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One for the Home Team

March 24, 2009

To me, baseball is the most perfect of games, and the decline in its popularity over the last 30 years or so is part of a metaphor for what has happened in our country — but that is a post for another time.  I am here to celebrate the game, with the help of a local boy who made good.

John McCutcheon, born and raised in Wausau, is one of those amazing people who have figured out how to make a good living in a creative field, in this case music, without selling out to the star making machinery of the popular song — to quote a popular song.

John is a bit of renaissance guy and his songs reflect a depth of living that is enviable.  His subjects have ranged from the summer swimming hole to the macro-economics of farming — and everything in between.  His lyrics are sometimes sweet, often funny and occassionally full of righteous anger.

His latest album combines all of that and more, but only on one subject — baseball — in his “Sermon on the Mound” cd.   

There are some songs here that have appeared on some of his earlier albums and some new ones as well.  Stories of heroes and anti-heroes, of big leaguers and little leaguers, but mostly about life as seen through the lens of a “boys game.”

One of the things that draws me to McCutcheon is that he and I have had opposite paths.  He started in Wausau and now lives on the East Coast, where for me it is the other way around.  Many of his baseball songs touch on my boyhood team (his current team) the Baltimore Orioles.  Perhaps someday he will write a song about Brooks Robinson — my metaphor for a great person.  But I digress.

While you are waiting for the ground to thaw and the ‘Chucks to start playing, grab a copy of  “Sermon on the Mound” and realize how great a game can be.

You can preview the album and check out some special features here.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 27, 2009 12:23 pm

    One of the wonderful things about John, in addition to his music, is his support of his hometown. His Wausau concerts have usually benefited a local organization including Hospice and Newman Catholic Schools athletics. At his last concert he donated CDs, including his “Sermon on the Mound” to the Marathon County Public Library .

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