If you press hard enough, singer/songwriter/guitarist Chuck McDermott will tell you stories. Performing at the infamous Lone Star Cafe with Johnny Cash in the balcony. Hitting the stage with Freddie Fender. Recording in Malibu with John Stewart. Singing harmonies with Linda Ronstadt and Lindsay Buckingham. But the past is not his preferred tense. He’d rather talk about today. All the years in between the time he broke on to the scene in 1971 and today have given him a voice, both literally and figuratively. His rich honey/whiskey voice is evocative, silky and gritty, perfectly suited to the original music he’s penning now.
He jokes that his recent songwriting pokes around in dark places: human frai lty, deception, apocalyptic weather – general mayhem. But it’s really an exploration of what he calls “finding light inside the dark”. It’s his wry way of reminding (perhaps himself) that inside the tumult there can be wonder, gratitude, evenserenity. They’re lyrics he fully admits he wasn’t ready to write until now.
His themes follow the arc of his life – finding love later in life, the frailties of human nature, the comic absurdities of our daily routines. He’s just released a new recording, “Gin & Rosewater”, his first record in 30 years, working with an exceptional group of players, including music legend Stephen Stills, and a producer that shares his adventurous musical spirit and collaborative generosity. Look for it. You’ll appreciate his sometimes irreverent, sometimes sardonic take on the world that dances and careens around him.