John Flynn
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John Flynn

Wilmington, Delaware, United States | INDIE

Wilmington, Delaware, United States | INDIE
Band Folk Americana


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"Two Wolves Review"

On his seventh album, Philadelphia-based John Flynn captures the delicate balance that marks a powerful protest song: righteous indignation leavened with tender compassion....

It is no surprise that John often is featured in Phil Ochs Song Nights, as there is a lot of Phil's passion and politics in these songs. Nor is it a surprise that John has created several children's albums and offers songwriting assemblies in the schools, as this CD is filled with warmth and humanity....

Like the classic protest singers of the past, John writes primarily in major triads and 4/4 time. However, the album includes plenty of variety, dipping into gospel, country, and Celtic rhythms within a mostly upbeat folk/rock songbag. Overall, this is moving marriage of poetry and passion. Although it is political, it is not partisan... and sometimes we need a John Flynn to give a voice to our yearnings for a better world. - SS - Sing Out - Fall 2006

"Folk singer practices what he sings about"

John Flynn is trying to make the world a better place with his music and his deeds.

The Brandywine Hundred resident is a folksinger and volunteer trying to prepare inmates for the real world. And last week he sang "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretech at a Phillies playoff game.

"More than just a good songwriter, performer or guitar player, John Flynn is a friend because he actually does the kinds of things to help make the world a little better that other people write, sing and play about," singer Arlo Guthrie says on Flynn's Web site,

The site also quotes another friend, singer Kris Kristofferson: "He's got great heart, and I really like the way he thinks."

Flynn facilitates a discussion group called New Beginnings at the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in Wilmington, familiarly known as Gander Hill. The program, which also involved his father, Jack, and has a new recruit named Ken Pulliam, is about giving participants the tools that they need to stay out of jail.

But the inmates also teach Flynn.

"They have their own stories and wisdom," he said. "The world I know is one small part of the world at large. I grew up with opportunity -- and they didn't."

Correctional center rules don't allow him to bring his guitar in, so the group sings a cappella. One song that they recently sang together is called "Cure," which he described as being about an urban tree with poisonous leaves. Short-sighted people want to cut it down, but wiser heads suggest studying it (and learning that medicine can be made from these leaves).

Flynn wants to have participants accept responsibility for their past and "understand they have power over their future." People too often make excuses and blame external factors instead of admitting that they made choices -- and, he said, if they're bad, they need to make new choices. "I want them to learn that they own the ability to change their lives, that they have been given an opportunity to step up to the values that I have sung about."

"He's awesome," said Jean Booker, volunteer coordinator for the institution. "He's a blessing."

For a decade, Flynn also has been performing at benefits for Camp Dreamcatcher, a summer camp in Chester County, Pa., for children affected by HIV and AIDS.

In September, Armando P. Ibáñez, a Dominican friar and founder of Pluma Pictures, honored Kristofferson, Flynn and humanitarian Michael Paz with the first Shining Star awards. Pluma, founded in 2001 to produce films about the importance of family and community, is releasing a documentary about Hurricane Katrina victims. "Not Broken" features songs by Flynn and Kristofferson.

Flynn's song, "Passunder," ends with this hopeful thought: "If someday we realize that God still speaks to us all in our hearts not just through words that long dead prophets scrawled, we'll heal this wounded city and make strong its levee walls ... in New Orleans."

So how did a 50-year-old with a ukelele named Sonny (after Sonny Ochs, "because it's small and fills the room with sweetness") end up like this?

Flynn grew up in Ridley Park, Pa., and worked his way through Temple University playing in a band and winning songwriting contests.

He intended to study law, but a sojourn to Nashville led him to songwriting career. In Nashville, his first publisher also published works by Kristofferson. A friendship with the Guthrie family led him to performing in 2005 on Guthrie's "Train to New Orleans" tour to help musicians devastated by Katrina.

His iPod today has about 3,000 songs, some of them demos that he is working on, but well-represented by his musical heroes, Johnny Cash, Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, John Prine and The Beatles.

Flynn's half-dozen CDs first emphasized music for children, but lately he's been more interested in political and social justice. In an interview, he talked about the importance of his faith (Roman Catholicism), his four children (seeing the world anew through their eyes) and truth (quoting Arlo Guthrie: "It doesn't matter if you're wrong. It matters that you tell the truth.")

