NHTP Presents Seacoast Sessions With Cormac McCarthy
New Hampshire Theatre Project celebrates their 30th anniversary season with Seacoast Sessions, a brand new series of intimate Sunday afternoon concerts and conversations with beloved seacoast musicians, hosted by Kathleen Somssich of WSCA Radio. The series begins on Sunday, February 3 at 2 pm with New England's "troubadour of the common people," Cormac McCarthy.
Cormac made his singing debut on WKRC Radio in Cincinnati, as a three-year-old belting out "Davy Crockett" on his father's radio show. He returned to public performance some 20 years later, singing his own compositions with a bit more experience in his voice. Born in Ohio, but rooted in rural New England since the age of ten, Cormac grew up in towns where the economies teetered on marginal sustenance from logging, and paper and woolen mills. Though the towns were small, his musical influences were not: his father's love for jazz and classical music introduced Cormac to everything from Errol Garner to Beethoven.
It wasn't until his sister made a visit home from college, bringing an armful of recordings of Dylan, Baez, and Eric Anderson, that things clicked musically for McCarthy: he traded his clarinet for a Western Auto guitar, purchasing the Black Diamond strings across the street at the barber shop. In his own college years, Cormac studied literature and music and took a great liking to the works of James Joyce and Mississippi John Hurt. He spent most of his time reading, playing guitar, and working in the local mills to pay for school. His college roommate, Bill Morrissey, helped encourage Cormac to make his music more public, and a stint of shared local gigs and storytelling marathons ensued. A trip west followed college, as did an array of different jobs including construction worker, truck driver, street singer, and a season as a migrant worker. Through his music Cormac has succeeded in bringing his lyrical magic to some of these rougher edges of life.
Cormac has been nominated for both Outstanding Folk/Acoustic Act, and Outstanding Folk/ Acoustic Album by the Boston Music Awards. His album Troubled Sleep helped to kick off the Green Linnet Records' prestigious singer-songwriter Redbird Series devoted to the most creative of this generation's acoustic musicians and songwriters. Cormac was honored to be one of the artists asked to perform in Boston's WUMB Folk Radio 10th Anniversary Celebration. He has been invited three times to the stage of the Newport Folk Festival, and twice to appear on NPR's Mountain Stage Live radio show. A fan favorite and regular at the Hartland Folk Festival, Cormac is a frequent special guest to many performances by the most popular musicians of the folk genre. Also known as a humorist and storyteller, Cormac was invited to headline for the Night of Humor and Songwriters in Boston's Somerville Theater. Fellow musicians and fans alike regard Cormac as one of New England's finest songwriters. He writes and sings of a heartfelt, sometimes funny, sometimes desperate, sometimes glorious world of common people, struggles, hope, relationships, madness, and love. He sings the poetry of real life with a silky baritone voice and just enough grit.
On February 3, Cormac will share some of his favorite songs and stories. Audiences will also have a unique opportunity to peek through an intimate window into the man behind the music.
Future Seacoast Sessions concerts will feature Susie Burke & David Surette (March 10), Ben Baldwin & Kent Allyn (April 7) and Cosy Sheridan (May 19).