John McCutcheon

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John McCutcheon
John McCutcheon.jpg
McCutcheon performs at Blue Mountains Music Festival in Australia, March 2010.
Background information
Born (1952-08-14) August 14, 1952 (age 67)
Wausau, Wisconsin, United States
Genres Folk
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist

John McCutcheon (born August 14, 1952) is an American folk music singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has produced 40 albums since the 1970s. [1] He is regarded as a master of the hammered dulcimer, and is also proficient on many other instruments including guitar, banjo, autoharp, mountain dulcimer, fiddle, and Jew's harp. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] He has received six Grammy Award nominations. [10]

Contents

Career

McCutcheon was born to Roman Catholic parents in Wausau, Wisconsin. He attended Saint James Grade School and graduated from Newman Catholic High School. He is a graduate of Saint John's University in Minnesota. While in his 20s, he travelled to Appalachia and learned from some of the legendary greats of traditional folk music, such as Roscoe Holcomb, I.D. Stamper, and Tommy Hunter. His vast repertoire also includes songs from contemporary writers like Si Kahn (e.g. "Gone Gonna Rise Again", "Rubber Blubber Whale") as well as a large body of his own music.

When McCutcheon became a father in the early 1980s he found most children's music "unmusical and condescending", [11] and sought to change the situation by releasing a children's album, Howjadoo, in 1983. Originally, he had only intended to do one children's record, but the popularity of this first effort led to the production of seven additional children's albums. [12] He has also written three books for children.

Much of his work, however, continues to focus on writing politically and socially conscious songs for adult audiences. One of his most successful songs, "Christmas in the Trenches" (from his 1984 album Winter Solstice), tells the story of the Christmas truce of 1914. In his performances, McCutcheon often introduces his music with a story. He has become known as a storyteller, and has made multiple appearances at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee. He is married to children's author and storyteller, Carmen Agra Deedy. [13]

McCutcheon's music has, since the 1990s, increasingly evolved into heartland rock-influenced ballads, while he still occasionally performs purer folk music, particularly when playing the dulcimer.[ citation needed ]

In 2011 McCutcheon portrayed IWW organizer and songwriter Joe Hill in Si Kahn's one-man play Joe Hill's Last Will, produced by Main Stage West in Sebastopol, California.[ citation needed ]

John McCutcheon performs in Richmond VA. 2017-04-21 2017-04-21 John McCutcheon performs in Richmond VA..jpg
John McCutcheon performs in Richmond VA. 2017-04-21

Discography

Books

Grammy Award Nominations

John McCutcheon has received six Grammy nominations. The Grammy Awards are awarded annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1995 "John McCutcheon's Four Seasons: Summersongs" Best Musical Album for Children Nominated
1996 "John McCutcheon's Four Seasons: Wintersongs" Best Musical Album for Children Nominated
1997 "Bigger Than Yourself" Best Musical Album for Children Nominated
1998 "John McCutcheon's Four Seasons: Autumnsongs" Best Musical Album for Children Nominated
1999 "John McCutcheon's Four Seasons: Springsongs" Best Musical Album for Children Nominated
2006 "Christmas in the Trenches" Best Spoken Word Album for Children Nominated

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References

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