This year Woodstock Folk Festival continues to feature amazing artists. For the January 20 Woodstock Wednesdays we are featuring John Flynn.
Woodstock Folk Festival is excited to bring high quality music and spoken word to our community. John Lynn is a terrific singer-songwriter but also an activist and humanitarian for social justice. Be sure to read about the foundation that he started.
The video premieres HERE at 7pm/CST, Wednesday, January 20.
It will remain in our Gallery after the show if you would like to see it again or share it with others. You can enjoy watching our past performers’ shows by clicking on our Video Gallery.
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Featured Performer: John Flynn
John Flynn is an American singer-songwriter and activist known for his powerful music and tireless efforts on behalf of the lost and the lonely, the shackled and scarred. His career has embodied an authentic troubadour odyssey that moved legendary folk DJ Gene Shay to call Flynn “the most quintessential folk singer in my life,” and Deana McCloud, Executive Director of the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma to write, “John Flynn is the real deal. His work follows in the footsteps of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Kris Kristofferson, and other social justice troubadours as he speaks the truth and gives a voice to society’s disenfranchised. His work fills your heart and opens your eyes as he continues to walk the walk of a true advocate for equality, justice, and peace.”
Long-time friend and Flynn champion, Kris Kristofferson, has called John “an important artist whose work in prisons, rehabs, and half-way houses is distilled into the truth and the beauty of heartfelt and heartwarming slices of life.” In 2007 Kris cited Flynn to TV Guide Magazine as one of his favorite country artists, saying, “He’s got a great heart, and I like the way he thinks.”
John abruptly changed course and began writing songs in earnest. He put himself through Temple University playing folk and country rock covers in bar bands, slowly introducing his original songs into the mix. After graduation John’s plans to attend law school were abandoned when Billy Swan’s recording of John’s song “Rainbows and Butterflies” went top-forty on the country charts and John took a staff songwriting position at Combine Music in Nashville.
New Beginnings – Next Step
In 2017, Flynn founded New Beginnings – Next Step, Inc., a 501 C 3 non-profit dedicated to helping incarcerated and returning citizens successfully transition to freedom. He currently serves as the executive director of this organization, and that work has become the largest part of John’s multi activity work life.
Over the years John’s work for social justice and as an ardent opponent of the death penalty has seen him perform in a series of MERCy Concerts (Musicians Encouraging the Repeal of Capital punishment). Flynn also currently serves on the Advisory Board for Camp Dreamcatcher, a therapeutic summer camp for children whose lives have been impacted by AIDS/HIV, where his annual concerts for the kids and holiday fundraisers have become a tradition.
In 2005 Flynn began volunteering as lead inmate support group facilitator at Delaware’s maximum-security penitentiary, The Howard R. Young Correctional Institution. Due to the success of this work, Flynn eventually took on other prisons and in 2013 began running additional groups for those who had been released. These groups provided much needed community and transitional support for ex-offenders and have had a powerful impact in the fight against recidivism in northern Delaware.
Check out this short documentary by filmmaker Peter Safran of John’s 2019 benefit concert for New Beginnings-Next Step.
Please support John and his work by purchasing CDs, leaving him a tip or liking and subscribing to his social media pages.
Follow this link to Purchase CDs.
His most recent release “Vintage” CD highlight features Arlo Guthrie, Kris Kristofferson, Kathy Mattea, Billy Swan and others…
Follow this link to leave a tip.
Like his Facebook page to be updated on his latest news, posts and events.
Subscribe to his YouTube channel
Enjoy John Flynn’s presentation!
Views expressed by performers and others who appear at Woodstock Folk Festival events or on the website are solely the views of these individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Festival or its Board members.