There’s no magic coincidence as to why this song is our feature today. Chuck McDermott has crafted a single that looks at his homeland with an eye to clarity rather than rose-tinted celebration. It comes in the opening lines “Here’s the thing about America / She’s as dirty as she’s clean / She’s as gentle as she’s mean / She’s everything between shear hell and fantasy.” There’s no nostalgia in this appraisal – rather a looking to the future: “Here’s the thing about America / It’s only ours if we claim it / If we must then lets reshape it / Lest the young rightfully blame it on our apathy.”
Chuck McDermott is probably best remembered as the long time foil to John Stewart, but his own recordings and his performances have seen him alongside the likes of Steven Stills, Roger McGuinn and Linda Ronstadt. For the last few decades though he’s been spending his time on politics, most recently working with President Elect Joe Biden on his campaign’s Arts Policy Advisory Committee. And that’s President Biden now.
‘Here’s the Thing About America‘ is released as a single on January 29th, and comes from the new album ‘38 Degrees and Raining‘ which appears on March 26th.
Photo credit: Ron Pownall