John McCutcheon's 33rd album is the first that showcases his considerable talents as both a singer/songwriter and a storyteller. This double-CD release features Disk 1, "Word," recorded live at 2008's National Storytelling Festival. His real-life narratives take us from Sydney to Calgary, from kitchen tabletops to miraculous car journeys offering both humor and insight in generous helpings. It is no wonder the Washington Post describes John's skills as "storytelling with the richness of literature."
Disk 2, "Song," is a, likewise, world-hopping feast. "Streets of Sarajevo" tells of Vedran Smailovic, "The Cellist of Sarajevo," with accompaniment provided by Smailovic himself. "El Perdón" muses expansively on graffiti McCutcheon saw on a bridge in Santiago, Chile. "Dreams & Bones" was composed in a harbor town in Ireland. But perhaps the gem of the album is John's duet with country star Suzy Bogguss on his "Old People in Love."
Few people have proven as prolific, versatile, and as consistently satisfying as John McCutcheon. And this new release only reinforces his description as "folk music's renaissance man."