"Two Wolves," the title track of his latest CD, focuses on an American Indian legend that each human heart has two wolves, one demanding rage, the other light and love. And "the wolf that wins is the one you feed," he said.

As he wrote earlier this year on his blog: "As far as I can tell there are two kinds of folksingers ... the first are the kind who mostly just sing about a better world. ... The second kind of folksingers are the kind who aren't afraid to put down the guitar and roll up their sleeves. Human beings who really walk the walk."

- Ken Mammarella 10/07 - The News Journal / Delaware Online 10/11/07

"Song to Feauture Eric Hall's Story: Folk Artist Discusses Marine' Death, PTSD in Track"

By: JASON WITZ Staff Writer
Charlotte Sun (Port Charlotte, FL) September 4, 2008
U.S. Marine Eric Hall has become a poster child for the internal war men and women face when the fighting ends. But his tragedy was merely the beginning, according to a national recording artist who will release a song about post-traumatic stress disorder based on Hall's story. Folk singer John Flynn highlights Hall's struggles with mental illness, and the veterans who continued the exhaustive search for the 24-year-old Indiana native when others stopped.

The song, "Semper Fi," takes listeners to the filthy drainage pipe in Deep Creek where Hall's body was recovered, as well as the patrol in Iraq that changed his life forever. Above all, Flynn's lyrics serve as a wake-up call to those who turn a deaf ear to the issue, he said. "The song is about love and brotherhood, but basically, it should be a challenge to folks like me to show the same love," Flynn said.

Hall, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, was severely wounded in June 2005 when a roadside bomb tore through his left leg and killed his best friend. During his recovery, Hall was diagnosed with PTSD, which affects thousands of returning troops.

Flynn, 51, first heard of Hall's death earlier this summer through a friend who works at a naval hospital in Virginia. At the time, Flynn was completing a track called "Soldier's Heart," about a traumatized Civil War soldier. However, the Delaware singer-songwriter thought Hall's story was more relevant.

Eric's mother, Becky Hall, was overwhelmed with emotion when she heard the lyrics. "It's just so moving," she said. "(John) put it together in a way that tells the story so beautifully."

Hall moved to Charlotte County in January to help with his rehabilitation. But he couldn't escape the war within. He disappeared from his aunt's home a month later, following a flashback. The manhunt lasted until March 9, when Gulf Cove resident and Vietnam veteran Charlie Shaughnessy discovered Hall's body 50 yards inside a drainage pipe, near the roadway where his motorcycle had been abandoned. Flynn makes references to the discovery in his song, noting Shaughnessy "found the tip of the iceberg," as the disorder reaches far beyond county lines. ”It was pretty touching," Shaughnessy said.

Flynn began writing in 1980, after graduating from Temple University with a political science degree.
He released his first self-titled album in 1997, which hit the Top 20 on the Americana charts. Since 2000, his songs have focused more on social justice issues, such as AIDS.

Flynn will record "Semper Fi" this month for his next album, which is scheduled for a February release.

Becky Hall said the song will have a positive impact on the family's efforts to help veterans with their transition home. She is also pressing Congress to improve the system for treating troops and identifying PTSD. "We're going to reach so many people with this (song)," Hall said. "I think it's going to give us a big push."

Semper Fi
Lyrics by John Flynn

Charlie found the tip of the iceberg shielded from the Florida sun
Wedged just like a misfired cartridge ... in the barrel of a large concrete gun
Charlie laid down his knife and flashlight ... crawled out of the culvert to say
This mother's son was wounded in action ... but inaction took his life away
Eric had become agitated ... reliving again and again
the IED that tore up his body ... the bomb that blew away his best friend
Men whose war was 40 years older saddled up when they heard the call
A fellow Marine had gone missing, a former corporal named Eric Hall
Semper fi ... always faithful ... Tell me why we lost track This Marine served his country then this country turned its back
Authorities had called off the manhunt for the skinny kid with the limp
But Vietnam vets this land gave up on would not give up searching for him
They found his motorcycle abandoned out where the palm trees and terrain
looked just like the Euphrates valley ... right next to a large concrete drain
Semper fi ... always faithful ... Tell me why we lost track This marine served his country then this country turned its back
He fought for this land and saluted ...
The same Stars and Stripes on a pole
that waved goodbye when that fight left him ...
with scars and stripes on his soul
His ashes first went to Indiana ... Brothers that he never had known
showed up from all over this country making sure Eric got home
Now he'll rest in Arlington pastures ... but the tale is still left to tell
How many who have fought for their country are living Eric's nightmare as well
Because Charlie found the tip of the iceberg ...

