Personnel: John McCutcheon (vocals, guitar, banjo, hammer dulcimer); Michael Mark, Tom Chapin (vocals); Kerrianne Cox (chant); Pete Kennedy (electric guitar); Tim O'Brien (mandolin, fiddle); Jon Carroll (accordion, piano, electric piano, organ); Pete Barrenbregge (clarinet, saxophone); Robert Josp‚ (drums, percussion); Bob Dawson (percussion).
Though largely recognized for his music for children, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist John McCutcheon crafted his 26th album, GREATESTSTORY NEVER TOLD, outside this category. For starters, the record moves beyond the bouncy sing-alongs of his children's output to draw on Appalachian folk, 1960s protest singing, bluegrass, and campfire songs. In addition to these diverse source influences, the songs on GREATEST STORY are political in nature, and many offer critiques and commentaries on war, consumer culture, and civil rights.
"Follow the Light," for example, is a song about 9/11, while "Dancing in the Street" offers a portrait of a character brushed to the fringes of the capitalist system. "Walk on Water" promotes environmental conservation, and "Not in My Name" condemns terrorists who claim God ordains their hate crimes. McCutcheon even throws in a love song for good measure ("Last First Kiss"). The artist's fine musicianship (on guitar, banjo, hammer dulcimer, and other instruments), and his knack for songcraft and storytelling are all here, making GREATEST STORY NEVER TOLD a fine addition to this accessible folk singer's sizeable discography.
Yoga Journal (04/03, p.173) - "...He plays second fiddle to no one in his stands against injustice and hypocrisy and his promotion of social responsibility and human dignity....Some of his most pop-oriented arrangements to date..."