Ken Shane on "Walks of Life Collaborations"

Mark Cutler is a beloved musician in Rhode Island and a member of the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame but his many friends and fans know that Mark is always the first to step up to lend his talents to a worthy cause. He runs a food drive to benefit a community food bank at each of his gigs and that's just one example. While he's happy to help out with various causes when he's asked to, Mark has a cause of his own that's near and dear to his heart. But enough about Mark. Knowing him as I do, I'm sure he'd rather have me write about his Same Thing Project.

The Project's website describes the effort as "a songwriting workshop for people from all walks of life" which includes "musicians, artists, retired folks, people with disabilities, blue and white collar workers" who get together in a workshop every week with the goal of writing a song. Now the fruits of that labor, the songs that have been created in the workshop, have been gathered together for an album called Walks of Life Collaborations. The music ranges from the hard rocking opener, "Common Ground" and "Better Days" to the folky charm of "Mama's Blueberry Pie" and the gentle dream pop of "Scary Love." All the songs feature full band accompaniment and most offer group vocals which is as it should be given the large number of people who are credited with writing these fine songs. If the goal is to suggest that anyone can write a song this collection is testimony to the fact that the mission has been accomplished.

“It’s our belief that the world is a better place when people can express themselves in an imaginative way." So says the Same Thing Project website and the proof of that statement could not be more apparent when you listen to Walks of Life Collaborations.