Copyright (c) 2008, Charlotte Sun
- Charlotte Sun Herald

"Interludes - A Singer Finds His Voice"

Interludes: A Singer Finds His Voice
By Scott Sheldon
Sing Out! Magazine Vol. 52 No. 1 Spring 2008
Ten years ago John Flynn was a moderately successful Philadelphia-based singer-songwriter best known for children�s music with titles like �The Day A Mouse Got In My Father�s Pants.� He was a solid performer with a pleasant reedy alto voice and decent guitar chops, but, as an artist, it seemed that he was still searching for a focus that would set him apart from the crowd of singer-songwriters amassed by the end of the 1990s. Although his education in political science had given him an abstract interest in social issues, he insists he �never trusted himself� to explore those issues through his music. A series of life-changing events, however - coupled with the roar of our times � turned the tide of John�s musical life and allowed him to find a voice as a writer of gently provocative and stirring protest music.
John was booked to perform �God Bless America� at the first Phillies home game following the events of September 11, 2001. Rather than the polite inattention that marks the usual seventh-inning stretch, the entire crowd of 40,000 sang out fervently, in what John calls �a spontaneous expression of courage, optimism, and spirit.� But through the succeeding months, John saw that spirit quashed by the rhetoric of fear, and it was with that perspective that his first political songs were born.
John wrote �I Will Not Fear�, a song that tells the stories of ordinary people in the days after the September 11 attacks who chose to board airplanes, join the military, or confront anti-Arab bigotry� defying �the ones in shadow who�d see freedom disappear.� He was astounded by �the amount of healing� that his song created.
He knew that he�d be �walking away from comfort� when his songwriting became topical. Yet, Flynn felt he had no choice. �Elvis used to shoot his televisions.� He reflected, �I can�t afford to do that, so I write songs.�
For his 2004 album Dragon, and then his 2006 effort, Two Wolves, he used his newly emerging story-song parables to hold up a mirror to injustice, hypocrisy and intolerance, and so to open hearts and minds to those wrongs.

One beautiful example of that storytelling style is the song �The Passunder (New Orleans).� At the end of a whistle-stop fund-raising concert tour down the Mississippi on the fabled City of New Orleans, John and the other musicians (including Arlo Guthrie, Cyril Neville, and Willie Nelson) walked along the devastated streets of New Orleans in stunned silence. To John, the Ninth Ward �felt like holy ground, �and the spray-painted rescue markings on the doors echoed of the lamb�s-blood markings during the Biblical plague of the first-born. John began his song:

If someday we realized
That God still speaks to us all in our hearts,
Not just through words that long dead prophets scrawl,
Perhaps we�ll add a new book to the Holy Bible
Called �New Orleans�� New Orleans.

Folk music has always had a place for protest singers whose songs are soapboxes for their political views� or who preach to the converted , but John Flynn�s work is in a whole different category: he is a songwriter who makes an impact by painting a compelling picture and inviting the listener to draw his or her own conclusions. As he puts it, �My songs are more about the questions than they are about the answers � and I feel really comfortable about asking the questions.� Raising those questions about war, his song �Dover� simply describes a military transport bringing coffins home, with the prayer �Oh big airplane, bring �em down easy.� Raising these questions about bigotry, �Put Your Freedom Where Your Mouth Is� paints short pictures of people being oppressed and posits �who will speak for them?� Asked whether his songs are intended to bring about social change, he responds. �That sort of baggage would suffocate a song. I try to tell a story that becomes real enough that the listener will open his heart to it.�
John in fact, lives the beliefs he sings. For the last decade, he�s performed at and organized benefits for Camp Dreamcatcher, a summer camp for children affected by HIV and AIDS and marvels at the �joy, unrestrained� and so much glee� that music brings to the campers. Although he first declined, joking that �I�m a folksinger, there�s no more useless individual on earth,� he runs a monthly discussion group called New Beginnings at a Delaware prison, giving inmates the tools they need to stay out of jail.
In his modest way, John sums up his songwriting, �you have this way of looking at life and you owe it to yourself to speak from the heart.� Reviewer Vic Heyman however, put it more pointedly a few years back right in these pages: �John Flynn is as close as we come these days to a living Phil Ochs.� I c - Sing Out! - Spring 2008

