Grant Dermody Press Kit
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From the Press
“Grant Dermody explodes your expectations of blues harmonica players. He can get down with the best of them, but he can also tear through a Southern old-time fiddle tune, or step back to tastefully accompany a singer with the most subtle of background flourishes. He’s a musician’s musician, no doubt, which should account for the fact that he’s in such demand these days. His taste is impeccable and his playing inspired.”
— Devon Leger, Hearth Music
“We’ve had Grant’s music in rotation for many years on KPLU radio (NPR) in Seattle. I’ve always enjoyed his approach that incorporates blues, folk, gospel and jazz, sometimes all in the same song. His harp playing is mature and inspired, deftly rhythmic at times, or gently melodic.
Grant’s original material is personal and uplifting, and his vocals are honest and understated. There’s pain there, but plenty of joy, too. Always working with stellar sidemen, his recordings have a confident, easy feel that remind me of Taj Mahal, Ry Cooder or Eric Bibb.”
— John Kessler, Host of “All Blues” on 88.8 FM KPLU (NPR)
“Grant Dermody is a national treasure and a world-class blues harp player–one of the best I’ve ever heard. He can play everything from whoopin’ and hollerin’ fox-chase harp to deep, slow Delta moans to amped-up, dirty Chicago blues–and all with exquisite tone and taste. He wins over crowds the hard way–not by showboating, but by playing tough tunes with taste and subtlety and making them consistently interesting. He’s simply one of the greatest harp players ever to come out of the Pacific Northwest.”
— Mark Hoffman (Co-author of Moanin’ at Midnight: The Life and Times of Howlin Wolf).
“There is something here for everyone, and the stylistic range is indeed impressive. Even more so is Dermody’s ability to walk the length and breadth of the sonic landscape with ease. His harp work is noteworthy for a number of reasons. First, he doesn’t over blow. Secondly, he serves the song instead of himself, and allows the band members room to play. And then there is his knack for knowing when to come to the fore, and when to lay back. Those instincts do not come naturally for everyone. If T Bone Burnett does another Americana film score he’d better have Grant Dermody’s number on speed dial. He’s that good.”
— Joseph McSpadden, February 2016, No Depression Magazine
From the Harmonica World
“When Grant Dermody plays harmonica you will always hear amazing tone and beautiful phrasing. He is a masterful harmonica player.”
– Peter Madcat Ruth
“My good friend Grant Dermody is a tall man with a big tone and a huge heart. His playing is the rare combination of technical mastery and deep soulfulness. He has mastered styles ranging from old-time fiddle tunes to deep blues and gospel. Grant is well aware of the healing power of music and he gives it out in double doses.”
— Phil Wiggins, (harmonica, Washington D.C. with Cephas and Wiggins, Corey Harris, Robert Balfour).
“Grant plays in the spirit of Big Walter Horton, displaying a wide range of tone and dynamics with a fiery minimalist delivery; one of my personal favorites!”
— Joe Filisko, master harmonica player, teacher, and technician. July 2014
“Music needs more players like Grant Dermody. These days it’s critical that we have active on the scene those rare musicians who can create gorgeous sounds out of nothing but an unplugged instrument, their lungs, and their hands. These are the players whose artistry provides balance in era when any effect is technologically possible. It’s not a question of retro versus modern, or of the old becoming so dated that it becomes fresh again. It’s about championing some of the most beautiful sounds ever created by humans, and of shortening the distance between the instrument and the player.”
— KIm Field, (harmonica, with Titans of Tone, Isaac Scott, and author, Harmonicas Harps and Heavy Breathers)
“Grant Dermody is one of the greatest living masters of traditional American music, and one of the most compelling harmonica players working in any style. To hear him is to hear the deep roots of American music. Don’t miss him.
– Richard Hunter, author of Jazz Harp
“Lot’s of soul and plenty of taste”.
— Jelly Roll Johnson, harmonica, Nashville session musician.
From the rest of the music world
“Grant has it all; Time, phrasing, great ideas, and above all a stunning tone. Totally in the tradition but with a real voice of his own.”
— Wayne Horvitz, jazz pianist and composer
“Grant Dermody is one of the greatest blues and roots harmonica players around. His playing reaches deep into the well of tradition and at the same time takes the music to exciting new places with a very personal sound. Working with him in the studio and on the stage is always a pleasure.”
— Eric Bibb
“I have worked with many fine blues harmonica players, but Grant stands out as one of my “go to” guys. I love his tone and phrasing…old school harp, the way the instrument was designed to be played… in the tradition of Rice Miller and John Lee Williamson, and others…without all the amplification, effects and ear-splitting levels! He is remarkably diverse, easily shifting between styles…playing a down-home dirty blues and then rollicking with a cajun/zydeco classic.”
— Rich Del Grosso, blues mandolin maestro
“…Grant Dermody plays the harmonica with power that is equally effective and evocative whether held in reserve or allowed to wail to its fullest and wildest degree. His musical voice, both through the instrument and singing itself, reunited forms and feels that are not-so-distant cousins into one wide and calmly flowing stream.”
— Dirk Powell
Sun Might Shine On Me
Hard Time Killing Floor Blues
Lay Down My Burden
Waterbound (written by Dirk Powell)
(for 50 words use just the first paragraph. For 100 use both paragraphs.)
In the hands of harmonica master Grant Dermody the harp rumbles like a freight train, sidles up like a soul singer, purrs like an electric cat, rings out in a rhythmic dance. Pair it up with his voice, a strikingly honest vocal approach that resonates in the direct center of your chest, and the intrigue just increases.
The swamps of Louisiana, the wide open skies of Montana — all that’s deep and sweet and awe-inspiring about Americana and its musical roots — reside there. There’s simply nothing like the growling grace that emanates from Grant Dermody.