The Bluegrass Situation: Roots Culture Redefined

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5+5: Michael McDermott

May 22, 2018

Artist: Michael McDermott
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Latest Album: Out From Under
Personal Nicknames: Mickey, Murph, Big Dog

Which artist has influenced you the most … and how?

Bob Dylan. It all starts and ends with Zimmy. He’s the greatest.

What’s your favorite memory from being on stage?

Cabaret Metro, Chicago, 1996. The building was moving from people jumping when we opened with “Bells.”

What rituals do you have, either in the studio or before a show?

I meditate. It centers me, and focuses me.

As you travel around the world, what is the overriding sense you get of the people?

I’m in Oslo as I type this, so I think besides language and clothing, it’s that there are beautiful people everywhere; that we have cultivated that beauty in different ways and some people were never allowed to cultivate it, but it’s there; that the land we come from is only the window dressing of that which lies beneath; and that the loudest people in any airport in the world are undoubtedly American.

If you had to write a mission statement for your career, what would it be?

No matter what befalls you, no matter how many times they knock you down, in the words of Jimmy V, “Never ever give up.”

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