"Xs & Ys"

Xs & Ys (As in “Generations X & Y”)

Tune Up: The Newsletter of the Philadelphia Folk Song Society
April 2008

Michael Braunfeld

Many years ago I entered into a debate with Mike
Miller within this newsletter on the definition of
folk music. While I have always conceded his
authority on the subject, I have also argued for a
more inclusive approach to the genre. Many
became acquainted with folk music through
arrangements of traditional songs by The
Kingston Trio and Peter Paul and Mary. My
Carter Family comes by way of Uncle Tupelo; my
Leadbelly, by way of Cobain.
I was recently asked to contribute a piece for
Tune-Up focusing on music that isn’t quite folk,
but would nevertheless fit in at a folk venue. I’d
like to think that our editor is expanding his
notions of folk music. I suspect that, in reality, he
just wants to start more trouble between Miller
and me. In any event, here are a few things that
helped me get through 2007….

Two Wolves
John Flynn

A personal hero of mine, John’s latest is an
important collection. Continuing in the footsteps
of Guthrie and Ochs, John has emerged as a
powerful voice of dissent. His songs play like
poignant snapshots of the world we are living in.
John Flynn is saying what many of us are thinking
as we watch the evening news. Sadly, few others
are these days. Listen.
- Tune Up - Philadelphia Folk Society April 2008

"MUSIC: Music Picks"

John Flynn
By Mary Armstrong
Published: Aug 26, 2009


Even more important than his impressive songwriting, or his fine, strong voice, or the fact that he's awfully cute and often very funny, remember first that John Flynn is a man of peace. After we'd finished talking about his new CD, America's Waiting, discussing all the thrill of self-determination that goes with striking out on your own once again, he called back urgently with this message: "You do know that this is a benefit for PTSD, don't you?" Nobody hates war more than Flynn, and nobody prays more fervently for peace. But nobody can beat him for rankling at injustice, either. He speaks repeatedly about hating war but supporting the warriors — especially when they return home in need of a whole lot more than a hug. "Semper Fi" is the true story of one young man who didn't get the attention he needed, despite the best efforts of a band of Vietnam vets who knew how he was feeling. Flynn will be raising funds for post-traumatic stress disorder at the launch of America's Waiting. - Phildaelphia City Paper - August 26, 2009

"Kris Kristofferson and Flynn"

Jim Bessman (Rolling Stone) blogs about Kris's concert last Friday. Turns out Kris had a bit to say about John....... (be sure to read to the end)
My Blog
Jesus Was a Capricorn

April 14th, 2009 ..

I couldn’t see Jesus on Good Friday, Kris Kristofferson had to be the
next best thing. And at the Concert Hall at the New York Society for
Ethical Culture, no less!The man even looks Christ-like—and certainly
is the epitome of giving. He even came out at the end of Roddy Hart’s
opening solo acoustic guitar set to join him on Hart’s closing “Home.”


Kris’s kindness continued throughout the show.... He gave a shout-out to singer-songwriter John Flynn at the
end of the parable “To Beat the Devil” (“It belongs to you now,” he
told Flynn, who wrote Kris’s longtime bandmate Billy Swan’s country hit
“Rainbows and Butterflies,” after the show).


It was the best I’d ever seen him—but I say that every time. And as
the legendary Frances Preston, retired head of the music performing
rights society BMI, said to me years ago at the Bottom Line, after Kris
performed with his band, “You really have to see him every time. He
sings the truth.”

That he does indeed. And he was still speaking truth and giving of
himself after the show. Flynn mentioned that he was leaving to perform
before wounded warriors at the Bethesda Naval Medical Center, and Kris
said he’d have joined him had his schedule permitted.

He also wanted to make sure I realized how talented Flynn is, making
further note of Flynn’s social activism and especially his work in
prisons. And then he stood out in the cold April rain for at least 10
minutes without a coat (his tour bus had broken down in Canada a few
days earlier and he had to take a thousand-dollar cab ride to the next
gig—and had left most of his clothes on the bus), siging autographs,
posing for pictures, and graciously allowing multiple hugs from a pair
of female fans who had been in love with him, they declared, for 35
years. They looked it. He didn’t.

