Off The Common Coffeehouse - Bridgewater, MA  
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Off The Common
Coffeehouse
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at the
First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church
50 School Street
Bridgewater, Massachusetts
   

John Flynn
February 1, 2020

John Flynn at Off the Common Coffeehouse

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."

Over three and a half decades, John Flynn's music has carried him from Jersey shore bars to Nashville's Music Row; from home plate performances in major league ballparks to concerts in maximum-security prisons; from star-studded benefit shows at Tipitina's in New Orleans to appearances at the Walter Reed Military Hospital and the Dover Air Force Base. Along the way Flynn has continued to make new friends and fans as he has given of his defiantly unguarded heart and optimistic spirit from large and small stages, living rooms, pulpits and schools across this country.

Although Philadelphia's Main Line Times calls Flynn a folk icon, his work has often reached beyond the conventional boundaries of the genre. A wordsmith of rare facility, Flynn's songs are laced with keenly observed and soul-resonant scraps of irony, humor, stumbled-on wisdom, and streetwise compassion. Reflecting on some of this music, 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".

These days John's performances draw widely from a significant body of work, ranging from his early country offerings to story songs, love songs, songs for kids, funny songs, songs of social justice, and meditations on love, loss, presence, forgiveness, and hope.

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, and need for, 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. 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.

Among the recognitions John has received for his work are the Phill Ochs Award for Music and Social Activism for Political and Social Justice, the Dominican's Shining Star Award, Rotary's Paul Harris Fellow Award, and Pacem in Terris's Peacemaker Among Us Award. Additionally, The American Library Association has recognized John for family recordings; and in 2012 he was a Grammy honoree for his song "Two Wolves' on the anti-bullying compilation, All About Bullies, Big and Small.

General Information


The 2019/2020 Season --

 

Oct 5

Monica Rizzio Band
 

Nov 2

In the Round with Kim Moberg, Tom Smith, Rachel Marie, and Julia Mark

 

Dec 7

Genna & Jesse and Andy & Judy (split bill)

 

Jan 4

Greg Greenway

 

Feb 1

John Flynn

 

Mar 7

Shawna Caspi and The Lied To’s (split bill)

 

Apr 4

Anne Hills

 

May 2

Windborne

Previous Seasons