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John McCutcheon
Photo: Eric Peterson / Courtesy of PR

Folk Luminary John McCutcheon’s “Bucket List” Reflects on Love and Life (premiere)

John McCutcheon’s “Bucket List” is a gentle, warm reflection on where he’s been and where he’d like to go, mostly ruminating upon a gratefully well-lived life.

With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, John McCutcheon realized that he would have to settle down from live music and life on the road until things became safer. The folk statesman reflects, “One of the things the pandemic did was force old road warriors like myself to give up their career-long MO. We had to stay home, put the suitcase away, cook supper every night, and settle down. After 50 years of traveling the globe, I was delighted to discover the vast horizon of home.”

Kept at home, the prolific songwriter still had his greatest tools available to him to continue his trade, between his head and his heart. Write he did, about love and life from the comforts of home, with his wife. McCutcheon’s “Bucket List” results from thriving through the worst with the best of company. It’s a gentle, warming reflection on where he’s been and where he’d like to go, mostly ruminating upon a gratefully well-lived life. Gorgeous backing vocals, sprightly piano, and hearty fiddling complete the song’s gorgeous production met by acoustic percussion and fingerpicked melodies that form its musical backbone.

McCutcheon has crafted a sweet video for his single, collecting images that directly reference its lyrics. He tells PopMatters, “One evening at our little cabin in the north Georgia mountains my wife and I were both reading, when I happened to look across the room at her and was filled with gratitude realizing, after being forced to spend more time together than we ever had, that we still liked and loved one another. And that the greatest adventures ahead were not out there, but in here.”

“I’d never had a formal ‘bucket list’, never thought about it. So, I created a list of some of the amazing things I’d seen and done in the course of my life. I filled it in with some things I’d like to do. Then wrapped it all around that moment of clarity, looking across the room. And the song tumbled out, nearly fully formed.”

McCutcheon’s “Bucket List” releases on 6 August.

PopMatters