[Harp-L] Review of Grant Dermody's new CD

"Sun Might Shine On Me"
Grant Dermody

When an artist arrives at a point in their career where everything feels correct, that to me is maturity. Some artists arrive earlier than others. Some later. Still others, only after they have seen the best and worse life has to offer.

After listening to Grant Dermody's latest offering, "Sun Might Shine On Me," I believe he has experienced all three scenarios. I met Grant at SPAH 7 or 8 years ago. My initial impression was that here was a player who was comfortable in his own skin and knew what he was trying to say musically. Shortly after that, Grant had a personal tragedy which certainly impacted his artistic direction. Finally, we come to this new CD which is, in my opinion, his finest work.

This project smacks you in the face right from jump. It's obvious that Grants playing and singing were done live. The engineering captures this perfectly. There is an immediacy to the performances that really shine. All the players seem to understand exactly how to frame the songs. 

A noticeable departure from previous projects, is that Grant penned more than half of the songs. Eight to be precise. It turns out that several of these are my favorite cuts. "Tree of Life," "Easy Down," "Ain't Goin Back," and "Sun Might Shine," all are excellent! Other notables include "Illinois Blues," which has a great mandolin solo and "Baby Please Don't Go."

Grant and the boys cover a surprising range of genres on this project. Traditional, Country Blues, Cajun, and Old Timey. Normally this makes for a disjointed presentation. Happily, they pull this off while never jerking the listener out of the moment or concept.

All the musicians Grant assembled for this are just right. Never any rushed feel, no awkward moments. A last minute addition to the roster was Jockey Etienne. Good call...he add drums on several cuts in what I can only describe as "A Slinky Pocket." 

Finally I would be remiss if I did not talk about Grant's harmonica playing. His tone is thick, rich, and very expressive. The solos are kind of like having a conversation with him...even and tempered. His acoustic work has the right attitude. His amplified approach, is a gut grabber. Here is a harmonica player not afraid to play the instrument like a harmonica....novel concept huh? As I said at the start....it's music from a very mature player, and I could not be happier.

"Sun Might Shine On Me"

PT Gazell


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