The music business is “an anxiety joyride” these days for Michael McDermott.
The singer-songwriter from Chicago emerged in the major label world during the early ‘90s with the single “A Wall I Must Climb” but was among the first artists to discover the merits of the independent world. Nowadays, in addition to releasing his own albums, McDermott hosts a Monday Morning Madness feature on his website, offering a new or unreleased song from an abundant catalog of material.
“I’m kind of making it up as I go along,” explains McDermott, 42. “I’m really kind of recalibrating every expectation I was trained to have growing up as a young man in the music industry. Since my early 30s, all the rules I know and play by have been changed.
“So it’s really been challenging, and you try to find your spot and re-learn the game, so to speak and keep it interesting and not get caught up in minutia and still be an artist. It’s exciting. It’s more fun now than it’s ever been — a lot more anxiety, but more fun, too.”
McDermott’s other new project is a partnership with Feeding America and Indiana’s Rex Roasting Company, pairing his music with a new line from the latter, which is donating seven meals per bag of coffee purchased.
“I did a show at Schubas (in Chicago), and we sold enough coffee to feed 420 children in America,” McDermott says. “I said to my wife on the way home, ‘That is the greatest thing I’ve ever done in my life.’ Not even the gig itself; just being able to do that was really ... I was so moved by it.
“I mean, endorphins speak greater when you give something than when you receive something. That’s a scientific fact. And I’m an endorphin junkie, so I can’t think of anything better I could do.”
Michael McDermott and Heather Horton perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 8, at the Cherry Hill Village Theatre, 50400 Cherry Hill Road, Canton. Tickets are $17. Call 734-394-5300 or visit www.cantonvillagetheater.org.
Send your thoughts and comments to