John McCutcheon announces 39th album 'Ghost Light'
John McCutcheon/YouTube

John McCutcheon is dropping his whopping 39th record Ghost Light on Feb. 9. The prolific folk singer-songwriter announced the new record via press release this week, which includes a brand new collection of stories to entertain music fans. You can listen to one of the songs from the record, "The Machine," by playing the video above.

The album's release will be just over a year after McCutcheon dropped his 38th record, Trolling for Dreams, on Feb. 3, 2017. Most artists wouldn't be able to turn around another full album that quickly, but McCutcheon has pulled it off. Ghost Light contains 13 new songs, including "The Machine," which is written from the perspective of a World War II veteran. There's also the emphatic "Big Day" and the moving "When My Fight For Life Is Over," which McCutcheon finished from a set of incomplete lyrics by the legendary Woody Guthrie.

McCutcheon has recorded 39 albums over a career that's 45 years and counting, yet he continues to come up with intriguing ideas for new music. The press release also reveals that included on the new album is "Me and Jesus," which turns his thoughts toward the religious, while "Story of Abe" will tug at the heartstrings as it tells the tale of a man who's trying to let go of a difficult part of his past. As with his other 38 records, McCutcheon's songs are crafted less like tracks on an album and more like short stories in a book. His first album of 2018 certainly has a few interesting stories to tell.

Ghost Light also features guest appearances by fiddler Stuart Duncan and featured vocalists Kathy Mattea and Tim O'Brien. That makes for a lot of folk music talent packed into one collection. But the heart and soul of the record is McCutcheon and his never-ending desire to convey various slices of life through music. According to the press release, McCutcheon wrote 30 songs for Ghost Light, so maybe music fans will be seeing a 40th record from him in the near future.

McCutcheon has also booked an extensive slate of tour dates to go with the release of his upcoming record, which will have him touring nationwide throughout the first half of the year. Below are his upcoming concert dates, with tickets and more information available here:

Jan. 26 - Decatur, GA - Eddie's Attic
Jan. 27 - Cherry Log, GA - Craddock Center
Feb. 07 - Daytona Beach, FL - Lemerand Auditorium
Feb. 08 - Ponte Vedra Beach, FL - Ponte Vedra Concert Hall
Feb. 09 - St. Petersburg, FL - Craftsman House
Feb. 10 - Port Charlotte, FL - Riverwood Activity Center
Feb. 16 - Oxford, NY - Six on the Square
Feb. 17 - Penfield, NY - Golden Link Folk Singing Society
March 01 - Olympia, WA - Traditions
March 02 - Corvallis, OR - First Presbyterian Church
March 03 - Portland, OR - Alberta Rose Theater
March 05 - Seattle, WA - Triple Door
March 23 - Auburn, AL - Auburn UU Fellowship
March 24 - Westminster, SC - Westminster Music Centre
April 08 - Lawrence, KS - Lied Center of Kansas
April 10 - Green Valley, AZ - West Center Auditorium
April 19 - Vienna, WA - The Barns of Wolf Trap
April 20 - Richmond, VA - Tin Pan
April 21 - Marlinton, WV - Pocahontas County Opera House
May 03 - Cleveland Heights, OH - Nighttown
May 04 - Ashtabula, OH - Lakeside Performing Arts Center
May 18 - Carrboro, NC - The Art Center
May 19 - Asheville, NC - Isis Music Hall

For more on John McCutcheon, visit his artist page at AXS.