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Chuck Talks About Working For
Environmental Justice and
Hold Back the Water

I spent four years working as Joe Kennedy II Chief of Staff, then another eight more years in Washington working on public policy in environmental services. You win some and you lose some in that game, but I still feel good about many of the gains we made on environmental justice and climate change policy. After DC I moved back to Boston and started a firm with five partners that invest in environmentally sustainable technologies.


My deepest worry is the potentially catastrophic impact of climate change– the diaspora, the starvation, the suffering, the destruction. So, wanting to make some sort of statement, I chose to tell it as a story. My favorite lines in the song are the asides. When the Red Creek starts rising, the voice warns “There’s no knowing yesterday”. When thunderclouds turn black, it’s “hands from heaven reaching down”. When the world is left to the copperheads, we’re told “what we knew is other’s now” – suggesting that humans may be crushed, but Mother Nature will do just fine. And finally, as the water floods the fields and graveyards, we’re ordered to “take mama’s soul to higher ground”. Perhaps we need to be moving all of our souls to higher ground.

Chuck McDermott: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar 

Marco Giovino: Drums 

Richard Gates: Bass 

Kevin Barry: Electric Guitar, Pedal Steel, Moog 

Duke Levine: Electric Guitar 

Deni Hlavinka: Harmony Vocals 

Jeff Ramsey: Harmony Vocals

The most powerful moment [on the album] comes on Hold Back the Water, a moodily atmospheric, very modern-sounding track about the ravaging of the planet.


Steve Morse– longtime Boston Globe Music Critic & Professor of Rock History at Berklee College of Music

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