Boris McCutcheon- I’m Here Let Me In
Boris grew up on farms in MA. He learned how to ride horses and discovered that there was a radio playing inside his head at an early age, especially when he was running through the white pine swamps. He attended Marlboro College in VT for creative writing but soon dropped out and started a market garden on one of the Elizabeth Islands near Martha’s Vineyard. In between growing vegetables he wrote songs. He met Ralph Rinzler(founder of Folkways records) in 1990 and besides getting guitar lessons from the famous musicologist drove his private collection of blues cylinders across the country to Ojai California. During this journey he passed through the Southwest and fell in love with the New Mexican landscape. In 1992 Boris decided to pursue organic farming and attended the UCSC Farm and Garden. He stayed on to study under Master Gardener Orin Martin and left to start an organic farm in Sebastopol CA. He left the farm and attended The Howell Living History Draft Animal Internship where he learned to plow with an oxen team. He moved to Santa Fe in 1996 and studied permaculture techniques and started a landscape business. Between installing landscapes he wrote songs. As time went on Boris did less landscaping and more and more songwriting until he met a stuttering ex-junky punk reggae drummer from Dallas TX named David Bindler,(Da Nu Man).David recorded Boris and challenged him to start a band and showcase his accumulated song catalog . Boris left NM in 1999 to pursue a music career in Boston MA. His first gig was at a dive bar called the Captain Kidd in Woods Hole MA. There he hosted an open mic and met his brilliant wife Laura McInerney. Boris recorded his first album called, “Mother Ditch” in 2001 and started a roots-rock band with a sound that was raw, wild and different than anything folks had been used to. His songs were vastly unique against the generic americana/folk scene of Boston at the time, so his band stood out and became a sensation in the area.
In 2003 the band traveled to Tucson and recorded a phenomenal and groundbreaking album called, “When We Were Big”. The album was produced by Craig Schumacher(Nico Case)and Pete Weiss. The album was soon discovered by a Dutch Label called Lucky Dice and Boris and his Comrades began touring Europe under their wings. During this time Boris won the Boston Music Award for Best Male Singer Songwriter. Among the competition were Ellis Paul and Josh Ritter. In the height of Boris’s success as a renegade desert folk-core roots rocker desert rat he decided to leave Boston while the going was good and return to New Mexico. Despite his career taking off, Boris wanted to live, farm and raise children with Laura on a traditional Spanish acequia. They moved to an off the grid farm on 4 acres in the Sangre De Cristo mountains where they had two kids. In this lost valley the newlyweds planted an orchard and Boris became the Mayordomo for 6 years. In between getting married, starting a farm, raising children, Boris wrote many more songs, recorded an extraordinary off the grid album trilogy and toured exclusively in Europe. “Cactusman Vs The Blue Demon”, “Bad Road Good People” and “Might Crash” were all #1 albums on the Euro Americana charts. Boris has shared the stage with the likes of, Ryan Adams, Iron and Wine, The Gourds, The Handsome Family, Los Lobos, Hot Tuna, James McMurtry, Calexico, Howe Gelb, Stewart Staples, Dan Hicks, Slaid Cleaves etc etc. You can hear many of his songs on familiar sitcoms and even Titonis Pizza adds; Cold Case, Friday Night Lights, Breaking Bad, Agents of Shield etc etc. In 2007 he was voted Best Singer Songwriter in New Mexico at The NM State Fair. He has also been a twice-finalist in Mountain Stage New Song Contest where he performed live on Mountain Stage and at Lincoln Center. Boris continues to live well, farm, write songs, raise children with his wife, prune fruit trees, plant orchards and record startlingly original albums in Dixon NM.
His latest album, called, “I’m Here. Let Me In.” is a solo project with friends produced by the beastly virtuosity of “Short Dawg” Steve Mayone from Brooklyn NY. The album began with two compositions in a half awake half dream state and sounds like nothing else Boris has done. The rhythm is amorphous on many of the songs, with the vocals pushed out front, and the emotion is crystallized amidst the rich harmonies. Boris wanted a vocal album and he achieved it. The core tracks were recorded by Boris himself at his studio in Dixon NM. The songs range from the cosmic and beautifully sad, "Poor Tired Hands" to the fun loving Hank Williams brand, "Godzilla Vs. King Kong." The album also holds a revealing tenderness which can be felt in the songs, "Golden Days" or "Piece of Mama". The album was mixed by Bill Palmer at Frogville Studios and has many local favorites playing on it. Folks like Stephanie Hatfield on backing vocals, David Gutierrez, and Alex McMahon on guitar and banjo, Greg Williams and Jared Putnam from La Chat Lunatique on drums and bass. The new album also features two live tracks with the Salt Licks all-star line up, Brett Davis, Susan Holmes, Paul Groetzinger and Kevin Zoernig. From Steve Mayone's Brooklyn tracking we have his own brilliant vocals and guitar work and also the phenomenal accordion player John Shapiro. The album will surely gain momentum on Boris’s traditional stomping grounds in Europe where he plans to tour with it by next year.
I’m Here Let Me In album Credits
All songs written by Boris McCutcheon.
Produced by Steve Mayone, Boris McCutcheon & Bill Palmer
Tracks 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 recorded by Boris McCutcheon
at Cactus Man portable studios in New Mexico.
Additional instrumentation recorded by Joe Silva and Greg Williams
in Albuquerque as well as Steve Mayone in Brooklyn, NY.
Tracks 2 & 11 recorded live in the studio by Bill Palmer at Frogville Studios.
Preliminary mixes by Steve Mayone and Greg Williams.
Final mixes by Bill Palmer and Steve Mayone.
Mastered by Jeff Lipton at Peerless Mastering MA.
Front panel photo by Anne Staveley.
Boris McCutcheon & The Saltlicks - Poor Tired Hands