The Athens Folk Music And Dance Society
are pleased to present
Hotel Indigo - Rialto Room
Sunday, February 4, 2024 @ 7:00 pm
Join us for an intimate evening with one of the finest songwriter/singer/multi-instrumentalists of our time.
See you at the show!
For more information, please contact
Tommy Jordan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Troy Aubrey <email@example.com>
For fifty years now “Folk Music’s Rustic Renaissance Man” (Washington Post) John McCutcheon has been everywhere in the folk music scene. A breath-taking multi-instrumentalist, a traditional music archivist, one of the primary revivalists of the hammer dulcimer, a pioneering children’s and family artist, a prolific and wide-ranging songwriter, and the very definition of the touring Road Warrior. Until COVID.
Starting in March 2020, fresh from his twelfth Australian tour, he settled into homelife and wrote. And wrote. On September 2, 2022 he’s releasing Leap!, his third album of songs written during the pandemic. “These are not songs about the pandemic, they are songs because of the pandemic,” the multiple-Grammy-nominated McCutcheon mused.
The 18-song collection covers lots of ground. He takes you to backroad Appalachian to Belfast, from a front-porch salesman to an immigrant’s first day of work waiting outside a steel mill, from a 9-year-old at recess to a chance meeting in a New York subway. McCutcheon’s legendary storytelling illuminates moments great and small, elevating the ordinary to the extraordinary, all delivered with his warm baritone and his long-time ban
dmates, fleshing each tale out perfectly.
Fiddle ace Stuart Duncan is omnipresent as a lyrical and emotive element on nearly every song. Keyboardist Jon Carroll, long the centerpiece of McCutcheon’s recordings is reliably brilliant, while bassist JT Brown adds the perfect foundational anchor. Guest artists include drummer Robert “Jos” Jospé and guitarist Pete Kennedy, longtime McCutcheon collaborators, Irish flutist Seamus Egan, and singers Kathy Mattea, Tim O’Brien, and Tommy Sands.
“The Ride” starts the trip, a usually-timid kid taking a brave leap at the local quarry, recalling his grandad telling him, “If you ain’t livin’, then you’re dyin’!” “The Troubles “see the decades-long conflict in Ireland reflected in today’s polarized times. “Second Hand” honors the passing of Greece’s oldest Holocaust survivor, who spent her life recounting her experiences to school children.
There are lighter moments as well. “Listen” opines that “They say that love is blind, love is deaf, as well!”, while “Song When You Are Dead” is a laugh-out-loud take on a commissioned eulogy.
Leap! follows on the heels of Cabin Fever: Songs from the Quarantine (2020) and Bucket List (2021) and brings to 54 the new songs written and released since the 2020 lockdown. “And that’s less than half of what’s been composed, not counting at least that many from my weekly Zoom sessions with Tom Paxton and others!” said McCutcheon.
With this, his 43rd release in his 50-year career, John McCutcheon proves again that his is one of the most creative, prolific, reliable, and satisfying of American folk music’s stalwarts. Leap! puts a big exclamation point on his already impressive legacy.
Media praise for John McCutcheon’s 43rd album Leap! (released 9/2/22):
“Here then is further proof of the fact that McCutcheon is not only a national treasure but an essential individual when it comes to passing a musical legacy forward towards the future. With those 43 albums behind him, one can only hope there are 43 more to come.”
– AMERICAN SONGWRITER
“McCutcheon has delivered not just the folk album of the year, but one that will also win many hearts and minds.” – NO DEPRESSION
“For five decades, John McCutcheon has permeated the global folk scene with his stunning work as a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and music archivist. Like many artists, the height of the COVID pandemic was an opportunity to stay at home and write. Now, Leap! marks the third full album McCutcheon has been dropping since the pandemic’s start. “
“As a true folk singer and songwriter, John McCutcheon writes songs about truth, and this one (The Troubles) is as deeply lovely musically as it is troubling lyrically, as are many of his works. It’s a folk song about Belfast and the wounds that don’t heal there.” – AMERICANA HIGHWAYS