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What's New: Grant Dermody Interview

David Barrett Admin's picture

Grant Dermody is a harmonica player, singer, songwriter, and teacher from Seattle, Washington. Described as "an understated harmonica virtuoso and a vocalist of subtlety and warmth" by Don McLeese of No Depression magazine. Grant’s musical travels have seen him playing with many of America’s most beloved acoustic musicians. In 2010, he embarked on a successful international tour with guitarist Eric Bibb. Previous explorations saw him performing in a trio with Orville Johnson and John Miller, live and on their 2006 release Deceiving Blues. In addition, Dermody has performed with blues legends Leon Bib, Honeyboy Edwards, Robert Lowery, Big Joe Duskin, John Dee Holeman, and Cephas & Wiggins. Guitar maestro Frank Fotusky is also a touring co-conspirator. Beyond the blues, Grant is passionate about old-time music. As a member of The Improbabillies, whose 1998 self-titled CD made a serious splash in the old-time world, Grant brought a unique blues sensibility and an innovative harmonica style to that genre. An excellent accompanist, Grant uses his instrument to add just the right shade, feel or energy to a player, piece or project. He has played on several of Seattle based singer/songwriter Jim Page's recordings, and was a guest artist on Dan Crary's, Renaissance of the Steel String Guitar. Dan described Grant’s playing on “Reedy’s Blues,” as "powerful and beautiful,” and referred to him as, "One of the best studio musicians I have ever worked with." A dedicated mentor of the instrument, Grant has taught harmonica for many years in both private and group settings nationwide to students of all ages. Teaching venues have included Blues Week at The Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins West Virginia, The Country Blues Workshop in Port Townsend, Washington, and the Telluride Acoustic Blues Camp in Telluride, Colorado, and Blues Week at The University of Northampton in the United Kingdom. Grant has taught hundreds of kids in elementary schools throughout the Seattle area how to play the harmonica. This interview was held in Saint Louis, Missouri at the SPAH (spah.org) convention August of 2014. To learn more about Grant visit: www.grantdermody.com

Videos: Grant’s Early Days; Approaching Fiddle Tunes on the Harmonica; Country Blues on the Harmonica; Grant’s Hand Usage; Improvising and Dealing with Chord Changes; Accompaniment Playing; Tongue Blocking; Bending; Position Playing; Chromatic Harmonica; Minor Playing; Grant’s Approach to Teaching; Artists to Listen To and Common Trappings of a Harmonica Player