CLASSIC - Singer John McDermott returns to Red Deer this May as part of his national spring tour.

John McDermott brings his ‘Traditionally Yours’ tour to City

Singer John McDermott will be venturing out for a spring tour which includes Red Deer. The concert runs May 20th at the Red Deer Memorial Centre.

The tour features songs from his latest release, Traditionally Yours, as well as a variety of favourites from his vast recording catalogue.

Besides his musical career, he is also known for his commitment to veterans’ causes – the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honour Society’s Bob Hope Award, the Ted Williams Globe & Anchor Award from the USMC and, here at home, a commendation from the Minister of Veteran’s Affairs for this ongoing work, which includes his foundation McDermott House Canada, dedicated to improving care in the final stages of terminal illness and providing a warm, welcoming place to stay for Canada’s veterans, military, first responders and their families.

Looking back to his start, McDermott can recall the moment when he realized he had made the right decision to make singing his full-time career.

It was at the Rebecca Cohn Theatre in Halifax as he walked on stage to a full house and a thunderous East Coast welcome. It was the first concert with his own band, following a year as the opening act for Irish group The Chieftains. McDermott was thrilled the Halifax crowd was so enthusiastic.

Not that many years before, he had been working in the circulation department of one of Toronto’s daily newspapers.

As a creative outlet, he would sing a few Irish and Scottish folk tunes at staff gatherings – songs he had learned growing up in Willowdale, Ontario after his family moved there from Glasgow, Scotland.

The only musical training he received was when he attended St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto for two years. But the turning point in terms of career was sparked when he recorded an album of Irish and Scottish ballads as a 50th wedding anniversary gift for his parents.

Those who heard the album encouraged him to have it produced commercially. A couple of entertainment business heavyweights, Michael Cohl and Bill Ballard, had been impressed with his singing at a Karaoke Night during the Toronto Floating Film Festival a couple of years earlier. So he took the album to Ballard, who put him in touch with the president of EMI Music Canada.

EMI released 2,000 copies on Nov. 10th, 1992. The next day being Remembrance Day, the late broadcaster Peter Gzowski played three tracks from the CD. The stores couldn’t keep it on the shelves.

A few months later, CBC-TV profiled him in a short piece that was aired on the The National. Within a short time the CD had sold more than 50,000 copies.

McDermott took a leave from his job to tour with The Chieftains. At the end of that tour, he sat down with Cohl and Ballard and looked at the numbers. They knew that if they put him on a national tour, he’d be on his way.

Since the beginning of his musical journey, McDermott has recorded more than 25 albums. And although he emerged during a time of resurgence in Celtic music, and much of his tunes retain that kind of charming feel, he has been careful not to pigeonhole himself as a ‘Celtic artist’ per se.

For ticket information, call the Black Knight Ticket Centre at 403-755-6626.

– Weber

Just Posted

Local filmmaker works on documentary featuring women farmers

Red Deer woman receives $50,000 grant from STORYHIVE to produce documentary

Red Deer Rebels lose to Edmonton Oil Kings 4-1 at home opener

General Manager and Coach Brent Sutter said team ‘played hard’

Thurber Raiders snatch season opener from the Lacombe Rams

Red Deer game saw 44-8 win for the Raiders

Snowfall warning in effect for Red Deer

Around 10 to 15 centimetres expected

Environment Canada confirms Ottawa area hit by two tornadoes Friday

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

Coaches, players on Alberta university rugby team buckle up for the Broncos

16 people died when Humboldt Broncos bus collided with a semi-truck in rural Saskatchewan

The Vatican ‘owes God an apology,’ activist says in letter to Pope Francis

Letter came after a report on sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children in six Pennsylvania dioceses

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

VIDEO: Inside an eerily empty mall in Canada

Only nine of 517 retail spaces are open for business as the grand opening postponed to next year

Tens of thousands without power following tornado in Ottawa region

Hydro Ottawa says more than 170,000 customers were without power early this morning

BALONEY METER: Do Liberal policies mean a typical family is $2,000 richer?

MPs took to Twitter to talk how ‘typical’ Canadian families have more money due to Liberal policies

Most Read