“vibrantly aesthetic, pleasingly melodic and wholly heartfelt…”
– Russell Trunk’s Exclusive Magazine
“…big bombastic drums, huge synths, soaring guitars and an anthemic chorus…”
Featuring musical collaborations with the late JD Crowe, and other iconic musicians like John McEuen, Rob Ickes, Tony Migliore & more
Hard copy album requests for media please email physical mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 21, 2022) – Folksinger Michael Johnathon is not exactly a “normal” folksinger, as he proves once again on his 19th studio album, AFTERBURN, out now by way of PoetMan Records & The Orchard [orcd.co/afterburnfolk] and at PlayMPE for radio programmers.
AFTERBURN is the word used when something truly rattles the cages and leaves people with a startled, surprised reaction. It‘s the accelerated power of a rocket as it’s taking off. AFTERBURN grapples with the subjects of power & peace, war & love all in the context of the global “front porch,” launching “folk” from the coffeehouse and into arena level. Literally.
“To me, folk music is front porch … plus a lot more. I took everything I knew about life as a folksinger, from traveling the hills and hollers of Appalachia to playing on stages, turned it upside down, mixed it up, and tried to see how aggressive this “folk” canvas could be and still be considered part of the music style I love,” says Michael Johnathon from his log cabin home near Lexington, Kentucky. “That’s when I wrote that poem … folk can be everything and anything because it gave birth to it all.”
If anyone has supported and embodied the idea and image of a global Troubadour, it’s Michael Johnathon. Indeed, if Folk is the “Mother of all music” then AFTERBURN certainly reflects all the colors of that musical rainbow, and his career has reflected all of those musical textures. From the screaming long-neck banjo driven “Techno-Folk” to the majestic 61-piece symphony of “The Dream,” the commentary of “Cyber Bubba” to the lament of “Cars,” every song is a story, every song is a musical cinescape, a painting on a canvas of guitars, banjo and mandolins colored with rock bands and … yes … symphony orchestras.
“I love classical music, I love Pink Floyd, Pete Seeger and Dan Fogelberg,” Johnathon explains. “Woody Guthrie would have been one of the first to plug in a keyboard if they had them back then. What made Bill Monroe a pioneer and Father of Bluegrass was his willingness to try new things. To Change. He was the Nine Inch Nails of his day. Some may really like this. The purists will no doubt try to make fun of it … it may not be their “cup of tea.”
But then, Michael Johnathon is not exactly inviting you for a pleasant cup of tea, either. AFTERBURN launches banjos, mandolins and guitars to heart pounding, unexpected levels and remains in the comfortable tapestry of the folk world by a banjo playing troubadour … out to surprise, shock, even bewilderment.
Album name: AfterBurn
Release date: April 15, 2022 (digital) / May 20, 2022 (Physical)
Record label: PoetMan Records / The Orchard
Songwriter: Michael Johnathon
Produced by: Michael Johnathon
Buy/Stream/Listen: michaeljohnathon.com or orcd.co/afterburnfolk
Album highlights: View/Download PDF
- America (with Rob Ickes)
- World We Made
- The Dream
- Assassins In The Kingdom
- Dreams Of Fire
- Benediction (with Rob Ickes)
- Young & Alone
- Cyber Bubba (with JD Crowe, Rob Ickes & Kati Penn)
- Shady Grove
About Michael Johnathon:
From symphony halls to coffeehouses, the hollers of Appalachia to inner city clubs, Michael Johnathon proudly refers to himself … privately, publicly and globally … as a “folksinger” and has released 19 studio recorded albums. He’s the author of six published books (WoodSongs 5 released in 2022), the screenwriter for the upcoming Caney Creek motion picture, organizer of the national association of front porch musicians called SongFarmers, the symphony album Songs of Rural America. He’s the creator and host of the live audience broadcast of the WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour with an audience of over two million listeners each week on 500 public radio stations, public TV coast-to-coast, the RFD-TV Network nationwide, American Forces Radio Network in 177 nations and schools across north America. Jonathan also recently won the prestigious Kentucky Governor’s Milner Award of the Arts in 2020.
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