Grant Dermody (pronounced Der-mud-dee) is a teacher, seeker, and master harmonica player. As artists go, he is unusually humble, as if he has an innate understanding of humility and the limits to which we do or do not have control of the hand that life deals us. His album Lay My Burden Down, released in 2010, was recorded during a three year stretch during which he lost his friend John Cephas, both his parents, and his beloved wife, Eileen. It would be five years before he released Sun Might Shine on Me in 2015.
His harmonica skills and his range of styles and genres are truly impressive. From the Chicago blues of Little Walter to Cajun, Celtic, and old time folk, Dermody's mastery of both his instrument and the genres that form the base of Americana reveals him to be a rare and diverse artist.
Able to understand what the song needs, he can move effortlessly from the front to the back of the arrangement, playing the role of the front man and the supporting player with equal zeal. It requires a strong sense of who you are to make that transition with confidence. But for Dermody, confidence comes wrapped in a soft-spoken demeanor and a gentle sense of humor. He was an easy conversationalist, yet impassioned when we spoke about his love for the harmonica.