“Write something good about John,” he told me before he left.

(Administrator’s note: I wrote the liner notes to the two-disc “The
Essential Kris Kristofferson” that Columbia/Legacy put out in 2004. It
remains among my proudest achievements.)

- Jim Bessman Blog - April 14, 2009 Exerpted

"America's Waiting Review"

John Flynn
America’s Waiting
John Flynn/Flying Stone Music Group
JF007 (2009)

America in 2009 is a mess of
contradictions. On the one hand, a
youthful new president has revived
a spirit of optimism among the
people; on the other, we face the
grimmest economic news in a
On America’s Waiting, Philadelphia-
area singer/songwriter John
Flynn tries to capture this new mood
of the country and make sense of it
all. The album’s anthematic title
track invites listeners to hop aboard
a train and rediscover the nation
they thought they knew. From “the
Mexican Gulf to the great northern
shores,” Flynn admits that the
American dream has tattered a bit
— but then the music soars, and
it’s clear that there is hope amid the
dark days. That ember is fanned by
the rousing followup, “Go Wake a
Heart,” and unfolds across the nine
other songs that follow.
Unlike Flynn’s two previous
albums, Dragon (2003) and Two
Wolves (2006), America’s Waiting
steers clear of current political
battles, focusing instead on ordinary
folks who do extraordinary things.
“Semper Fi,” about a traumatized
Iraq war veteran who succumbs to
his demons, is just as much about
the Vietnam vets who search for
him after he goes missing. “The
Darker the Night (The Brighter the
Stars)” offers a touching tribute to
a teen girl killed in the 2006 Amish
schoolhouse shootings in Pennsylvania.
A wayward man apologizes
for not being in his son’s life
in “The Prodigal Father,” while
“Chicken House” goes behind a
newspaper headline (“Dog dies,
man hurt as chicken house burns”)
to tell a dramatic tale of devotion.
In the hands of Grammy-winning
producer Steve Fishell (Pam Tillis,
Emmylou Harris), the arrangements
on half the songs invoke Flynn’s
time as a songwriter on Nashville’s
Music Row — if you added a little
more twang, they wouldn’t be out
of place on mainstream country
radio. But Flynn can comfortably
wear a folk hat, too, especially
when asking larger questions about
social justice. In “The Cure” and
“Reggie’s Question (What’s in a
Name),” he puts racism under a
microscope to examine its roots
and how to stop the “poison.” And
on “The Passunder (New Orleans),”
Flynn draws parallels between the
Israelites’ escape from Egypt and
the Big Easy’s plight after Hurricane
The album was recorded live in the
studio with few overdubs, giving a
cohesive sound to its session band:
Flynn (acoustic guitar, harmonica,
ukulele), Fishell (pedal steel guitar,
Dobro, lap steel), John McTigue
(percussion), David Roe (upright
and electric bass), and Eddie Perez
(electric guitar).
Flynn’s been compared to Phil Ochs
or his friend Kris Kristofferson, but
America’s Waiting also has flashes
of latter-day John Denver — another
honest storyteller with a conscience
and empathy for the common man.
— Chris Kocher (Vestal, NY) - Dirty Linen - July/August 2009

"Dominicans Honor ... With Shining Star Award"

NORTH HOLLYWOOD – Golden Globe and Grammy Award recipient Kris Kristofferson received the first Shining Star Award along with two other honorees, at an awards dinner held Sunday, September 16, at the Beverly Garland Hotel.

The award was bestowed on the singer, songwriter and actor for Shipwrecked in the 80s, his composition featured a new documentary: Not Broken. The new film tells the story of the horrific life and death ordeals and struggles some people faced at the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina. Pluma Pictures, Inc., a film production company sponsored by Dominicans, produced the film and honored Kristofferson.

“We are very excited that Kris Kristofferson is the first recipient of the Shining Star Award,” said Dominican friar Armando P. Ibáñez, founder and CEO of Pluma Pictures, Inc. Folk singer John Flynn and humanitarian Michael Paz are the other two honorees.

