Joe Jencks


Joe Jencks March Tour News - St. Patrick's Day, MLK, Abigail Adams

Joe Jencks March Tour News  St Patrick039s Day MLK Abigail Adams

Coastal Ireland, looking north from near Loophead Lighthouse. Photo by Joe Jencks, 2022

Upcoming Concerts and Appearances
3-11-23 ~ Joe Jencks in Concert – Worcester, MA
3-12-23 ~ Joe Jencks Sunday Program, First Parish Quincy, MA
3-12-23 ~ Joe Jencks in Concert – East Bridgewater, MA
3-14-23 ~ Joe Jencks in Concert – Woodstock, IL
3-16-23 ~ Joe Jencks Live from Studio A, WNIJ (NPR) DeKalb, IL (
3-17-23 ~ Joe Jencks & Charlie King – Live Stream – St. Patrick’s Day Concert
3-18-23 ~ Joe Jencks – Live on Folk Stage – WFMT (NPR) Chicago, IL (
3-31-23 ~ Joe Jencks in Concert - Old Songs, Voorheesville, NY
4-1-23 ~ Joe Jencks in Concert - Cafe Veritas, Rochester, NY
4-8-23 ~ Joe Jencks in Concert - The Hurdy Gurdy Folk Club, Teaneck, NJ
*Full concert listings on:

Dear Friends in Music,

There is an old phrase in the Midwest, March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Well, this particular March day seems to lack the conviction to do either. It is content to be overcast and monochrome. Luckily, there is a great deal to be joyful about, even still.

I have some great concerts coming up in MA and IL, several radio appearances, and one livestream on St. Patrick’s Day (3-17-23) with my dear friend and mentor, Charlie King. More info is available in Charlie’s website:

March 12th through March 17th, MarySue Twohy will be featuring a generous performance segment focused on my newest album The Coming of the Years on SiriusXM Radio, The Village & The Bridge. Please check your XM Listings for specific times. March 16th, I will be featured on WNIJ (NPR) Live from Studio A. This is a performance show hosted by Spencer Tritt here in my own town of DeKalb, IL. Accessible via FM Radio or the internet. Go Huskies. And on March 18th, I will return to the lauded Folk Stage on WFMT (NPR) Chicago. Hosted by Marilyn Rae Bayer, who is also host of the syndicated folk radio institution, The Midnight Special. A happy reunion with a much beloved community.

This month’s episode of my own radio show, My Highway Home (5.3) features a deep-dive interview with Australian singer-songwriter, humanitarian, and renaissance man, Fred Smith. (a.k.a. Ian Campbell Smith) Tune in on Folk Music Notebook on Sunday March 12th at 6:00 PM ET and again at 11:00 PM ET. Adjust for your time zone. The episode will rebroadcast at Noon ET on Wednesday March 15th. Listen in via:

And last but not least, this weekend will find me performing in Massachusetts, with concerts in Worcester on Saturday night March 11th, East Bridgewater March 12th, and leading a Sunday program on March 12th at First Parish (UU) Quincey, MA.

This is a very special Unitarian Church. It is the final resting place of John and Abigail Adams. Their sarcophagi are in the basement. It may be the only Unitarian Church I have encountered with catacombs underneath. And these two people played a vital role in the evolution of the USA. They were progressive by the standards of their day, and deeply humanitarian. Abigail nipped at John’s heals ever to be ever mindful of the rights of women.

“If we mean to have Heroes, Statesmen and Philosophers, we should have learned women. The world perhaps would laugh at me, and accuse me of vanity, but you I know have a mind too enlarged and liberal to disregard the Sentiment. If much depends as is allowed upon the early Education of youth, and the first principals which are instill'd take the deepest root, great benefit must arise from literary accomplishments in women. ”
~ Abigail Adams

As I look around me and see an increased banning of books in the U.S., I am astonished and disheartened. What is it about the rise of women that is still such a threat 250 years later? What is it about a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural, queer-friendly society that is such a threat? I have never known. But I look to the words of another great American, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King for additional inspiration.

"Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love."
~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I am ever a student of how we build a world in which this is the role of justice: To heal what is broken, to correct that which stands in the way of love. But I am grateful through the music community and through many progressive and activist communities across North America, Ireland, and beyond to be connected to so many AMAZING people. People who dedicate their lives to continuing to build a world in which ideas such as these of Abigail Adams, and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. can become a consistent reality.

And still, the U.S. spent 2.3 Trillion dollars* to fight a repressive regime in Afghanistan, and ostensibly defend the rights of women and girls to seek an education not dominated by religious extremism. Strange then that we would as a nation, seem surprisingly complacent in the face of religious extremism taking over the agenda of education in our own country. (*Figure from USA Today 9-1-21)

I applaud the people putting up micro-libraries in their front yards. Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, NY even set up an outdoor Micro-Library specifically for banned books. Awesome. Likewise, I salute all those who get involved in local school boards, library boards, city councils, arts councils, and county boards. Literacy is everything. And not just reading words, but cultural literacy. Being immersed in and taking time to understand some measure of the lives, stories, experiences, and traditions of different people. This too is needed and necessary literacy. This helps us reach critical-mass in society, moving ever more toward a time when diversity is not a threat but the very essence of engaged living and a genuine manifestation of love. May it be so!

Wishing you all good fortune, good friends, good music, and good day!

In Gratitude & Song,

~ Joe Jencks 3-9-23

A selfie with some traveling companions, Loophead Lighthouse, 2022

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