John McCutheon is a storyteller who happens also to sing and play a bunch of instruments. For years I heard his name and never listened to his music! Finally, several years ago I listened to, at the time his latest release Passages, and I discovered that I had been missing out on a really great folksinger/storyteller. So the other day when I saw that he has a new release 22 Days and the was number 1 on the Folk=DJ list for November, it went on the iPhone and it has been listened to several times. The album is full of great story songs and well let’s let John tell us about it. From his website:
22 Days began as an homage to my friend, Vedran Smailovic, the “Cellist of Sarajevo,” who, in honor of 22 people killed by a bomb in a Bosnian breadline, played for 22 days in a row at the bombing site. 20 years to the day of the beginning of Smailovic’s action I sat down for the same number of days, at the same hour every day, to write. There was no goal, no album in sight. I simply wanted to write and see what happened. Over 30 new songs is what happened.
….With a couple of exceptions, it is songs from that writing intensive that comprise the songs of 22 Days.they are a diverse lot: several love songs, a song about a small South Georgia town, a topical song or two, an instrumental, a hillbilly sea shanty, and a even a kind of follow-up to the Ode to a Krispy Kreme from the Passage album a few years ago.
While the whole album is a treat to listen to my favorites on the album include: “Forgotten” – a song for Mylala, “Fitzgerald” the song about that small Georgia town, “Of an Age”, the title says all, “Heaven’s Kitchen” an ode to southern cooking, and “Nothing Like You”
As always the songs are well written and the music is great McCutheon is a multi-instrumentalist and is regarded as a master of the hammered dulcimer, and also plays: guitar, banjo, autoharp, mountain dulcimer, fiddle, and jawharp wonderfully..
The Washington Post described John as folk music’s “Rustic Renaissance Man,” a moniker flawed only by its understatement. “Calling John McCutcheon a ‘folksinger’ is like saying Deion Sanders is just a football player…” (Dallas Morning News).
So if you’ve never given John’s music a spin do it! As for me I have a list of 32 albums that John has released over the last 38 years to listen to….. Here’s John performing the touching song “Forgotten”