John McCutcheon “Bucket List”

Appalseed 2021

Multi Grammy-nominated folk singer’s latest – if it ain’t broke…

mccutcheon bucket list album artMcCutcheon has a huge back catalogue featuring everything from dulcimer-driven folk to heartland rocky ballads, children’s stories to evocations of Christmas in the trenches. He has led Pete Seeger tributes and released albums featuring all of the instruments of which he is a master – dulcimer, fiddle, guitar, autoharp and banjo.

‘Bucket List‘ is hewn from the cloth of ‘traditional American songwriter folk’ – each song delivered in a classic stately style with fiddle supporting the acoustic guitar bed while the lyrics are delivered in McCutcheon’s clear baritone. There are eighteen songs all coming from this template – often mournful but rarely affecting, each one feels like an exercise in clinical, aspic preserved songs of a certain quality. I feel sure that these songs will speak to many but there is a spark missing. The closest we come to any sense of emotion is in ‘Ghost Town’ with its tale of deserted memories and loss. But it is all too clean and tidy and I just wish McCutcheon would allow some emotion into his delivery. I am sure that his experience and undoubted skills as a songwriter should be capable of more than this perfectly acceptable but ultimately anodyne offering.


About Keith Hargreaves 319 Articles
Riding the one eyed horse into dead town the scales fell from his eyes. Music was the only true god at once profane and divine The dust blew through his mind as he considered the offering... And then he scored it out of ten and waited for the world to wake up
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