Grant Demody is a force to be reckoned with. I know him to be a seeker, not only of
personal balance and grace, but of the endless musical possibilities. He travels great distances to capture the sounds and music that guide him. His mastery of harmonica is awe- inspiring. That’s obvious to many judging by the stellar artists that jump into his musical adventures. Grant has a beautiful harmonica tone, a knack for inventive runs, smooth warbles, effortless bends, long notes and tasteful solos. In addition to sensitively played lead work, he’s probably one of the best supportive harmonica players I’ve ever heard. He never steps on anyone’s musical contributions, instead leaving the beautiful gift of space where it belongs. Its’ a gift.
His new release “My Dony” (Thunder River Records, 2019) is a bouquet of accomplished artists. Dirk Powell, known for his traditional Appalachian fiddle, banjo and piano, worked closely with Grant—arranging traditional tunes, contributing several originals along with tasteful guitar and harmonies. His single-note, stinging solos capture and elevate the power of the music as he weaves through imaginative arrangements, coming up with just what they need to shine.
Sidemen Jason Sypher (bass) and Jamie Dick (drums) are noted musicians in their own right, heavy with musical history, session experience and solid skills that bolster every groove. And Corey’ Ledet’s, accordion dances lightly, imbuing tunes with a Cajun feel that makes dancing shoes itch. Listening to these players makes it impossible to miss the heart-felt elixir they throw into their work. My Dony offers originals by both Dermody and Powell along with creatve arrangements of blues-soaked and traditional tunes.
nd if that wasn’t enough, additional backup by Amythst Kiah (guitar) and the rich voices of Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops) and Allison Russell (Birds of Chicago) add sultry, gospel-based beauty to the already compelling collection of songs featured.
I never know what adventures Grant Dermody is up to or what musicians will appear to share his contagious joy in music and sound-melding, Yet I’m always confident his projects will be refreshing, heart-felt and of surprising quality. “My Dony” hits all the marks