This photo was taken for us by Rosanne Olsen. Feel free to credit her where appropriate.

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Here are some testimonials from fellow artists and educators.

"Yeah, I've known these guys for a while and am still regularly floored by Orville's string wizardry and fabled vocal firepower and Grant's uncanny mastery of every aspect of harmonica technique and repertoire...and John's one of the best guitar players in the world. Quote me on that. 

That's not the thing, though. It's the way they use their virtuosity to express that intangible combination of humor and pathos and wisdom and intuition...the old guys used to call it soul."
 
Steve James-Austin TX bluesman and raconteur

 

"Even though they are only three people of average size and build, any stage hosting them must be built extra wide, deep and sturdy to support this much talent at the same time. That being said, the combined egos of these master musicians; Orville Johnson mandolin and dobro), John Miller (guitar),  and Grant Dermody  (harmonica) could fit on the head of a pin with plenty of room to spare.

Many trios have a style that relegates them to a particular musical genre. This exceptional trio of Johnson, Miller and Dermody, is able to move with equal comfort between Blues, Folk, Jazz, and Country. They exhibit not only technical expertise, but also capture the heartfelt soul and feel of each genre both instrumentally and vocally.

Seeing each of these musicians individually is seeing the rainbow. Seeing them together is finding that pot of gold."

Daryl Davis-pianist and artistic director of the Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Workshop
 

 

The word “blues,” in describing music, has become about as useful as the terms “jazz” or “feminist” or “roots”– essentially meaningless, as it means so many things to different people. How can you compare Charlie Patton to Derek Trucks? Why would you even try? To me, the blues is a creative expression of authentic experience. And if you want an authentic experience, you should dig deep into the music of John Miller, Orville Johnson, and Grant Dermody. Individually, they’re outstanding practitioners of many kinds of acoustic and semi-popular community based music, as good as it gets. Together, their gifts – and the music they make is a gift, make no doubt about that – generate a synergy borne of a very deep well, as good as it gets on earth.

Peter McCracken- artistic director of the Centrum Arts Foundation

 

American roots music by three masters who know this music in every bit of their heart and soul - Orville, John and Grant transport the listener into their blues-soaked world of racehorses, closeness to the earth and sky, pork chops, roadhouses and billiard halls.  Their work is all at once  smooth and rough, finely textured and gritty, simple and complex, but always with plenty of groove and an unerring melodic sense:  old time music at its best!

Suzy Thompson-fiddler
extraordinaire and artistic director of the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes

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