Pluma Pictures, Inc, was founded in 2001 to produce films with inherent universal
values, such as truth, peace, justice, beauty, and the importance of family and community. “In short, we’re producing movies about heroes and heroines,” Ibáñez said.

“We are not producing feel-good movies. We are producing films that speak of the harsh realities in our society, such as poverty, discrimination, greed and violence. Yet, in midst of it all are men and women struggling against these harsh realities for the good of all.”

In 1977, Kristofferson won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in A Star Is Born. His recent films include Fast Food Nation, The Wendell Baker Story, Dreamer: Inspired By A True Story, The Jacket, Silver City and Disappearances. Heralded as an artist’s artist, the three-time Grammy winner has recorded 26 albums, including with Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings.

Celebrated singer, songwriter and activist, John Flynn, and Michael Paz, music producer and humanitarian, are the two other honorees receiving the Shining Star Award. Kristofferson said that Flynn is one of the best writers he knows, while Ramblin’ Jack Elliot said that Flynn “is the John Lennon of the plasma generation.”

Paz, a resident of New Orleans, co-founded The Ruth Paz clinic, named after his mother, located in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, which provides healthcare to hundreds of children. He is currently in the midst of a fundraising campaign to help fund a new burn center that will open its doors by the end of this year. - Dominican Life | USA 9/16/07

"Song of War Dead Touches Home"

DOVER — It’s a common tale — one of a man and his guitar traveling the country, reaching out to people with lyrics and melody.

But folk artist John Flynn has brought to life a topic that for many was considered only a headline.

In the Wilmington resident’s song "Dover," he sings of the fallen soldiers flown into Dover Air Force Base’s Charles C. Carson Center for Mortuary Affairs, the Department of Defense’s largest joint-service mortuary facility and the only one in the continental United States.

"The song is beginning to speak to people on a personal level," Mr. Flynn, 50, said about "Dover," which was released on his "Two Wolves" album in 2006.

Initially he refused an interview because of the sensitivity of the subject, but said he decided to go through with it after a soldier encouraged him to.

"I wrote it about the time our country sacrificed our one thousandth son or daughter to the war," he said. "It seemed to me people were missing the point when they were talking about the photos of the war."

Using names and biographies found on the Faces of the Fallen link on the Washington Post’s Web site, Mr. Flynn crafted the song and put faces and names to the reports of service men and women who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Remembering, noticing or paying attention to these sacrifices is the least we can do," he said.

"Whether you’re for or against the war, if a building was on fire — whether by arson, lightning or faulty wiring — you have to honor the devotion and courage of the men and women willing to run into the burning building."

In the song, Mr. Flynn tells the airplane to "bring ’em down easy/Out of the Delaware skies ... Dover is waiting/To welcome the heroes you fly."

Of the eight names mentioned in the song, only one is representative of a group of people, he said.

Jeremiah represents the fathers and mothers who won’t be coming home, Mr. Flynn said. The rest of the names and descriptions are of actual people.

"Dover" has stirred up some controversy since it has had more radio airtime on local stations, he said, but he has received a lot of positive feedback, especially from military personnel.

The father and brother of one man mentioned in the lyrics contacted him, Mr. Flynn said, and after a show on the road the cousin of another service member approached him and expressed gratitude for remembering.

"It didn’t occur to me that they would reach out to me," he said. "Now that the radio is playing it more, more attention is being paid by service personnel."

Mr. Flynn started playing the guitar at 12 and worked his way through college playing with bands and entering contests.

Instead of continuing his pre-law studies, Mr. Flynn said a visit to Nashville’s Music Row resulted in a publishing contract, but that eventually ended when he decided his writing was not what country music was looking for.

"My songs tended to want to be about a little more than country music was comfortable with," he said.

Since then Mr. Flynn has released eight albums, which can be purchased in stores or online either at his Web site, or sites including

"This shouldn’t be about me or my position on the war or my career as a folk singer," he said. "God is speaking to us through these sacrifices and we’re not paying attention.

"The song is about paying attention to them."

