Doors 6:30pm, Show 7:30pm
$20 at the door
Bring some food/beverages!
Meg Hutchinson is an award-winning songwriter who artfully documents the human condition. With a poet’s ease, she makes the personal universal, allowing people’s stories to come alive through her unique vocals and haunting melodies. Since the release of her Red House Records debut COME UP FULL in 2008, she has won high praise for her songwriting and has been featured nationally on NPR Music, XM/Sirius Radio and several times on the syndicated show Mountain Stage. Publications like The Winnipeg Free Press have compared her songwriting with that of veterans Mary Chapin Carpenter and Joni Mitchell.
Growing up in the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts, the woods and rivers were her childhood muses, as were songwriters like Greg Brown and Joni Mitchell, and poets like Mary Oliver, William Stafford, and Robert Frost. When Hutchinson inherited her grandmother’s 1957 Martin guitar at age eleven, her love of words found an inspiring instrument, and there was no turning back. “Songwriting is not something I chose, I’ve just somehow always known that this is what I love to do. This is what I can’t help but do,” she says.
After graduating from college with a degree in creative writing, Hutchinson quit her longtime job on an organic farm and settled in Boston. In between gigs at pubs, coffeehouses and train stations, she won a Kerrville New Folk Award (2000) and was nominated for a Boston Music Award for her first studio album AGAINST THE GREY.
She went on to win awards at the Rocky Mountain Folks Fest, the Telluride Troubadour Songwriter’s Showcase in Colorado and The Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest in North Carolina, all in the course of a year, causing national publications like Performing Songwriter to take notice. They called Hutchinson “A master of introspective ballads filled with understated yearning and an exquisite sense of metaphor.”
She quickly became an integral part of the vibrant Boston songwriting community. Like every great performer who has come out of the Boston scene, Hutchinson took to the subway, performing in Park Street, Downtown Crossing and Harvard Square – honing her chops in the same method of predecessors like Martin Sexton, John Mayer, and Tracy Chapman.
After recording her live CD ANY GIVEN DAY in 2001, and continuing to build a fan base throughout the Northeast, she went into the studio with esteemed producer Crit Harmon (Lori McKenna, Martin Sexton, Mary Gauthier) to record THE CROSSING. Released in 2004, this album caught the attention of renowned folk/roots label Red House Records. Label president Eric Peltoniemi knew there was something special in the young singer-songwriter, “Meg won me over with the profound yet easy depth of her lyrics — rich words married to melodies I just can’t get out of my head.” Knowing her songs could stand alongside those by Red House heavyweights Greg Brown, Eliza Gilkyson and John Gorka, Peltoniemi signed Hutchinson to the label in 2007.
Teaming up again with Crit Harmon, Hutchinson recorded her Red House debut COME UP FULL over the course of more than a year in Boston. An instant folk hit, the album was one of the most played on folk and college radio and landed her on many “best of the year” lists. Hutchinson spent 2008 touring heavily in the U.S as well as Ireland and the UK, easily winning over new fans on both sides of the Atlantic. She was a favorite at South By Southwest (SXSW) and the International Folk Alliance Conference, showing that this was a young talent to be reckoned with.
In fall the of 2009, Meg Hutchinson joined fellow songwriters Antje Duvekot, Anne Heaton and Natalia Zukerman to record the holiday EP WINTERBLOOM: TRADITIONS REARRANGED. A collection of eclectic holiday and wintertime tunes, the CD features original and traditional songs from a variety of backgrounds – from a German hymn to a Yiddish folksong to a midwinter Greg Brown ballad.
Touring in support of the album, the four women performed concerts and radio interviews in 12 cities that December, and formed a deep musical bond and camaraderie which continues to the present day. They have toured Germany and the Netherlands, sang alongside Sarah McLachlan at Lilith Fair, performed for a week on the Cayamo cruise with the likes of John Prine and Lucinda Williams, and brought laughter and reverence to stages each holiday season since.
In 2010 Hutchinson released her second album on Red House Records, THE LIVING SIDE, showing that she was a songwriter who had fully arrived. With this album the lens grew larger as Hutchinson tackled some of the big issues of the time, all while maintaining that intimate and relatable voice which makes her songs resonate deeply.
In her newest album, BEYOND THAT (releases September 24th 2013 on Red House Records) Hutchinson teams up once again with veteran Boston producer Crit Harmon for what is her most modern and intricate production to date.
She says “Crit and I have worked together for a decade now. I wanted to build on that trust and that shared musical language and really encourage each other to find new sounds. I felt that I had reached a new landscape in myself and I wanted the album to reflect that.”
Hutchinson has been busy in the three years since we last heard from her. She has relearned the piano and established a home studio, giving her greater flexibility to explore new territory.
In addition to mastering these skills Hutchinson has clearly spent much of the last three years finding a deep peace. These songs are at once ecstatic and meditative. They are about coming home, about transforming desire, about how human love can open the heart for some greater purpose.
These are celebratory hymns from a woman who has made it out the other side of some difficult years and who is inviting us to go “Beyond That” with her now.