Grant Dermody's long awaited new CD, Lay Down My Burden , opens with Grant's mellow low tenor voice backed by Eric Bibb on guitar singing Rev Gary Davis' "I'll Be Alright” which along with tracks like the acappella version of Stephen Foster's "Hard Times Come Again No More" speaks toward some of the trying times Grant has had to endure over the last several years. You can feel the emotion in the words.
The instrumental version of "Amazing Grace" with pleading harmonica, guitar, and both lap steel and dobro dueling on slide is by far the finest version I have ever heard and really makes one reflect. Grant's approach to playing harp is a reserved, less is more style. You won't hear him playing flashy solo riffs; but you will find that every note he plays feels just right. Skip James' "Hard Time Killing Floor Blues" features John Cephas on guitar and vocals in what was sadly to be his final recording. One of my favorites on Lay Down My Burden is Dirk Powell's "Waterbound" with Grant backed only by Richie Sterns on banjo.
A long list of friends and associates accompany Grant on this project with different line-ups on every track including Rich Del Grosso playing mandolin on a couple and producer Orville Johnson with dobro on one and mandolin on two. The instrumental "David's Cow' with Scott Meyer-fiddle, Forrest Gibson-guitar and Grant-harp is a regular hoedown. Lay Down My Burden is destined to become a classic. If you are a fan of acoustic blues, old time music, folk or Americana you are sure to enjoy this amazing CD.