Storied Ground

Storied Ground

by John McCutcheon
     
 
John McCutcheon carries on a topical songwriting tradition from Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, whose righteous anger and earnest fervor he often echoes. He seems to have taken his inspiration directly from these 1940s left-wing protest singers, going around their '60s descendants such as

Overview

John McCutcheon carries on a topical songwriting tradition from Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, whose righteous anger and earnest fervor he often echoes. He seems to have taken his inspiration directly from these 1940s left-wing protest singers, going around their '60s descendants such as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, and Tom Paxton, who often added a hip irony to their messages; in contrast, McCutcheon is humorless and plaintive. But he also recalls Guthrie and Seeger in that his subjects -- which on this, his 24th album, include the 1947 integration of major league baseball by Jackie Robinson and the 1955 Montgomery, AL bus boycott begun by Rosa Parks -- sometimes look back to their era. Even when he refers to current-day matters, he draws his viewpoint from the "storied" past of the pre-'60s left. Especially in his story songs, which are far more effective than his more direct agitprop ones, he makes points that are Seeger-like, such as his defense of small business and attack on large corporations in "Key to the City," "Closing the Bookstore Down," and "The Abby D." He is at his angriest (and most simplistic) when confronting current concerns, such as the media fascination with celebrities ("Vultures") and the spate of high school shootings ("From Us"); the music in those songs, usually dominated by gentle finger-picked acoustic instruments, takes on an aggressive-rock edge. Some people will feel that the issues addressed are more complicated and less morally polarized than McCutcheon makes them seem, but the singer's intention is probably aimed more toward inspiring the sympathetic than toward converting the opposed.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/02/1999
Label:
Rounder Select
UPC:
0018964446727
catalogNumber:
467

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

John McCutcheon   Primary Artist,Banjo,Guitar,Vocals,12-string Guitar,Didjeridu
Michael Aharon   Cello
J.T. Brown   Bass,Background Vocals
Mike Crotty   Saxophone
Robert Jospé   Percussion,Drums
Pete Kennedy   Electric Guitar
Moondi Klein   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Bruce Moisky   Fiddle
Art Wheeler   Organ,Piano
T.J. Johnson   Mandolin
J.T. Brown   Bass,Vocal Harmony
Mike Munford   Banjo

Technical Credits

John McCutcheon   Producer
Moore Moscowitz   Artwork
Bob Dawson   Producer,Engineer

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >