For nearly 20 years, singer-songwriter Michael McDermott buried himself in drugs and alcohol, and he surveys the toll his addiction took on his personal and professional life with remarkable candor. “I burned a lot of bridges and screwed things up pretty bad,” he states. “I’m not being hyperbolic when I say that it was just short of suicide by cop. I knew I had to stop, but it took a while for me to get the message.” He credits his wife and their young daughter, Rain, for finally pulling him through. “Seeing the way they look at you when you’re messed up – after a while you go, ‘I just can’t do this anymore. Something has to change.’ I’m so grateful I turned things around. I know it sounds cheesy, but I’m grateful for every day now. I try to lead a good life, and I’m making up for lost time. I’ve re-dedicated myself to making music I can be proud of.”
McDermott poured those emotions into his writing, and a bracing, hard-driving song, “Never Goin’ Down Again,” came roaring out. As he finished its lyrics, he realized that it was bigger than he first imagined: it had become a mission statement. Four years sober, McDermott has won a hard-fought battle with addiction, and when he defiantly sings, “I swear that I’m never goin’ down again,” he’s hitting back at his demons. “ As for me, no matter what the odds and how the ground shifts under me, nothing can stop me.”
“Never Goin’ Down Again” is but one of the standout tracks on McDermott’s 11th studio recording, Out From Under. The poignant new album sees him riding the crest of a critical and commercial upswing following the unprecedented success of his previous effort, 2016’s Willow Springs, which reached No. 1 on EuroAmericana charts. But Out From Under is more than a victory lap: brimming with richly autobiographical songs that mix stunning frankness with wicked, idiosyncratic humor, it’s the sound of a clear-eyed, dedicated artist, now a contented husband and father, giving in to his heart’s most urgent commands and trusting his instincts in ways he never thought possible.