“…the record has shown itself to be far ahead of the game.…the variety and balance and, above all, the overarching understanding of and involvement in adversity…This is one of the most desperate, haunting, unforgettable yet musically balanced albums you will ever listen to…Unforgiving and Unforgettable.” (Dave Clarke, Americana UK)
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From T.J. English, New York Times best-selling author of The Westies and The Savage City:
“Having written a book called The Westies, which I’m told may have served some small role as inspiration for this music, I wish I could claim credit for its brilliance. But I can’t. What you experience while listening to The Westies debut CD is wholly original. Singer/songwriter Michael McDermott and his band follow in the tradition of Dylan and Waits and Springsteen, but they tread new ground. Lyrically, the ten songs on West Side Stories are haunting tone poems about loss and regret and trying to hang in there against insurmountable odds. The music is almost painfully intimate; McDermott’s vocals ache with passion. Accompanied by backup singer Heather Horton, who swoops in with ethereal harmonies or the occasional chorus of her own, the arrangements are graceful and profound. These songs will not only stir your emotions, they will make your heart bleed… Do yourself a favor, seek out West Side Stories, listen and absorb this music. You will feel as though you have entered the church of rock and roll, a place of great storytelling, humanity and emotional wisdom. Let The Westies take you there.”