John McCutcheon became one of the best-selling and most-loved
performers in family music by accident. "Honest! I didn't
mean to!" he maintains. Already was an internationally known
folksinger and recording artist, as father of a one-year-old son,
McCutcheon recorded an album of songs for his son and figured
that was that. Except for one thing: 1983's now-classic "Howjadoo"
(Rounder Records) was different from the other children's albums
out at the time. "I wanted to make an album that was very
musical, fun, and absolutely adult-friendly. I wanted to be able
to stand to listen to it again and again." And the rest is
"Howjadoo" became one of the best-selling children's
folk music albums ever and John McCutcheon has become a favorite
with families ever since. Now, five consecutive Grammy nominations
later, he is coming to Romney August 7th for a concert at The
Potomac Center. The show will start at 5PM and is appropriate
for all ages, 4 and up.
What sets John McCutcheon apart is that he refuses to do what's
classically known as "children's music." Opting instead
to call his work "family music" John McCutcheon creates
performances -whether in concert or on his recordings -that "transcend
all age barriers" (Connecticut Post) and that one Oregon
review noted, "appeal to folks of all ages -making his audiences
a model of diversity." (Daily Barometer). The Chicago Tribune
further noted that "John McCutcheon is a booster for all
that is good in the human race. You can always count of his music
to provide quality time for families."
An Australian newspaper further exclaimed, "the most overwhelming
folk performer in the English language," while Johnny Cash
called John "the most impressive instrumentalist I¹ve
ever seen." A master of seven different instruments and an
acknowledged world-master of the beautiful hammer dulcimer, the
"international accolades are only erroneous in their understatement."
(Cleveland Plain Dealer).
All this by accident? True, because John McCutcheon is one of
very few family music performers who still performs primarily
for adults. His catalog of over twenty-five albums includes recordings
of traditional songs, topical material, instrumental works, and
his own huge cache of original songs for people of all ages. He
has played in major venues throughout the world from New York's
Lincoln Center to London's Barbicon Theater to St. Petersburg¹s
home of the Kirov Ballet. He has performed with a Who's Who of
international folkmusic Š from Pete Seeger to Richard Thompson
to Nancy Griffith to Inti Illimani -while recording with everyone
from Paul Simon to Mary Chapin Carpenter. He introduced American
and Russian audiences to the first international joint tour of
a US and a USSR musician in the 1991 US/USSR Friendship Tour.
He was named "Artist of the Year" by Australia's prestigious
Port Fairy Folk Festival and has composed songs that have become
classics in the folksong repertoire of the English-speaking world.
But it was on the heels of "Howjadoo's" unexpected success
that John McCutcheon began to perfect his notion of "family
music." He has released seven more family albums and produced
five other anthologies of family songs and stories. These albums
have garnered every imaginable honor in the family music world
and helped promote a respect for children¹s musicality and
intelligence. John McCutcheon's "Four Seasons" cycle
is a staggering accomplishment of creativity and musicianship
and has been called by many in the press as his "magnum opus."
Yet it is in concert halls, not in recording studios, that John
McCutcheon feels most comfortable. His live shows have been hailed
as "little feats of magic" (Washington Post) and "national
folk music treasures" (Oakland Tribune). "Not only one
of the best musicians in the USA, but also a great singer, songwriter
and song leader!" is how Pete Seeger describes him.
Not satisfied being merely an entertainer, McCutcheon teaches
his audiences how to make music themselves, in groups or all alone.
He weaves tales as modern fables, rich in history and universal
in scope. He introduces the many instruments he uses‹guitar,
banjo, fiddle, autoharp, hammer dulcimer‹placing them in
their historic and ethnic framework, all the while sketching a
picture of our world that works like a great orchestra with each
different element adding to the sound of the whole.
Whether live or on record, whether playing a quiet instrumental
or leading a wild sing-a-long, whether mesmerizing a thousand
children with a story or dashing with his fiddle up to the second
balcony, John McCutcheon makes music the whole family can enjoy.
His concerts are an exhilarating, joyous celebration of Americana.
This engagement of John McCutcheon is a Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation
Tour, funded by the Foundation in partnership with the National
Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program. Made possible
through the generous support of The Bank of Romney with financial
assistance from the WV Division of Culture & History and the
National Endowment for the Arts with approval from the WV Commission
on the Arts
At the end of the performance the audience will have opportunity
to "Meet the Artist" and ask him questions about his
instruments and songs