John McCutcheon to Release New Album, ‘Joe Hill’s Last Will,’ in May
John McCutcheon will release a new album -- his 37th effort to date -- this May. Joe Hill’s Last Will will arrive on May 1 following a Kickstarter campaign backing the prolific folk singer-songwriter's latest project.
The upcoming album will act as a tribute to the Swedish-American labor organizer and activist Joe Hill, marking the 100th anniversary of his death. Hill famously wrote songs detailing inhumane working conditions that sought to bolster the union movement.
Clearly, Hill has had an immense impact on McCutcheon’s career, but the singer describes Hill as also influencing “Woody Guthrie, who, in turn, influenced Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Leadbelly, Phil Ochs, Utah Phillips, Billy Bragg, Ani DiFranco and so many more. And me.”
“Hill’s extant catalog is maybe 30 songs, tops,” McCutcheon said in a recent statement. “There are a few songs that are well-known enough in folk and labor circles and I also chose the ones I thought represented his skills, the campaigns he worked on, that afforded the most variety, and that, frankly, I liked and thought would be fun to flesh out. Plus, many of the issues he wrote about a century ago (immigration, workers’ rights, war, religion, women’s leadership) are still things we’re struggling with today.”
Prior to the album, McCutcheon also created a play of the same name inspired by Hill’s life and work. The singer will be taking his one-man act across the country in April and May. Check out dates below and find tickets here.
Joe Hill’s Last Will Schedule
April 10: State University, Ark. – Fowler Center’s Riceland Hall
April 11: Memphis, Tenn. – Chez Chase
April 12: Maplewood, Mo. – The Focal Point
April 17: Westminster, SC – Westminster Music Hall
April 23: Vienna, Va. – The Barns of Wolf Trap
April 24: York, Pa. – UU Congregation of York
April 25: Harrisonburg, Va. – Parkview Mennonite Church
April 26: Williamsburg, Va. – Williamsburg Regional Library
May 1: Hickory, NC – Sails Music Series
May 2: Chattanooga, Tenn. – Christ Unity Church of Chattanooga