Whitesburg KY

John McCutcheon to perform June 13 at Seedtime festival

When six-time Grammynominated performer John McCutcheon headlines Seedtime on the Cumberland’s bill on Saturday, June 13, it will be a chance to share an evening with one of the many national performers who have been a part of the Appalshop family during its 40 years in Whitesburg. Seedtime on the Cumberland 2009 will take place June 11 through 13 on the Appalshop festival grounds in downtown Whitesburg.

Even before graduating summa cum laude from Minnesota’s St. John’s University, John McCutcheon “headed for the hills,” foregoing a college lecture hall for the classroom of the eastern Kentucky coal camps, union halls, country churches, and square dance halls. His apprenticeship to many of the legendary figures of Appalachian music embedded a love of not only homemade music, but a sense of community and rootedness. The result is music, whether traditional or from his huge catalog of original songs, with the profound mark of place, family, and strength. In the words of Johnny Cash, “the most impressive instrumentalist I’ve ever heard.”

McCutcheon’s first solo album, “Wind the Shakes the Barley”, appeared on Appalshop’s record label June Appal, as did “From Heaven to Earth” by Wry Straw, his band with Rick Kirby and Tommy Bledsoe. McCutcheon also appears in the early Appalshop film, “Sourwood Mountain Dulcimers”, with one of his mentors, dulcimer maker and player I.D. Stamper.

Seedtime will also offer film screenings, picking contests, gallery exhibits, shape note singing, literary readings, a Youth Bored concert, nature hikes, craft and food vendors, and the Carcassonne square dance, which will be held on the Seedtime grounds Saturday night. All events on Thursday will be free to the public, as will all festival activities before 3 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Admission to Saturday night’s square dance at 9:30 p.m. will also be free to the public.

Seedtime tickets will be available for $10 per day or $15 for the weekend, with discounts available for advance purchases, students, seniors, and groups. Advance tickets sales are available from the Seedtime website at appalshop.org/ seedtime as well as from area businesses.

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