Michael McDermott (musician)

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Michael McDermott
Michael McDermott.jpg
Background information
Born (1969-08-24) August 24, 1969 (age 50)
OriginChicago, Illinois, United States
GenresAmericana, Singer-songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, Guitar
Years active1990–present
LabelsEMI Records (USA)
SBK Records
E1 Music
One Little Indian Records
Pauper Sky Records

Michael McDermott is an American singer-songwriter from Chicago, IL. (born August 24, 1969).


McDermott started performing in Chicago coffeehouses in the early 1990s, incorporating elements of Irish music into an American folk rock sound. His 1991 single "A Wall I Must Climb", from the album 620 W. Surf, reached #34 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock tracks chart.[1] McDermott released several albums in the 1990s and toured extensively behind them. His lyrics were quoted in the Stephen King books Insomnia, and in the book Rose Madder, one of the characters constantly wears a shirt of his that reads "I'm in love with a girl called Rain".[2]

In 2013, McDermott formed The Westies together with Heather Horton, Ian Fitchuk, Joe Pisapia and Lex Price. An album of new songs with the band was released in Italy May 13, 2014 on Appaloosa Records. US release was in the spring, 2015 (Pauper Sky Records). On Januari 29, 2016 another album with The Westies was released: Six On The Out (Appaloosa Records, Pauper Sky Records).

In 2016, McDermott released Willow Springs, named for the small town where he now resides with his wife and daughter. Recorded at his home in the country and fan-funded, Willow Springs was produced by McDermott, with longtime producer and collaborator, Lex Price mixing. Performers on the record include Price; guitarist, Will Kimbrough; keyboard player, John Deaderick and McDermott’s wife, Heather Horton on backing vocals.

In April 2018, McDermott released Out From Under and followed it with extensive domestic and international touring.

On Februari 8, 2019 Orphans was released, which includes tracks recorded during the sessions for both Willow Springs and Out From Under as well as some earlier recordings. The release of Orphans was followed by another tour.[3]

McDermott has performed "God Bless America" and "The Star Spangled Banner" at arenas and stadiums across the country. Teams that have invited him to sing include: The Chicago Cubs, The Chicago White Sox, The Illinois Fighting Illini Basketball team, The Green Bay Packers, The Chicago Bears, The Los Angeles Lakers, The LA Kings, and NASCAR.

Personal life[edit]

McDermott was married to singer/songwriter Heather Horton while on tour in Ferrara, Italy on 3 May 2009. Their daughter Rain (Willie) McDermott Murphy was born in July 2010.


  • 620 W. Surf (Giant Records/Reprise Records, 1991) - recorded in Los Angeles, produced by Don Gehman and Brian Koppelman, Bruce Hornsby was a guest player
  • Seattle Record (unreleased) - produced by Rich Parashar in Seattle for Giant Records, record was sold to EMI, but never released. Dave Navarro was a guest guitar player
  • Gethsemane (SBK Records, 1993) - recorded in Charlotte NC, produced by Don Dixon
  • Michael McDermott (EMI Records, 1996) - recorded in Memphis, produced by Joe Hardy, Stephen King wrote Liner notes and was a guest guitar player
  • Bourbon Blue (Wanted Man Records, 1999) - recorded in Chicago, produced by Michael McDermott
  • Last Chance Lounge (Koch Records, 2000) - recorded in Memphis, produced by Joe Hardy
  • Ashes (Pauper Sky Records, 2004) - recorded in Houston & Los Angeles, produced by Joe Hardy and Dan Petty
  • Beneath the Ashes (2004)- outtakes from Ashes sessions
  • Noise From Words (One Little Indian, 2007) - recorded in Chicago and Los Angeles, produced by Michael McDermott and Jim Wirt
  • Hey La Hey (Pauper Sky Records 2009) - recorded in Nashville, produced by Lex Price
  • Hit Me Back (Pauper Sky Records 2012) - recorded in Chicago, produced by CJ Eiriksson
  • Willow Springs (Pauper Sky Music 2016) - recorded in Chicago, produced by Michael McDermott and Lex Price
  • Out From Under (Pauper Sky Music 2018) - recorded in Chicago and Nashville, produced by Michael McDermott and Lex Price
  • Orphans (Pauper Sky Records 2019)

With The Westies[edit]

  • West Side Stories (Appaloosa 2014, Pauper Sky Records 2015) - recorded in Nashville, produced by Lex Price
  • Six On The Out (Appaloosa 2016, Pauper Sky Music 2016) - recorded in The Casino, Nashville

Other Releases[edit]

  • Live Sampler (Self-released, 2003)
  • Seeking Solace
  • And in the Meantime
  • In a Godless Night (2xCD)
  • My Soul's Unfettered
  • Best of Michael McDermott
  • Someone Else's Clothes (Chicago Recording Company 2015)
  • XXV (Pauper Sky Music 2016)


  1. ^ Billboard, Allmusic.com
  2. ^ Exclusive Download from Michael McDermott's Noise From Words. Paste Magazine (Wayback Machine cache), July 9, 2007.
  3. ^ https://www.facebook.com/MichaelMcDermottMusic/?hc_ref=ARSjS07vFRNxEX2Cd9cSCdQll1qR3VwWTM2yFg1xmQ-SM9RvqOr1ccTp4t2og9R8jy0&fref=nf&__xts__[0]=68.ARBC1wKBXLljdKjL4ZeAQL5C-7Rv370sf_7KQJeZDySGojvbtowoCqY52T3nXr92WpeKX4JvqZPnJycjL4duRsFMMwO6H7uLSM2o5agfGId0Y9Ura-joNXnoSKJ5tZJr2WM9zyhJ04IAtMp3oivYiu5lDl0X_vJSKGYcHqlaEvur2ZOQZDN1JtJxrLIAzfChQm6zuC-SAaxDzTD4TDHY1ikVlWmgpygC6JfpypBFBM76NYZdmrXmRPuEujDmyQ_RraLJVochPhi46y6OknFHbG_uNMeAz_RVkJ9P9poA-lK4KEJt2kGVxy-1FvPwdfqOfoEx_gI6XVgbIaMuow&__tn__=kC-R

External links[edit]