Chuck McDermott (from the album Gin and Rosewater)
Chuck McDermott mixes the music for Gin and Rosewater, his latest release, using the top shelf ingredients he has collected along the way of his forty year-plus career. Forming the Country Rock’n’Roll band Wheatstraw, Chuck McDermott fronted the Boston, Massachusetts-based group through two albums that took them to stages such as NYC’s Lone Star Café, receiving critical acclaim for their two studio albums (Last Straw, Follow the Music). Chuck relocated to Los Angeles, creating music that offered a more Rock flavored sound, forming a long term bond with John Stewart (solo, The Kingston Trio). Chuck McDermott and John Stewart toured as a duo with Chuck offering vocals and guitar work for recordings, and continuing to be a part of the John Stewart Band that tours with John’s songs after the musician’s passing in 2008. Though his music has never been far away, the past few decades have had a more world community focus for Chuck McDermott. He has devoted his time to energy and environmental policy issues, working in government, the private sector and finance in an effort to provide a better world for his three children to inherit.
His attention turns back to recording as Chuck McDermott offers Gin and Rosewater on his music menu. The album plays out rhythms and politics gathered over the years as Chuck McDermott puts reggae (“Downtown Bus”) with environmental issues (“Hold Back the Water”), Folk Rock (“Red Betty”) with gun control (“Irresistible Targets”), and small town tales (“The Girl from St. Lucy”) with the violence of terrorism (“James Foley Diaries”), compiling both the personal and policies together in the story line of “Everything” . Gin and Rosewater backs its songs with a wide range of styles as the title track rumbles with a dark Country sway and word snippets spit and flow over an Rhythm and Blues groove with “Tryin’ to Keep the Wheels on the Road” as Chuck McDermott covers Johnny Cash (“I Walk the Line”) with a sexy smooth edge, The Animals (“Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”) with the moody sparkle of Americana picked notes and is joined on guitar by guest Stephen Stills for the finger pointing of “People Are Weak”.