Kevin Hutchinson – A Troubadour, Dispensing Love and Wisdom
Coming from the tradition of folk music, Kevin Hutchinson is a musical storyteller. His influences and styles cover many genres: folk, folk rock, blues, rock, rockabilly, Americana, country, swing, and, of course, folk. His music is lyric driven, and spans topics from love to social commentary, serious to light hearted.
Artistic influences, spanning decades, include: John Prine; Bob Dylan; Bruce Cockburn; Warren Zevon; Crosby, Stills and Nash; Peter, Paul and Mary; Robert Earl Keen; Tom Russel; Tom Paxton; Paul Thorne; and many more.
Kevin loves connecting with the audience with his originals and thoughtful covers of artists that have inspired him, often pulling from their lesser known material.
Kevin’s journey, and its many detours, in his own words
In the early 60s, I was introduced to folk music. I loved the lyrics, heartfelt stories I could relate to or that could move me. I was hooked. A cousin of mine was a founding member of The Illegitimate Jug Band (they had no jug). They became the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Further hooked. I got my first guitar sometime after that—a folk guitar, nylon strings. I bought some songbooks with chord charts for songs I knew, and did my best to figure out how to pick out chords and strum. I upgraded to a “real” guitar, steel strings, in the late 60s.
The Times Were a Changing
I was caught up in that time of change, which included Vietnam War protests and the Civil Rights movement, ending segregation, the beginnings of environmentalism, and women’s rights. These were all topics addressed in folk music and folk rock (and soon many other genres). As has been true in many other more distant eras, artists spoke out, leading the charge.
Eventually, my guitar went everywhere I did. I loved to sing and play. Occasionally, a song would bubble out of me, but mostly I just played songs with easy chords, and played and sang with friends.
My creativity started moving in different directions. I got an AA in art, worked as a sculptor and a silk screener. I became fascinated with woodworking and went back to school for a BA in Furniture Design. But I’m an extrovert. So, after starts and stops, my creative nature and my extroversion moved me to become a hairstylist. I did that for 30 years. But music always moved my soul and touched my heart. I also connected to it through dance.
The pain of my second divorce moved me to write some cathartic songs, and I started playing with some friends again. A friend helped me record one of my songs that moved him. Another friend laid in some lead guitar licks. When I heard what we created, I thought “I’d listen to that on the radio.”
A Muse and Opportunity
When I met Ann, she kept telling me my songwriting was good. I proposed to her with a song I wrote at her 50th birthday (thankfully she said yes), I thought maybe she was just prejudiced. But, I started playing publicly at friends’ parties and open mics, and people seemed to agree with her.
So, upon retiring, I started playing again in earnest, writing more songs, and performing. Now, here I am, some 50 plus years later, doing what I have always really loved to do, finally with the courage to do it. There’s even an album coming in 2024.