Chuck McDermott: The Role That Fear Can Play in Our Lives
Photo Credit: Shefik
Over the last 40 years, Chuck McDermott has left his musical mark on audiences on both coasts of the United States. Over the last few decades, he has devoted himself to energy and environmental policy issues, and working in government.
I'm Chuck McDermott and I'm a singer-songwriter. And... my songwriting changed after a conversation I had with a fellow songwriter who made the observation, speaking for himself he said, "You know, I've spent all these years "thinking about what to write about, "and it finally occurred to me, "why don't I write about what I'm thinking about?" And I took that lesson to heart. One of the things that I find myself thinking about is the role that fear can play in our lives. And it can be a very corrosive thing. When confronted and when faced it could be something from which we can learn a lot about ourselves. I have a song on the most recent record that I put out, an album called Gin and Rosewater, we released in 2017, called Belvedere. And it's the tale of someone fearing the prospect of love lost. So, that's not a novel concept necessarily in song writing. But few things about it were what I was trying to capture. One, rather than tell it as a story a he said she said, then my baby done left me, or something like that. I tried to make it much more impressionistic. So, little visual vignettes and emotional vignettes that add up to the punchline of the song, which is she left me standing here, outside Belvedere. And Belvedere is this somewhat mythical place where your dreams and your hopes go. So it's a little bit of a different type of experiment for me. I often use a story format, as a recovering folky and country music aficionado, in my songwriting style. It feels good to stretch those boundaries a little bit and widen the aperture every now and again.
Last Updated: September 10, 2021