American songwriting rogue
Contact: Melissa Totten at (505) 231-0860
Boris McCutcheon’s rootsy music crosses genre boundaries and appeals to a wide spectrum of ages and tastes. McCutcheon himself brings a diversity of folks together with his soulful pipes, quirky sense of humor, literary lyrics, down to earth intelligence and rogue-ish approach to American music.
Boris McCutcheon grew up on Massachusetts farmland. He started writing poetry in his early teens and later attended Marlboro College for creative writing. When he was 19, he met Ralph Rinzler, musician, ethnomusicologist, archivist and curator of the Newport Folk Festival and Smithsonian’s Folklife Festival. He took Boris under his wing for a brief period and schooled him in traditional American folk roots music.
At the age of 20 Boris was employed by Rinzler to drive his personal collection of blues cylinders across the country to California. Along the way Boris passed through New Mexico and Arizona for the first time and his love affair for the Southwest began.
Boris attended the University of California, Santa Cruz specializing in sustainable farming all the while gathering materials for his songs. He has had many influences: Captain Beefheart, The Reverend Gary Davis, Walt Whitman, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, Jimi Hendrix, Pablo Neruda, Steve Earle, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Taj Mahal, Michael Hurley. As he approached the age of thirty, Boris became more interested in perfecting his songwriting than in farming. Now Boris is a seasoned artist AND farmer, living in New Mexico but traveling the country and the world.
McCutcheon and his band the Salt Licks are stars in Holland, where he is regularly booked into large concert halls and Americana venues; in April, Boris played the ultimate festival devoted to Americana music in the Netherlands -- “Blue Highways”. He has proven himself overseas year after year, where he is the most hardworking sensation for Lucky Dice Music, returning seven times. He has always selected the finest musicians in Boston (Jeff Berlin, Austin Nevins) and in New Mexico (Susan Hyde Holmes, Kevin Zoernig, Brett Davis) to bring with him on these prosperous tours.
His first two albums, Mother Ditch (2001) and When We Were Big (2003), were self-released and helped launch his career internationally. His third album Cactusman vs. the Blue Demon (2006) debuted at #1 on the Euro Americana charts. Bad Road, Good People (2008) was another chart-topper in Europe and the US, and his fifth album Wheel of Life (2010) debuted on the Euro Americana charts at #1, and remained for weeks in the top ten. Boris McCutcheon & the Salt Licks have released one live album recorded in Holland, Utrecht (2011), and are hard at work on a new studio album.
“Santa Rosa Plums”, a song about McCutcheon's life in California, has been a licensing success on COLD CASE, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, and in a Tostino’s commercial. "Meet Me" has been featured on SAVING GRACE. “Pony Ride” is a favorite bumper for WGBH’s Emily Rooney Show, and “Pilgrim” spoke to millions of listeners on NPR’s Car Talk.
McCutcheon won the Boston Music Awards for best male vocalist in 2004. Boris was the winner of the Mountain Stage New Song Contest Southwest Regionals in 2008 and was a Southwest finalist in 2011. He has won the New Mexico State Fair’s 2007 Best Singer/Songwriter contest, and was featured in a book by music critic Steve Almond from Random House in 2010 called ROCK AND ROLL WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE. Boris is honored to have played the MOAB FOLK FESTIVAL in November 2011.