Leafy Greens is an acoustic duo comprised of Lisa Johnson on guitar, autoharp, and vocals, and Ben Doran on hammered dulcimer and vocals. Together they perform original, new & traditional tunes with old-time & Celtic roots and veins
I am a singer/songwriter who primarily plays finger-style guitar. I enjoy story-based songs, whether mine or those of other songwriters. I am a horticulturist in my professional life, so a lot of my songs focus on the earth—lakes, prairies, trees and gardens. My writing is also influenced by childhood memories and my interests in veteran’s issues and family relationships. I have always been drawn to beautiful melodies, so I really enjoy playing instrumental tunes as well, whether a Celtic melody or an American fiddle tune.
When not playing music, I am an avid gardener. I volunteer with Warrior Songs, a nonprofit that uses music and the arts to help heal veterans with PTSD; Angel’s Wish, a cat rescue nonprofit; and the Wild Hog in the Woods Coffeehouse, a volunteer-run folk music cooperative in Madison, Wisconsin. I also am a member of the Midtown International Peace Orchestra.
I am dulcimer player who was encouraged and inspired by a regional musician in Madison, Wisconsin, Gloria Hays. I am also influenced by and in awe of John McCutcheon. The melodies that attract me the most are the ones where the dulcimer, or other stringed instruments, have moments of ringing harmonics. I am not afraid to challenge myself to learn faster tunes. From years of choral performance in college and in my middle years, I am also drawn to the silences between some of the notes, chords, and phrasing. I’m interested in Celtic or traditional American tunes and I especially grin over the tunes/songs that traveled back-and-forth and how they evolved and changed.
I met Lisa as we both volunteer at a local “pop-up” coffeehouse, The Wild Hog in the Woods in Madison, Wisconsin. We began to work together, share songs, and perform together. I also perform with a regional group, Ar Ais Aris.
The cats are definitely participants in each and every practice session, whether that is desired or not