Terry McDermott isn’t just a runner-up from NBC’s The Voice. The famed reality program was a fairly large part of his life, but his stint on the show doesn’t fully represent all that he is. McDermott is an innovative musician who plays classic rock with a hint of country influence, creating a sound that has continued to evolve throughout his musical journey.
“I think I’ve always tried to be progressive, I guess as a musician, or certainly as a member of a band,” McDermott says. “I think one of the biggest things for me was every time I’ve gone through a band, an incarnation has been representative of where I’ve been in my music career.”
Prior to his arrival on American soil, the Scottish-born McDermott lent his vocals to UK-based band Driveblind. His time in the band led him to venture overseas and play shows in the States. But after releasing their debut self-titled album in 2006, followed by an EP in 2008, the band eventually parted ways.
“When Driveblind disbanded, I used it as a great opportunity to try and write and approach songwriting differently,” he explains. “That was the first time I ever consciously got to do that because I had always been in Driveblind.”
Since stepping away from Driveblind, McDermott assembled two additional bands – Lotus Crush and Terry McDermott & The Bonfires – and carved out time to cultivate a solo act, allowing him to refresh his musical palette.
“I’m taking it back to my roots, most definitely,” he says. “The new single I’m releasing, which I’m going to play at Songbyrd, I’ve heard people describe it as a cross between something by The Allman Brothers Band and The Beatles, and I think that’s actually very fair when I listen to it with that in mind.”
In 2012, the musician veered into new territory when he auditioned for the third season of The Voice.
“I don’t think I quite understood – and really I still don’t – what I was in for,” he says. “The idea of going and doing that was very alien and very different. It was kind of a great life lesson.”
During his blind audition, McDermott nailed his rendition of The Who’s “Baba O’Riley.” His reasoning behind choosing the popular rock song? He believed that “it was an example of real, true rock ‘n’ roll.”
Ultimately, his noteworthy audition won over three of the four judges – Blake Shelton, CeeLo Green and Adam Levine – as they fought to have McDermott on their team. In the end, he decided to join Team Blake, which proved to be a rewarding experience for him.
“Blake is an absolute gentleman and an absolute joy to work with,” he says. “I got this expensive guitar that Blake gave [me] as a gift. He didn’t want the cameras to see any of this or make a big deal of it.”
Throughout his journey on The Voice and his time within various bands, McDermott continues to grow as a musician and perform in various capacities. And he’s looking forward to being back in the District for tonight’s show.
Don’t miss his performance this evening at Songbyrd Music House and Record Cafe in Adams Morgan. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. and the show will begin at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $10 and are available at www.ticketfly.com.
Songbyrd Music House and Record Cafe: 2477 18th St. NW, DC; 202-450-2917;www.songbyrddc.com
Photo: Courtesy of Terry McDermott’s Facebook page