The Diana Wortham Theatre presents John McCutcheon, one of the nation’s most loved and respected folksingers, Saturday, February 23, at 8:00 p.m. Described by The Washington Post as folk music’s “Rustic Renaissance Man,” McCutcheon performs music and storytelling both traditional and original that bears a profound mark of place, family, and strength. His accessible and conversational storytelling style—compared to that of Garrison Keillor—has made him a favorite with audiences of all ages.
From childhood musical beginnings with a mail-order guitar and a used book of chords, John McCutcheon is now a master of a dozen traditional instruments, most notably the rare and beautiful hammered dulcimer. His songwriting has been hailed by critics and singers around the globe, and his thirty recordings have garnered numerous honors including seven Grammy nominations. McCutcheon’s latest album This Land: Woody Guthrie’s America is a comprehensive tribute to an American icon featuring renditions of Guthrie songs, both classic and unknown. Joined by a cadre of the finest Americana musicians including Willie Nelson, Kathy Mattea, Tim O’Brien, Stuart Duncan, and Tommy Emmanuel, McCutcheon demonstrates his understanding of the legacy he is not only celebrating but also continuing.
McCutcheon has produced over twenty albums of other artists, from traditional fiddlers to contemporary singer-songwriters to educational and documentary works. His books and instructional materials have introduced budding players to the joys of their own musicality, and his commitment to grassroots political organizations has put him on the front lines of many of the issues important to communities and workers. In the past few years alone he has headlined over a dozen different festivals in North America (including repeated performances at the National Storytelling Festival), recorded an original composition for Virginia Public Television involving over 500 musicians, toured Australia for the sixth time, toured Chile in support of a women’s health initiative, and appeared in a Woody Guthrie tribute concert in New York City—and that is only part of the list. Whether in print, on record, or on stage, few people communicate with the versatility, charm, wit and talent of John McCutcheon.
John McCutcheon’s Asheville performance is made possible by Performance Sponsors Joel & Deborah Bohan Berkowitz, and by Mainstage Music Series Sponsors BMW of Asheville and Henry LaBrun, with additional support from Media Sponsors WNC magazine and WNCW 88.7FM.