John McCutcheon - Bucket List

With a 50-year career under his belt that encompasses 42 album releases and countless live appearances all over the world, it's unlikely that beloved folk musician John McCutcheon actually has much of a bucket list. He does of course touch on the subject here; the title cut of Bucket List looks at some of the things a younger man might have had on a bucket list, like seeing Stonehenge, the Grand Canyon and the Aurora Borealis along with more exotic adventures like attending a music festival in Senegal. While the song's sentiment could apply to many let's hope the line "So turn the bucket over, I'm done" means that the man portrayed in the cut has realized his goals, not that he is ready to die. That part of the song is certainly not autobiographical; McCutcheon has recently penned another 80-or-so songs beyond the 18 presented here and an ambitious release schedule for those is in the offing. One of the things that make McCutcheon so charming and relatable is his down-to-earth delivery; his storytelling seems to come from a guy-next-door or grandfatherly perspective. As such there is some advice here, like on the encouraging "Be Still" along with cherished memories such as those found on "It's Not," pure Americana like the appreciation of the title character of "Farmer" and the hill country story of illicit booze makers on "Moonshiner." Other than his banjo picking on "Moonshiner" McCutcheon accompanies himself only on acoustic guitar with most songs featuring weepy fiddle playing from Stuart Duncan while others add appropriate atmospherics with piano, bass, organ and mandolin.

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