Happy Hour Harmonica Podcast

Grant Dermody interview

October 13, 2020 Neil Warren Season 1 Episode 24
Happy Hour Harmonica Podcast
Grant Dermody interview
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Grant Dermody first picked up the harp in Alaska, where he emulated the greats before developing his own acoustic sound playing American roots music. 
He played as a session man on various albums before releasing the first of his four solo albums to date, which included harmonica duets with Phll Wiggins and Joe Filisko. In-between Grant toured for six years with Eric Bibb, and for his latest album, My Dony, he has returned to his roots with a raucous electrified harmonica sound. Not only a great harmonica player with a strong sense of rhythm, Grant is a vocalist, and has penned the lyrics on many of the songs on his albums. On top of all this, Grant is a passionate teacher of the harmonica. 

Select the Chapter Markers tab above to select different sections of the podcast (website version only).

Grant's website:



Harmonica duet with Joe Filisko:

EuroBlues Week Harmonica Tutor intro:

Jerry Devillier playing Cajun Harmonica:

Also check out the Spotify Playlist, which contains some of the songs discussed in the podcast:

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Grant had to flee from current Hurricane ‘Delta'
Grew up in Seattle but learned harmonica in Alaska
Grant’s father gave Grant his first harmonica at age 18
Started playing harmonica in Fairbanks, Alaska
Learned to play a different range of styles during those early days
Got some tips from a guy he met walking down the street
Friend put Grant onto Little Walter and Charlie Musselwhite
Slim Harpo was an early inspiration
Grant developed an interest in acoustic style
Started learning to play fiddle tunes on harmonica
Grant loves to perform entirely acoustic
But also likes to play through amps
Moved back to Seattle from Alaska and took some lessons with Kim Field
Played drums before picking up harmonica
First recording
Recordings with Jim Page
Album with The Improbabilies
Music scene around Seattle and move to Louisiana
Lafayette is where Grant is based now
First solo album: Crossing That River
Duo recording with Joe Filisko
Anacostia Two Step recording with Phil Wiggins
Song writing
Grant is also a vocalist
Two albums with Johnson, Miller and Dermody trio
Playing with Eric Bibb
Second solo album: Lay Down My Burden
Sun Might Shine album
Cajun harmonica
Latest album, My Dony, is under consideration for a Grammy
How My Dony album was put together
Writing modern blues lyrics
Recorded on a Hip Hop song
Grant does lots of harmonica tuition
Areas of harmonica that Grant believes you need to develop
10 minute question
Grant’s style of playing
Chromatic harmonica
Harmonicas of choice
Mics of choice
Favourite key of diatonic
Future plans
Different tunings and overblows