Folk Music Icon John McCutcheon Returns to the High Country at Appalachian Theatre

Betty Jean Cole Quessenberry
October 10, 2022
“Twilight” Vampires Descend on the App Theatre Oct. 20;
October 11, 2022

Folk Music Icon John McCutcheon Returns to the High Country at Appalachian Theatre


Folk Music Icon John McCutcheon Returns to the High Country;

“National Treasure” Makes App Theatre Debut on October 21

BOONE, NC – John McCutcheon, “Folk Music’s Rustic Renaissance Man,” makes his
highly-anticipated debut at the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country at 7:30 p.m. on
Friday, October 21, 2022. A master instrumentalist, powerful singer-songwriter,
storyteller, activist, and author, McCutcheon will grace the stage of the historic venue in
downtown Boone, NC for his first concert in the High Country in over five years.
The concert is part of the Mast Store Americana Music Series on the Doc Watson
Stage of the Appalachian Theatre. This series is an ongoing, year-round program of artists
and events celebrating the genre unique to our country.

Folk legend Pete Seeger said, “John McCutcheon is not only one of the best musicians
in the USA, but also a great singer, songwriter, and song leader. And not just incidentally,
he is committed to helping hard-working people everywhere to organize and push this
world in a better direction.”

For over 50 years, “Folk Music’s Rustic Renaissance Man” (Washington Post) has been
everywhere in the folk music scene. He is a breath-taking multi-instrumentalist, a
traditional music archivist, one of the primary revivalists of the hammer dulcimer, a
pioneering children’s and family artist, a prolific and wide-ranging songwriter, and the
very definition of the touring Road Warrior.

John’s craftmanship began at an early age. No one remembers when the neighbors
started calling the McCutcheon household to complain about the loud singing from young
John’s bedroom. It didn’t seem to do much good, though. For, after a shaky, lopsided
battle between piano lessons and baseball (he was a mediocre pianist and an all-star
catcher), he had “found his voice” thanks to a cheap mail-order guitar and a used book
of chords.

McCutcheon says that his connections to Boone were largely because of musicians around
the High Country who were “pals of mine.” He went on to recount many of his most vivid
memories of people, places, and events.

“Doc Watson, of course,” said McCutcheon. “I was lucky enough to share a bunch of
festivals with Doc, a lovely guy, generous, and heart-felt. I loved the man.” He noted that
the late American folk singer, songwriter, and banjo player Ola Belle Reed was from
nearby Grassy Creek in Ashe County. “I met her back in the early 1970’s… she was a
powerhouse of a musician, fantastic writer, and a lovely soul.”

McCutcheon fondly remembers The Cornlickers, “an old-time band around Banner Elk. I
started playing the fiddle 50 years ago with Gil Adams, their fiddle player, and we crossed
paths frequently back when they were first getting together.”

“Clarence Ashley, Clint Howard, and Fred Price were from nearby Mountain City, TN. They
were a HUGE influence on my playing, especially Clarence. Ray Hicks, one of the definitive
Appalachian storytellers, was from Beech Mountain, NC and we did a bunch of storytelling
festivals together.”

He continued by noting, “I have a banjo made by Clifford Glenn, patterned after those
made by his father, Leonard Glenn.” And, lastly, McCutcheon recalled playing, “a number
of times at Appalachian State over the years.”

Media praise for “Leap!,” John McCutcheon’s 43rd album in his 50 year career — released
just last month — has been effusive.

“Here then is further proof of the fact that McCutcheon is not only a national treasure but
an essential individual when it comes to passing a musical legacy forward towards the
future. With those 43 albums behind him, one can only hope there are 43 more to come,”
wrote the American Songwriter.

The writer for No Depression declared, “McCutcheon has delivered not just the folk album
of the year, but one that will also win many hearts and minds.” Popmatters added, “For
five decades, John McCutcheon has permeated the global folk scene with his stunning
work as a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and music archivist. Like many artists,
the height of the COVID pandemic was an opportunity to stay at home and write. Now,
‘Leap!’ marks the third full album McCutcheon has been dropping since the pandemic’s

John McCutcheon proves again that his is one of the most creative, prolific, reliable, and
satisfying of American folk music’s stalwarts. “Leap!” puts a big exclamation point on his
already impressive legacy.

For tickets and more information on this event, or to join the theatre’s eblast list and
purchase memberships, please visit the ATHC website at

About the Appalachian Theatre
The mission of the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country is to revitalize and sustain this historic
community touchstone as a quality home for diverse artists and audiences with a special focus on programs
that celebrate our distinctive Appalachian heritage and enhance our capacity to serve as an economic
catalyst for Boone and the High Country. Once a gorgeous 999-seat Art Deco movie house, the building
closed in 2007 and sat empty and gutted for years. On October 14, 2019, the Appalachian Theatre
reopened its doors after a $10 million renovation that brought the distinctive Art Deco details back to this
historic theatre and created a new 629-seat, state-of-the-art, acoustically pristine venue for live concerts,
films, plays, and dance performances. The historic Appalachian Theatre has entertained regional
audiences in the heart of downtown Boone, North Carolina since 1938.