When you’ve been releasing one well-crafted folk opus after another for the past 4 decades, there’s no real reason to reinvent the wheel. In his new album, Trolling For Dreams, songwriter and multi instrumentalist John McCutcheon whips together an expansive collection of tracks that invoke the beauty of genres as rich as Folk and Americana.
McCutcheon got his start in the 1970s and in that time has garnered an incredible amount of support and respect within the folk community. He’s played with alongside canonical folk heroes and has essentially mastered an armful of instruments. Trolling For Dreams is all about that close attention to the craft. McCutcheon’s songs are full of strong traditional imagery and are layered with perfectly made brew of hammered dulcimer, banjo, auto harp and finger picked guitar. The album tells stories that feel old and familiar. “Y’all Means All,” is a melody about inclusion, told through McCutcheon’s honey soaked country voice. In “The Reason I’m Here,” McCutcheon calls for some strings and tells us about a young girl and her father. “This Is Not A Song,” is mostly a piano ballad where McCutcheon asks his audience to be steadfast and caring through troubled times. It’s a simple message but it is deeply important to hear.
In the album’s paintings of dances on summer nights and gatherings of friends there are political undertones. McCutcheon calls on us to be kind to one another and to look out for the people in our life. Folk and Americana are rooted in a tradition of politically charged inclusiveness and Trolling For Dreams fits wonderfully into that mold. The album clocks in close to an hour, with fourteen tracks in all. In that time we get a glimpse of the old world, but with the eyes of someone focused on bettering the world, one lyric and line of guitar at a time.
Trolling For Dreams is available now.