Post your opinions in the publicissues forum at
Staff writer Ali Cheeseman can be reached at 741-8250 or - Delaware State News 2/14/08


(2009 John Flynn Music)
Produced by Steve Fishell
Eddie Perez - Guitars, backing vocals
Dave Rowe - Bass
John McTigue III - Percussion
Steve Fishell - Pedal Steel
Kim Carnes - Backing vocal on "The Passunder"

(2006 METTA|four RECORDS)
Produced by Ben Wisch
With studio legends Duke Levine, Larry Campbell, and Denny McDermott.Kathy Mattea, Kris Kristofferson and Jane Kelly Williams provide backing vocals.
Folk DJ Choice Top 30 CDs of 2006

(2004 METTA|four Records)
Produced by Ben Wisch
Shawn Pelton, Duke Levine, Stephanie Winters, and Jim Gilmour in anall-star cast of musicians . Kris Kristofferson, Jane Kelly Williams, and Ben Wisch on backing vocals.
Folk DJ Choice Top 30 CDs of 2004

(Sliced Bread Records)
Recorded at "The Point" in Philadelphia
Recorded and produced by Ed Williames

(1997 Sliced Bread Records)
Produced by Ben Wisch
Achieved Top 15 Gavin Americana Chart nationally
Guest appearances: Larry Campbell, David Broza, Ben Wisch, Dar Williams

Produced and arranged by Ed Williames and John Flynn

Produced and arranged by Ed Williames

(1999 Sliced Bread Records)
Recorded and mixed by Ed Williames

(1995 Sliced Bread Records)
Recorded and mixed by Ed Williames
On the American Library Association's Notable Recordings for Children List for 1996



John Flynn sings from the heart. His powerful songs of humanity and hope are deeply rooted in the traditions of Woody Guthrie and Phil Ochs. John paints vivid, lasting images with words and music, drawn from a palette of awareness, irony, humor, and compassion.

Sing Out! Magazine says, "With a poet's voice and a heart tuned to justice, John Flynn's voice and songs sing for us all."

A socially driven singer/songwriter not afraid of writing about the shadows, John allows us the space to come to our own conclusions. His songs speak to our common shared humanity. Thank-you notes left on his websites come from both soldiers and anti-war advocates.

His 8th CD, America’s Waiting, released July 14, 2009. It was recorded in Nashville and was produced by grammy-winning Steve Fishell. Some great players joined John for live tracking in the studio. Everyone is thrilled with the results and proud to be a part of the project. It has already received some great reviews and was #14 on the Roots Music Folk Charts for July.

“America's Waiting is a great album, distinguished by its courage and sincerity…. This is an important album by an important artist." -- Kris Kristofferson.

"Lyrically charged, powerful and moving music!" --Susan Hartman, editor, Dirty Linen Magazine

John’s artistic journey has taken him from Temple University, where he earned a degree in Political Science, to Nashville’s Music Row as a songwriter, to award-winning children’s recording artist and performer, to social justice activist. John is truly an American troubadour.

John has shared the stage with some of the greats of our time, Willie Nelson, Arlo Guthrie, Kris Kristofferson, to name a few. Arlo invited John to join his Train to New Orleans tour post-Hurricane Katrina, and Kris Kristofferson has not only sung on two of John’s CDs, but has given John previously unrecorded material to use. Sonny Ochs, the sister of the late great songwriter, Phil Ochs, has made John one of the mainstays of her Phil Ochs Song Nights that tours nationally.

John walks his talk. When off the road, he leads a prison discussion group, is very involved with Camp Dreamcatcher, a safe haven for children living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, and is an advocate for wider understanding and treatment of PTSD suffered by our returning war veterans.

He was made a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club for notable service, gained a Shining Star Award from the Dominicans for artistry and service for his song The Passunder (New Orleans), and won a Notable Recording Award from the American Library Association for his CD, Love Takes a Whole Box of Crayons.

John’s songs have been placed in television (Joan of Arcadia) and film (Tiny Tears, Not Broken). An up-coming documentary, When Jane and Johnny Come Marching Homeless, will feature, Semper Fi (America’s Waiting), a true story of brotherly love in the face of PTSD.

He lives in Delaware with his wife, four children, and their exuberant German Shepherd.

In addition to concerts and festivals he presents special programs on songwriting and Prison Ministry. John also performs popular school assembly programs, workshops and family concerts.

John continues to tour extensively. With nothing but an old Martin D-28 and harmonica for accompaniment, his compelling songs, strong voice, and open-hearted approach to his audiences are turning strangers into believers, and believers into friends.