Detroit artists to honor the sounds of the late Daniel Johnston with tribute concert at the Magic Stick

Staff Pick


  • Courtesy of the Johnston Family / Peter Juhl

Beloved Austin-based singer-songwriter and master archivist Daniel Johnston is getting a proper Detroit sonic salute.

The prolific artist died of a heart attack in September at the age of 58, and was known for his endearing body of work as much as he was known for his ongoing struggles with mental and physical health — namely schizophrenia and bipolar disorder — as his work was an extension of his struggles. Just listen to fan favorite “True Love Will Find You in the End,” on which Johnston’s fragile voice fights to believe every word. He also really loved the Beatles and McDonald’s. (All this can be gleaned by watching the unflinching 2005 documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston.) Detroit’s “I’m OK: A Tribute to Daniel Johnston” will offer performances by Matt Milia, Stef Chura, Ben Collins (Minihorse), Anna Burch, Marlon Morton (Remnose), Greater Alexander, Libby Decamp, Craig Brown, and Jesse Shepherd-Bates (Handgrenades). A portion of the proceeds will benefit Johnston’s Hi How Are You Project, which aims to provide mental health awareness by funding various art and music events.

Doors open at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15, at the Magic Stick; 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700; Tickets are $10.

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