Michael McDermott – Orphans
Format: CD – Digital / Label: Pauper Sky Records – Continental Record Services
Releasedatum: 8 februari 2019

Tekst: Iain Patience

Until a few short years ago, I’d never heard or heard of this remarkable guy, a US-Irish singer-songwriter with an extraordinary back-story that features astonishing success at an early age when he was often likened to Dylan, followed by a sickening lurch downwards with addiction issues, jail-time threats, and scary involvement with a hard-criminal underbelly.

Fortunately for us all, Michael McDermott successfully pulled himself together, kicking his habits and returning to the musical world with a couple of excellent albums, ‘Willow Springs,’ in 2014, and the critically acclaimed follow-up, ‘Out From Under,’ in 2017. ‘Orphans’, his third redemption release, is yet another album that surely deserves widespread acclaim and attention. For this is a musician who can not only hold a tune more than well and comfortably but turns out finely crafted lyrics which hint at surprising literary interests and influences while always coated in a richly melodic beauty. This twelve-track release features all of his usual talents and again highlights just how significant this guy should be in modern US music terms. Crossing genres, McDermott moves effortlessly through near-rock’n roll, country, Americana, and simply top dollar story-telling brilliance.

When I say this is his third release, I mean of his recent past. He already has another eight albums out there from the days before he successfully returned to self-conscious sanity and common-sense, a truly remarkable turnaround that is due at least in part to his settling down with his partner and a young kid in a rural part of the mid-west, where temptations may be fewer and further apart. Whatever the reason, we have a guy who is clearly a major talent with shades of John Hiatt, Steve Earle and the arresting lyricism of the late Guy Clarke seemingly running through his clean veins. ‘Orphans’ is a wonderful release, one to catch and enjoy.

01. Tell Tale Heart
02. The Last Thing I Ever Do
03. Ne’er Do Well
04. Meadowlark
05. Sometimes When It Rains in Memphis
06. Givin Up the Ghost
07. Black Tree Blue Sky
08. The Wrong Side of Town
09. Full Moon Goodbye
10. Richmond
11. Los Angeles a Lifetime Ago
12. What If Today Were My Last

Website: Michael McDermott

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