"Grant dedicates his newest CD, Crossing That River, to Piedmont blues legend, John Jackson who passed away in 2002. Grant calls John a "loving presence." The existence of this "loving presence" continues in Grant Dermody - in his song selections, in his musical execution, in his passion. Every ounce of his being is transformed into an immediate connection, a sound offering - to the listener, to the fine collection of players, and to the spirit. Grant describes John as having passion, power, honesty and depth of character. I find these same traits in Grant - and in his music."
~ Gaye Adegbalola, Alligator recording artist and founding member of Safire, the Uppity Blues Women
Grant Dermody is a harmonica player known for his deep, rich tone, his tasteful solos, and solid rhythmic playing. Grant moves through a variety of musical styles while maintaining his own distinctive sound.
Grant started out as a Chicago style blues player. He later concentrated more on Delta and Piedmont blues and branched out to other forms of acoustic music including old-time, folk, and alt-country. Grant was twice featured with Orchestra Seattle playing the harmonica part in Huntley Beyer's Symphony, Romantic Lines.
A sought after accompanist, Grant has appeared on several of Jim Page's recordings, plays on Dan Crary's new album, Renaissance of the Steel String Guitar; and has also recorded with Robin Dale Ford, Scott Law, Michael Grey (of Pearl Django) and Michael Gettel. Grant has performed with Cephas & Wiggins, John Miller and Orville Johnson, Antion, Big Joe Duskin, John Dee Holeman, Robert Lowrey, and Honeyboy Edwards. He is a member of the blues influenced old-time band, The Improbabillies, whose self-titled CD on the Yodel-A-Hee label is a fine example of Grant's innovative playing.
On Crossing that River, his first solo CD, Grant has captured many of the varied musical relationships he has fostered over the last eighteen years. Grant wrote three of the tunes, three were written by friends and guest artists, and the rest are songs he has always loved. There are harmonica duets with Phil Wiggins and Joe Filisko; blues duets with John Cephas, John Miller and Orville Johnson; a jazz flavored composition with (and by) Julian Priester; and small ensemble folk, old-time, country, and blues pieces with Jim Page, Richie Stearns, Scott Law, Forrest Gibson and Dale Fanning, to name a few. Grant's soulful vocals and harmonica playing tie it all together.
Grant teaches harmonica at the annual Port Townsend Country Blues Festival and at The Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, West Virginia.