John’s new CD, “Side Effects,” Released on August 5th

John’s new CD entitled “Side Effects,” was released on August 5, 2008. The CD was recorded on Fraternity Records, with assistance from the same outstanding back-up musicians and vocalists who accompanied John on the two tracks included on last year’s “Fraternity Records’ 50th Anniversary CD.” The album includes eleven newly written and recorded songs, plus, from the “50th Anniversary CD,” is an updated version of the 9/11 song, “Remember Me,” and “The Glory of Their Times.” (“Glory” is a tribute to the veterans of World War II, which was introduced on Oscar Brand’s “Folksong Festival,” and which John performed at the televised 2007 Memorial Day tribute for the Intrepid Air, Sea, and Space Museum in New York City.) All in all, thirteen songs–a bakers dozen!
The album contains an eclectic mix of songs inspired by the folk process, including an original urban blues (“Understand the Blues”), a Broadway parody (“No Time for a Song”), a nostalgic remembrance of the many late folksingers who live on in our memories (“The Folksingers’ Sweet Bye-and-Bye”), and “See Alice,” a humorous tribute to the men’s product which (to paraphrase the old deodorant ad) truly “takes the worry out of being close.” Other songs address issues both topical and timeless, ranging from the war in Iraq (“Joshua”) to unrequited love (“Shorthand for Good-Bye”). “The Gift” is an elegy to the many challenges that enable us to reap the benefits of reaching beyond ourselves, and “All Counts for Twenty” is a rueful smile to the benefits of taking the long view. “Social Insecurity” is a humorous analysis of the late (but not) lamented plan to privatize Social Security, and “The Second World War Home Front Movie Blues” salutes those “heroes” of the silver screen whose celluloid bravery inspired us all as kids. On a somber note, “The Ghosts of Columbine” looks at one family’s tragic descent from teen-age sweethearts in the days of “doo-wop” into the personal hell of their adulthood.
As with his last CD, “Side Effects” will be available through CDbaby, and may soon be sampled here as well on the CDbaby website.
As discussed more fully in the “Hear John on the radio” post, Walt Graham, host of WSHU-FM’s “Acoustic Connections,” played the following three songs from Side Effects” on his September 13, 2008 show: “The Gift,” “Social Insecurity” and “Remember Me.” (Walt’s most recent three shows are available for downstreaming by going to the WSHU website.) Please watch this space for updates.

Listen to John

AudioJohn on the radio:
Download and listen an mp3 or “Podcast” of the entire show by clicking here.

On May 22nd 2005, John was Ron Olesko’s guest on ”Traditions,” a folk music program on New Jersey’s NPR affiliate station, WFDU (89.1 FM).

John on the radio again!

On Sunday, September 13, 2008, three of John’s songs from his new CD “Side Effects” were played as part of Walt Graham’s Acoustic Connections program on Connecticut’s WSHU-FM.  The songs were, “The Gift,” “Social Insecurity,” and, as he has done for the past several years on the anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks, “Remember Me.” If you haven’t had a chance to hear this program, which includes music by Tony Rice, Al Stewart, and Robin & Linda Williams, it is available through bit-stream, by going to WSHU-FM and following the directions.  In introducing John’s songs, he said, “John is a folksinger from New York City, who writes great songs in the tradition of Phil Ochs.” As indicated above, all three songs are included on the new CD, “Side Effects.”

  On Saturday, July 29th, John’s song, “The Glory of Their Times,” was featured on Oscar Brand’s “Folksong Festival,” on WNYC in New York. The Folksong Festival is now in its 61st consecutive year on the air, hosted by the forever young Oscar Brand. Oscar had chosen a series of what he called “goodies,” songs of which he’s especially fond. On this particular program, Oscar played songs by, among others, The Union Boys (Pete Seeger, Burl Ives, Josh White, Tom Glazer, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee) Leadbelly, Steve Free (singing “When the Leave are all Gone,” also, like John’s “Glory of Their Times,” from the “Fraternity Records 50th Anniversary” CD) and a couple by, of course, Oscar himself. As John put it, “Every folksinger from Woody Guthrie to the Weavers to Dylan has been on Oscar’s show, and every one who hasn’t wants to be. For me, having one of my songs played in such fine company on such a wonderful show, was something in which I took great pride.” The show can be heard on, by clicking onto Oscar Brand’s Folksong Festival, 7/29/06. Remember, the 50th Anniversary CD can be purchased from this website.

John on the radio.

AudioJohn on the radio:
(Download an mp3 of the entire show by clicking here)

Recent live appearance on WFDU. On May 22d, John was Ron Olesko’s guest on “Traditions,” a folk music program on New Jersey’s NPR affiliate station, WFDU (89.1 FM). John began the show with “Leipzig, 1813,” a tongue-in-cheek birthday song about opera great Richard Wagner, on the 192nd anniversary of his birth.  In addition to introducing two other new songs, John provided an updated version of “The Red Sox Lament.” This was necessitated in recognition of the Sox’s astonishing comeback victory run in last year’s ALCS, which led to their first World Series Championsip in 87 years.  Ron played several other cuts from the CD “Remember Me and other Songs,” to which John provided some interesting background information.  For a full playlist, please go to This program may be heard in its entirety by clicking on the post entitled “Listen to John on the Radio.”

“Traditions,” now in its 25th year, is the longest running program on WFDU, and features a broad and diverse look into the world of folk music, both traditional and contemporary. Over the years, Ron’s guests have included some of the most important and well known voices in folk music.