The singer-songwriter known as Johnsmith will give an outdoor concert Saturday evening at Fort Worden State Park. (photo courtesy Johnsmith)

The singer-songwriter known as Johnsmith will give an outdoor concert Saturday evening at Fort Worden State Park. (photo courtesy Johnsmith)

The artist Johnsmith to perform at Fort Worden State Park

PORT TOWNSEND — Johnsmith — yes, the artist is known by the one name — has stepped back into life as a troubadour.

Having set out Aug. 30 from his hometown of Trempeleau, Wis., on the banks of the Mississippi River, he’s coming to Port Townsend for a concert Saturday night.

Rainshadow Recording studio’s front yard, outside Building 315 at Fort Worden State Park, 200 Battery Way, is the place. Tickets to the 6 p.m. concert can be found here, or at the venue Saturday evening.

“He’s a wonderful singer-songwriter who’s been doing it for decades,” Rainshadow’s Everett Moran said of Johnsmith.

The performer, alongside his wife Jo, is in the midst of a road trip celebrating his 40th wedding anniversary: They’ve driven their Volkswagen camper across seven western states now.

Johnsmith himself, reached by phone Thursday on a stop outside Astoria, Ore., summed up his mission: He sings songs about life. He writes about loved ones, loss, grandbabies being born and the birds he sees and hears when walking among trees.

“I have some really funny stuff. And I also do songs that people might need a tissue for. I try not to do too many of those,” he said.

As for the origin of his singular moniker, Johnsmith said his given name was John Joseph Smith, but when it came time long ago to establish a website, his friend and graphic designer suggested he mash first and last together.

“She said, ‘I think you should try this,’” and it stuck, piquing people’s attention ever since.

Johnsmith is also known for leading songwriting retreats at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, Calif., and for guiding musical tours of Ireland “for people who don’t like tours.”

He has eight solo CDs to his credit, including “Break Me Open,” “to the Four Directions,” “Hole in the Clouds” and the latest, “Ginkgo.” They’re available at johnsmithmusic.com.

After a few more concerts in the Pacific Northwest, he and Jo expect to head back home and reach Trempeleau around Sept. 21, just before the autumnal equinox.

“Then I’ll go right into the studio to start a new CD,” he said.

________

Jefferson County senior reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected]

More in Entertainment

Emperor penguins are among the creatures Bill Curtsinger of Port Townsend photographed during his career with National Geographic. Curtsinger and his collaborator, nature writer Kenneth Brower, will host an online conversation about their work together Sunday afternoon. (Photo copyright Bill Curtsinger)
Deep-sea diver to give free live talk

Photographer worked for National Geographic

Monday concert postponed, October show still on

Juan de Fuca Foundation considering concerts one at a time

United Way hosts hybrid fundraiser

Tickets are still available for a hybrid United Way of… Continue reading

Margaret More of Port Townsend cuts flowers at Wilderbee Farm, one of eight locations open during the Jefferson County Farm Tour this Saturday and Sunday. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
Jefferson County Farm Tour this weekend

Eight farms open for in-person visits, seven more online

‘Longmire’ author to speak at Jefferson County Public Library

Jefferson County Library will host an evening with Craig… Continue reading

Most Read