One of the things that make Thomm Jutz such an attractive songwriter in bluegrass is his ability to see American culture and history, especially that of the southern and Appalachian variety that informs so much of our music, with the eye of someone foreign born. His love of the US is real, but that of a transplant, so his mind can examine even the things we all experience with a different perspective.
That is clear on the songs so far released from his upcoming project, To Live In Two Worlds, which releases tomorrow on Mountain Home Music. The first, Mill Town Blues, told of the rambling’ ways of the iconic banjo man, Charlie Poole, who rose from humble North Carolina roots to acclaim in the music business in the 1920s, before dying at age 39 from alcohol poisoning.
On this second, Moving Up, Moving On, which we are happy to premiere today, we get a train song which Jutz says reflects his two worlds, and the choice he made to emigrate to the US.
“Mac Wiseman said that as a child in the early 1930s, he saw the evening passenger train pass through his little town. Like so many other of the old visionaries, he knew that it was gonna be the farm, or pursuing his musical dream. As soon as he could, he moved on — and though he always stayed true to his humble roots, talk about moving up…”
Thomm is on guitar and lead vocal, with Justin Moses on banjo, Mike Compton on mandolin, Tammy Rogers on fiddle, and Mark Fain on bass.