Richard Buckner: American Folk Art
Walking into the American folk art room at the MFA, one can’t help but feel the ghosts that occupy this space. This is the artwork of housewives and farmers, of tradespeople and drunkards. Embroidered quilts, weathervanes, carousel animals and decoy ducks. These are mundane and functional objects that ordinary people created for everyday use. Each one has a particular connection to their creator and each has a unique story waiting to be told.
Richard Buckner’s music is the perfect compliment to the environment. Sure, he employs a traditional folk-oriented style, but it’s the personal nature of his songwriting and the common people he sings about that make the room a great fit.
Buckner began with an a capella song called “Fater.” From one of his earlier releases, it’s a chilling old-time, country style ballad with a rootsy appeal. His gravelly voice echoed boldly through the room, summoning the spirits of the creators of the pieces there. They seemed to come to life, to watch and listen to him tell his story, as if Buckner himself was on display.
Richard Buckner’s latest album, “Surrounded,” was released by Merge Records last month.
Off The Record, an occasional series from WBUR, takes musicians out of the concert hall to perform at different spaces throughout Greater Boston.