John McCutcheon is coming home to where his performing career began. This Friday, Oct. 27, at 8 p.m., McCutcheon will sing both his new music and, no doubt play the broad spectrum of instruments, including the hammer dulcimer, of which he is considered one of the masters.
If there’s anyone working today who has taken on the armor of the great folk singer and justice campaigner Woody Guthrie, it’s McCutcheon. His new song, an anti-fascist anthem, “The Machine,” is based on a famous photograph of Guthrie’s guitar with a sign taped to it, “This machine kills fascists.
McCutcheon’s new album, “Ghost Light,” is now available, along with his new book, “Flowers of Sarajevo.”
“The Machine” was written in response to the recent conflict with the white supremacists and Nazis in Charlottesville.
“I don’t believe that was started with a bullet or a bomb, it begins in the homes and hearts with the innocent and young,” he sings. “No one is born to hatred, it must be fed alive, we’re left with the carnage, and these bastards marching by. Woody Guthrie had a guitar with the best sign I’ve seen. ‘This machine kills fascists,’ we must be the machine.”
If you miss McCutcheon’s Laurel Theatre show, he will be back in East Tennessee for a concert at the International Storytelling Center, in Jonesborough on Dec. 11.