on the stage of a historic Chicago venue and the place where my parents used to dance back in the 40s.

The following week I was on the road to Lexington, Kentucky for The WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour. Country singer Billy Dean was a guest on the show. Billy did some shows with Michael Johnathon and David Gates years ago. And it was during that tour that David Gates (from the 70s band Bread) introduced me to Michael Johnathon when they did a Chicago show for an audience of 15,000. I was writing for BEAT USA Magazine at the time. Years passed and I lost contact with David and his wife JoRita. Talking to Billy he brought me up to date that David is still composing music and living on the west coast.

November 9th Don Henley was in Chicago at the Rosemont Theater bringing with him a full band, including back-up singers. Wearing a suit and tie this was a much more formal performance than his May concert in Florida at the Hollywood Casino. I much preferred the casual-laid back performance of the Florida show.

Bluegrass Music came to Chicago when Chris Jones and The Night Drivers came to Evanston, IL as part of the Bluegrass Legends Concert Series. If you caught the Carrie Underwood Holiday TV Special she did a performance with a band who has the new name of Sons of Sylvia. Years ago when I was doing media at Country Thunder, they were just starting out as The Clark Brothers. I was the only media person that day who signed up to talk with them. Going forward they went on to win The Next Great American Band contest, so keep an eye out for this talented group.

Well, this brings us to the close of 2009. And time for that one song that really tugs at my heart, Old Lang Syne.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!


A Look Back at the Summer | September 14, 2009

Summer... in a quick blink, the months speed by. It has been way too long since I’ve done the blog. I’ve been caught up learning the new technology of Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. I invite you to visit me on those sites.

A few highlights of the past months… Abby and Bryan from the Rainjunkies came to Chicago in early August, we went to Navy Pier and took a ride on the pirate ship…Arrrr !!! It was a fun show at Natasha’s in Lexington with Rob McNurlin and The Rainjunkies. Great seeing WoodSongs friends there. Late August was the Brown County Bluegrass Festival in Georgetown, OH. Songwriter Bill Castle was there. We wrote a song together a couple years back called “Walking with Faith,” hopefully with more to come. Labor Day weekend was the JD Crowe Festival in Wilmore, Kentucky. This one of my favorite festivals. It was fun riding on the back of the golf cart through the festival grounds with Glen (WoodSongs Crew Member). Always great seeing Kevin and Lori with Bluegrass Music Profiles Magazine. I was backstage with the Dean Osborne Band (AKA Higher Vision) eating JD Crowe Birthday Cake. At one point I was backstage and I looked to the left of me and there was Bobby Osborne and to the right of me was JD Crowe… two bluegrass music legends, and it just doesn’t get any better than that. The Walden play will be recognized with the John Muir Gold Award at the upcoming Yosemite Film Festival!

Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each. . ~ Henry David Thoreau

Enjoy each season!


Cars, Wine, and Song | July 23, 2009

I love to drive… I do my best music listening and creative thinking when I am in the car. I drive approximately 30,000 miles a year, so when I look to buy a new car, I know what I need. Buying a new car has yet to be a pleasant experience. But once I get those new wheels under my butt, I am very happy. As of this blog… I am very happy… I have new wheels!! I will not go to the extent here of promoting any car manufacturer, even though during the past two weeks I almost visited them all. Nor will I tell you the story of the crying salesman (which can only happen to me); just ask me about it when we meet on the road.

I am currently mapping out my music festival and music conference schedule for the months to come. This past weekend I was in Lexington, Kentucky and went to the Talon Winery Music and Art Festival. I romped through the vineyard, followed by wine tasting. The Rainjunkies were on the music schedule there. They recently played the very huge Rupp Arena in Lexington and they are working on a new CD.



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Welcome to the new website for Loretta Sawyer Promotions and to my blog “The Lo Down.” Here I will share with you my adventures as I travel down the road of music and life.

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