On the fifth day of his current tour, legendary folk musician John McCutcheon will take over Ann Arbor.with his performance at The Ark. Having performed in Ann Arbor multiple times, McCutcheon stated that, "Ann Arbor feels just like home." With a discography spanning well over 30 albums, the multi-instrumentalist spoke on what keeps his live performances energized.
"You have one chance to not repeat the same show by accident,” said McCutcheon. “Because if you do people will go, ‘I know, I've seen a John McCutcheon show, he does the same thing.’ I want people to know I'm there that night."
Always writing new material, the 64-year old musician plans for a special performance, where he states the key will be the crowd's intimacy.
"One of the advantages and liabilities in being a soloist rather than having a band is that you can't fail. You're there, you're all that's there to create a relationship with your audience. I love that," said McCutcheon. "Every audience is different and one of the things you learn in life, whether you're a musician or just a regular Joe is being present; being right there in that moment and time is one of the biggest gifts you can give anyone."
For those just being introduced to McCutcheon, the veteran-folk singer remains a master over a number of instruments, including the guitar, banjo, fiddle, and hammered dulcimer among others.
With the performance at the Ark coming up soon, McCutcheon said fans as well as himself will be in store for a surprise as special guests ranging from Josh White Jr. to Bruce Springsteen have put on surprise performances alongside McCutcheon in the past.
"That's always fun,” said McCutcheon. “It's fun for me and one of the things you have to realize as a member in the audience is that, they're seeing something improvised and its may never happen again."
With a performance set to take place April 8th, McCutcheon's final words for the folks of Ann Arbor are, "For those who regularly come to see me, they know what to expect." McCutcheon continued by addressing newer fans. "The shows are always a lot of great fun; a lot of story telling involved, and a wide variety of instruments give opportunities to decide how the show goes."
Antonio Cooper is a freelance journalist from Detroit, Michigan. His coverage of music festivals and interviews with local celebrities appeared in The E-Current Magazine, The Detroit Metro Times, XXL Magazine, RichMagDigital, The Ann Arbor Observer, and Pop Magazine.