Search - John Mccutcheon :: Mightier Than the Sword

Mightier Than the Sword
John Mccutcheon
Mightier Than the Sword
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1

With his twenty-ninth album, multiple Grammy nominee John McCutcheon continues to forge new ground. Long considered one of folk music?s most literate songwriters, John gathers co-writers from among literature?s most celeb...  more »

     
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CD Details

All Artists: John Mccutcheon
Title: Mightier Than the Sword
Members Wishing: 5
Total Copies: 0
Label: Kindred Rhythm
Original Release Date: 1/1/2006
Re-Release Date: 4/18/2006
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop, Classical
Styles: Classic Country, Traditional Folk, Contemporary Folk, Singer-Songwriters, Instruments, Strings
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 188666000098, 783707194806

Synopsis

Album Description
With his twenty-ninth album, multiple Grammy nominee John McCutcheon continues to forge new ground. Long considered one of folk music?s most literate songwriters, John gathers co-writers from among literature?s most celebrated contemporary authors: Barbara Kingsolver, Lee Smith, Wendell Berry, former US Poet Laureate Rita Dove, children?s author Carmen Agra Deedy, and Dead Man Walking?s Sr. Helen Prejean. Drawing from history as well, this recording also features two newly discovered and completed Woody Guthrie songs and musical arrangements of poems by Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda and Cuba?s national poet, Jose Marti. The intimate settings of these fourteen songs, the depth of the material and the breadth of subject matter are further proof of the mastery of this ever-inventive and always satisfying artist.

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CD Reviews

...and 1/2 .... Powerful, reflective, inspirational and some
J. Ross | Roseburg, OR USA | 04/20/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Playing Time - 56:20 -- On "Mightier Than The Sword," McCutheon's focus is powerful, and sometimes esoteric, messages. For inspiration, he collaborates with Barbara Kingsolver, Lee Smith, Wendell Berry, Carmen Agra Deedy, and Rita Dove, as well as posthumously with Woody Guthrie. Multiple Grammy nominee McCutcheon's 29th album is a voracious reader who spent many hours at his local public library. He considered books as his "refuge and launching pad," and he had found "a horizon of unending pleasure and passion." It was inevitable that the imagery and themes he encountered in books would eventually show up in his songs. "Dead Man Walking," for example, was written in 1994 immediately after being inspired by Sr. Helen Prejean's book of the same name. McCutheon composed the melody and a chorus for Guthrie's "Old Cap Moore, " a vignette originally written in 1949 when Guthrie and family were living on Coney Island. Guthrie's lyrics for "Harness Up The Day" were found in the Guthrie Archives in 2005.

Songs are also literary works, and the challenge was to put to music the words or inspirations of celebrated authors, a former U.S. Poet Laureate (Rita Dove), children's author (Carmen Agra Deedy), folk singer (Woody Guthrie), Nobel Laureate (Pablo Neruda), and Cuba's national poet (Jose Marti). The 14 songs are mostly given intimate settings, and their messages call for contemplation and deliberation. Such reflective material is often slower-tempo'ed, and it might have enhanced this project to pen a few more up-tempo pieces for additional contrast. Lyrics (including English translation for "Para Mi Corazon Basta Tu Pecho") are included in the CD's jacket. The words for "It's the Economy, Stupid," cover 4 pages in the booklet, and the song is an interesting, almost free-form kind of profound statement. The album's closer holds one of his wisest statements as McCutheon sings an ode to common things ... simple, small and good. As he states, "I might forget them if I would not pause each day and thus attest, I am a man uncommonly blest." Books and music could also be viewed as common things, but they hold great joy for those who explore them, capture their soul, and document their more uncommon intellectual depth of feelings or meanings. (Joe Ross, Roseburg, OR.)
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