McCutcheon's Wheel of Life
WHEEL OF LIFE
A compelling American songwriter celebrated in Holland for years, Boris McCutcheon is, in the States, an undiscovered talent in the footsteps of John Prine, Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Guy Clark, and Elvis Costello. He is a songwriter with an offbeat and often dark sense of life, death, and love. But because he’s a Romantic writer, many of McCutcheon’ songs believe that goodness will win out in the end. The land will shelter us and we will shelter the land, we will be lost and found in the wild woods, we will dream of demons and angels, and we will finally fall in love.
Boris’ songs are not always narrative in structure. Sometimes stories are just broached, teased out, allowed to develop slowly. Sometimes there are only images and moods, cryptically available. Boris’ dense pictures and hard-to-decipher metaphors ask a lot of the thinking listener. But it is clear that this is exactly what his fans like about him. Boris is a puzzle to be solved. In fact, it’s a deal between artist and audience. He really does want the listeners to enter his world; he wants to welcome in the good folks who take the trouble to travel down a really rough road – as he sings in “Bad Road, Good People”.
As a giant reward for figuring out his writing, Boris gives up some joyous, fast, dancing country rock tunes along with his mid-tempo ballads and folk songs. These quirky songs depict hippie softball games, spring plowing with boxsprings, volcanic winds in the high desert, a dropped set of keys down a city sewer, 7-foot mullein plants, pirates coming ashore for gold, the art of chopping wood on a Cape Cod island, the long road home to a welcoming family. The music is superlative, and nothing is held back.
Boris has an unusual gift. His art is “outsider” art. But his art derives from a tradition of deeply rooted American-grown music. This paradox delivers beautiful, strong music.
He fills you with a feeling for simpler days -- when people could live off the land by the phases of the moon, find spiritual solace in the mountain’s Ponderosa Pines or the sands of deserted beaches, and make connections away from the frenetic main stream of contemporary life.
Try these songs on for size. They make you dance and sing. They help you live right. They bring you home.