Folk Music's Renaissance Man, John McCutcheon Headlines Monumental Fiddling Championship

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Date: May 18, 2012
Contact: Merrith Baughman, 402-223-3514

Free, family entertainment will be heard on the tall grass prairie at Homestead National Monument on May 26, 2012, at 7 p.m. Renowned folksinger John McCutcheon will perform following a performance by the winners of the Monumental Fiddling Championship. The Monumental Fiddling Championship will begin at 1 p.m. at the Monument's Education Center.

McCutcheon's music is something the whole family can enjoy. It is an exhilarating, joyous celebration of Americana. His storytelling style has been compared to Will Rogers and Garrison Keillor. People of every generation and background seem to feel at home.

McCutcheon started performing at a young age. No one remembers when the neighbors started calling the McCutcheon's 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.

From such inauspicious beginning, John McCutcheon has emerged as one of our most respected and loved folksingers. As an instrumentalist, he is a master of a dozen different traditional instruments, most notably the rare and beautiful hammer dulcimer. His thirty recordings have garnered seven Grammy nominations and he had produced over twenty albums of other artists, from traditional fiddlers to contemporary singer-songwriters to educational an documentary works. His latest CD "This Land: Woody Guthrie's America" was released last fall.

"We are excited to have an artist of this caliber to be a part of the Monumental Fiddling Championship, said Mark Engler, Superintendent, "His performance will cap off a week of activities commemorating the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Homestead Act." Not only will McCutcheon perform he will also teach a songwriting class at 10 a.m. He is an experienced workshop leader that uses music, anecdotes, and insight to make his workshops exciting and educational.

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2012, the 150th Anniversary of the Homestead Act of 1862. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit

Last updated: June 20, 2018

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