Two new releases

Folk singer songwriter Dvorak celebrates April 15 double roll out with new book and CD

BROOKFIELD IL - The great pandemic of 2020 had been dragging on for a little more than seven months the evening Mark Dvorak stepped onto the stage at Hinsdale Unitarian Church for Folk Stage broadcast live on WFMT 98.7 fm. The presidential election was just ten days away and it was chilly for October, the temperature dropping into the twenties. Only Rich Warren, the show's producer and engineer and a handful of other people were allowed into the building. The broadcast went out over the airwaves from essentially an empty concert hall.

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Three weeks before, Dvorak had torn a muscle in his back after recovering from his second bout of pneumonia, the result of contracting the COVID-19 virus earlier in the summer.

"That was a pretty rough year,” said the singer from his home outside Chicago. “All but a few bookings were cancelled, and I was pretty much living off of my savings. The silver lining I guess, is with everything shut down, I had time on my hands to devote to projects I had been meaning to get to.”

Dvorak spent that time learning how to play drums, writing new songs and recording. In addition he had also been developing and assembling a series of essays for publication.


“I worked really hard on the writing of 31 Winters,” he said. "In the end I just wasn’t happy with how some of the material was laying out and wound up putting the whole thing back on the shelf. Last July, I decided to make one more try and began a complete rewrite. It took three months."

31 Winters: Finding the Folk Way is Dvorak’s reflection on his long journey through music and teaching. It is instructive, thoughtful, sometimes funny and often revealing. His gift for descriptive prose takes the reader “there.”

"All the while I was working on the book,” he continued, “WFMT had sent over a disc of the October 24, 2020 broadcast from Hinsdale. I thought the songs were great and the performance went rather smoothly. I was surprised how comfortable I was overall. On the other hand,” he said, “I’ve played my share of empty rooms over the years, so it wasn’t anything I hadn’t done before.”

Dvorak worked at selecting the tracks that would go on Live & Alone, edited the program down to about forty-four minutes and remastered the entire audio stream from his home studio.

Live & Alone is Dvorak’s twenty-first recorded release. “I’m really proud of it,” he said. “I’ve always felt like I’m at my best singing and playing live, and Live & Alone comes across pretty much as the entire show went down.”

Copies of Live & Alone and 31 Winters: Finding the Folk Way will be available from and also from a number of online retailers.

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