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January 10, 2012 > Concert celebrates "something special"

Concert celebrates "something special"

Submitted By Bruce Roberts

"...Something special," that's what six-time Grammy nominee John McCutcheon said of his newest album, "This Land: Woody Guthrie's America". Since 2012 is the 100th anniversary of Woody's birth, it is only fitting that McCutcheon celebrates it this year. He will celebrate it with a concert in Fremont on January 16 at St. James' Episcopal Church.

With 35 albums to his credit, John McCutcheon has toured the length and breadth of the United States singing and telling stories about the real people of this country. He also sings of the foibles of the rich and famous to entertain us real folks. Most of McCutcheon's songs and stories he writes himself, finding inspiration in family, friends, and even the local and national news. For "This Land" he used Woody's songs or added music to words for which Woody never had the chance to write the music.

Woody Guthrie's songs were a product of the Great Depression and Post War America where and when he lived. We hear striking parallels in the songs he wrote today. For example, "Deportees" and "Pastures of Plenty" visit the questions of immigration, of migrant workers and how we harvest our crops. The "I Ain't Got No Home" lyrics "...Rich man took my home, drove me from my door..." ring true again today. "Harness Up the Day" recalls a loved one in words alone that McCutcheon set to music. That song from 1940 could have been written yesterday.

Every concert has a different song-list according to Tommy Slothower, McCutcheon's Road Manager. With forty-five years of songs McCutcheon picks the ones that fit the venue. Sure, he will sing songs from "This Land" in Fremont, but with so many of his own songs from which to pick, and with the seven or eight instruments he brings on a road trip, he could play and sing a banjo tune, cool the crowd down with a ballad accompanied on the piano, play "Leviathan" on the hammer dulcimer, or tell a story leaving the audience rolling with laughter or daubing their eyes.

This event will be the ninth annual concert by John McCutcheon at St. James', providing professional sound and lighting, songs and stories of truth, playing and singing by McCutcheon, and a bit of sing-along with the audience (individual choice).

For more information contact St. James' Episcopal Church at (510) 797-1492,, or visit Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for children 5 to 12, and free for ages 5 and under.

John McCutcheon concert
Monday, January 16
7:30 p.m.
St. James' Episcopal Church
37051 Cabrillo Terrace, Fremont
(510) 797-1492
Tickets: $15 - $25

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