“Salt and Sand” album covered in Morris NewsBee

by Brett Friedelsohn, Jan 21, 2022

Brett interviewed me for local Morris County newspaper Morris NewsBee about my new album “Salt and Sand: Rock Songs to Heal the Mind,” my origins as a musician and as my childhood hometown of Morristown figured into the story. PDF embedded below.

Reprinted with the permission of the Morris NewsBee/New Jersey Hills Media

Subscribers to Morris NewsBee can read the article here.

New Article about Salt and Sand Album

on Plan for Mental Wellness Blog

Veronica at Plan for Mental Wellness took a thoughtful listen to my new album “Salt and Sand: Rock Songs to Heal the Mind” and wrote her candid reaction to it. She recognized the personal validation of mental health challenges in all the lyrics, but especially related to two meditative ballads: “A Different Kind of Zen” and “A Moment of Loving Kindness.”

Read Veronica’s post here.

TAP Into Montclair covers New Year’s Eve Zoom Concert Benefitting Hackensack University Medical Center Transplant Team

Natalie Heard Hackett from TAP Into Montclair wrote a thoroughly researched piece on my New Year’s Eve Zoom concert to benefit Hackensack University Medial Center’s Transplant Team. In it, she chronicled both my history as a living donor, husband to a two-time transplant recipient and musician for kids and adults alike.

Amy and Jason decided to pay it forward by helping to raise money for the Hackensack University Medical Center’s Transplant Team, since due to the COVID-19 pandemic, research has been placed on hold and funds reallocated.

Natalie Heard Hackett, TAP Into Montclair

Read Natalie’s article here.

You Can’t Get There from Here in Jersey quoted in New York Times story

In early 2013, the New Jersey State Senate debated whether to allow the inclusion of the state’s infamous jughandle turns in future highway designs. Since frustration with this unique driving feature of my homestate is the key to my song “You Can’t Get There from Here in Jersey,” I began to see interest in the tune take on a second life after the song made its debut on NPR’s Car Talk back in 2001.

As the great jughandle debate heated up in the State Senate, I got phone calls from Philadelphia’s Action News followed shortly by The New York Times’ reporter Matt Flegenheimer.

Here’s the resulting article, including my contribution and quotes:

Bill to Squelch Convoluted Left Turns Gains in New Jersey Senate

“But perhaps no New Jerseyan has weighed the jughandle’s merits as thoroughly as Jason Didner, 42, a singer and songwriter. Years before he took a job with a highway construction company, he wrote a tune about his driving experience for ‘Car Talk’ on National Public Radio.”

Matt Flegenheimer, NY Times

Here’s the definitive live performance video of me playing this song in front of an in-person audience (that sounds really nice right now, something to look forward to when we’re all vaccinated!)

Podcast Interview: My Handle is Johnathanblade

In this podcast interview I make a virtual trip to Richmond, VA to chat with cultural commentator and stand-up comic Thandi Woodard to have a thoroughly enjoyable conversation about family, music, mental health and the balance of it all. Press play and be part of it!

Or listen at Spotify, Apple Podcast or wherever you get your podcasts.

Podcast series: My Handle is Johnathanblade

Click here for the full podcast series.