Some Love From Jim Macnie

We rub shoulders with each other every day. Waiting in grocery store lines, frolicking at the shore, ridin’ the bus. But we’re not really connecting like we should. And it’s easy NOT to connect. Life moves fast, privacy is important, walls can be useful. But they can be pernicious, too. As a bandleader, Mark Cutler has been trying to hurdle those walls for decades, inviting us into his life by sharing his music and hoping that we see what he sees, we feel what he feels. The bonds he’s built are many, but his latest attempt to deepen the connections around him is something even more immediate, more palpable. The Same Thing Project invites any interested parties to weekly songwriting sessions, fostering a creative alliance between everyone in the room. Some participants have musical experience, some don’t. Some have a way with words, some don’t. But when they gather to contribute to a tune, each has a voice in the venture, each shapes the final outcome, each gets to feel the deep satisfaction of teamwork. Check the tracks they’ve come up with on Walks of Life and it’s impossible to miss the vibe of genuine engagement from a clutch of people trading isolation for alliance, and trusting in the inherent value of others. Unusual voices, unusual lyrics - each contributor shows up to see what can be made together. These Tuesday mornings have been a mitzvah for all involved, and the door is always open for anyone to swing by and share their ideas. Seems like the whole world is cracking apart right now, little fissures turning into daunting breaches. The Same Thing squad fills those breaches with unity, and double-downs on old fashioned cooperation to see what kind of blessings can blossom. Absorb and appreciate. Those cracks will start to fill themselves in.


William Smyth