John McCutcheon seems to have never met an instrument he didn’t like. He’s skilled on autoharp, banjo, fiddle, guitar, piano, mountain dulcimer, and is an acknowledged master of the hammered dulcimer. And if you’ve seen him do “hambone,” using his hands to slap out complex rhythms on his thighs, chest, and head, you know he needs no external instrument to make music. And there is his voice; strong, all-American, sounding better than most of us, while still managing to sound like one of us. It can confidently carry an a cappella Appalachian hymn, or remind you of Bob Seger at his raspy, rockin’ best.
Now add songwriting to this embarrassment of riches. If McCutcheon had never written another song besides “Christmas in the Trenches,” arguably one of the best anti-war songs in the English language, he could be counted among the great songwriters of recent memory. His thirty-four (!) recordings have received countless awards, including five Grammy nominations. 316 S. Main St. 734-761-1818.