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Often likened to Dylan and Springsteen, 2016 was a big year for Chicago singer/songwriter Michael McDermott. Voted Best Male Artist by Americana-UK readers as well as top 3 Live Act, his album Willow Springs received several Best of 2016 awards as well as reaching the Number 1 spot in the Euro Americana charts. American Roots UK described it as one of the best album of the 21st century.
His live shows are legendary. Author Stephen King describes him as “one of the greatest Songwriters”.
Once touted as Rock’s “Next Big Thing” following a major label signing in his early 20s, success seemed guaranteed with MTV, Rolling Stone and The New York Times tipping Michael for the top. A music industry in turmoil and some 20 years spent fighting addictions saw Michael take a different path. Now over 3 year’s clean the emergence of Willow Springs showed how right those original pundits were.
Michael’s band The Westies, which he formed with his wife Heather Horton, have featured on both Bob Harris's Country Show and Sunday show and Michael recorded a session last December with Bob Harris for Radio 2. Michael’s live shows are legendary. In 2015 he broke off a European tour for one night in London, described aptly by the local promoter "the date was May Day bank holiday Sunday and because it was a 3-day weekend we had people flying and driving from all over the UK for that one night. It was a barnstormer".
“This is one of the most desperate, haunting, unforgettable yet musically balanced albums you will ever listen to…Unforgiving and Unforgettable.” (Americana UK)
“I'm a believer. One of the best albums that have reached these ears in a long time.” (No Depression)
“A wonderful true record” (Whispering Bob Harris, BBC UK)
“This album is one of the best, not only of this year, but of the 21st century” (American Roots UK)