Singer-Songwriter Colin Cutler Speaks on His Upcoming Projects
Colin Cutler brings a world’s worth of traveling to his Americana music…but it is rooted, like he is, here in the North Carolina Piedmont. Toting a guitar, harmonicas, and a banjo that’s been to more than a dozen countries and three continents. His music covers a range of styles, encompassing themes from gospel, country, and rock music. While in his graduate program at UNCG, he focused on Anglo-Appalachian balladry as the nexus of his interest in Southern Literature, medieval literature, and American roots music.
Cutler cut his songwriting teeth between 2014-2016, performing with artists like Abigail Dowd, Thomas Kozak, Momma Molasses, and Laura Jane Vincent. Cutler began performing for international audiences after his service in the military took him overseas. While in Europe, he lived and played in England and then Romania, opening up for Caroline Spence, Ireland’s Kerry Fearon, and Bulgaria’s Lilly Drumeva O’Reilly while placing songs on BBC Introducing and the British zombie film Zomblogalypse. He’s also opened up for folks like David Childers, Molly McGinn, Josh Morningstar, and Kayla Ray. These unique experiences helped shape Cutler’s musical identity, leading him to his latest productions.
Cutler is currently developing a full-length concept album based on characters from Flannery O’Connor’s short stories. This album is an expansion of his previous Peacock Feathers EP and will include re-recordings of four songs to reflect his growth as an artist since the original release. Cutler hopes this album exposes people to the works of O’Connor while critiquing key themes like belief, justice, and social structure.
“Many of my previous projects have been personal or region-specific, but this project stands a good chance at reaching a national audience,” says Cutler when asked about the scope of his project. “And it has the advantage of having a built-in audience; Flannery O’Connor was recently the subject of a documentary funded by Ken Burns and the Library of Congress and has inspired artists from Bruce Springsteen to Lucinda Williams and Michael McDonagh. She has a faithful (some have said rabid) fan base around the U.S. and the world, and I would use those networks to garner national attention both among readers of O’Connor and also fans of roots music.”
Since moving back to Greensboro and while writing his new album, Cutler has performed across the area. As a 2021-2022 Artist Support Grantee and the winner of the 2022 Emerging Artists competition at the Susquehanna Folk Festival, his three albums and EP have landed plays on WNCW and Virginia public radio, the BBC, and community and college stations around the region, placement in a British zombie film, mentions in No Depression, Americana Highways, and the Alternate Root, and have taken him to gigs from North Carolina’s Martha Bassett Show, Haw River Ballroom, and NC Folk Festival, to the Jalopy Theatre’s Roots N Ruckus in Brooklyn, City of York Folk Festival (UK) and Romanian National Museum of Literature–and plenty of breweries and farmer’s markets in between.
To listen, Nelson County Wayside (Greensboro, 2016), Peacock Feathers EP (Greensboro, January 2018), Stranger in the Promised Land (York, UK, May 2019), and Hot Pepper Jam (Greensboro, July 2021) are all available to purchase and stream online. A full schedule of October performances is available at colincutlermusic.com.