Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
The word “multi-instrumentalist” was coined for John McCutcheon. The truth of the matter is, if an instrument has got strings, McCutcheon surely knows how to play it. Not just play it, but play it well. Like dazzlingly well.
But, of course, he’s got a whole lot more going for him than just his considerable instrumental prowess. As he proved in concert at the Eighth Step at Proctors in Schenectady last week, he’s a master songwriter, and he’s got one helluva deep songbag to draw from. That just kinda happens naturally when you’ve recorded three dozen albums over the course of your career.
He’s a true renaissance man on the contemporary folk music scene. Michael Cooney rightfully earned the title of “one-man folk festival,” but now that Cooney’s more-or-less retired from the road, it’s time to pass on the title. And McCutcheon is the rightful heir.
We’re coming down to the home stretch of the Eighth Step’s 2014 spring season, and McCutcheon’s performance ranks right up there with the Step’s upcoming shows featuring Roy Zimmerman (tonight), John Gorka (Friday, May 9) and Holly Near (Saturday, May 17).