In 2007, Derek was selected as a showcase songwriting finalist for:
The Kerrville Folk Festival (Newfolk)- Kerrville, TX.
The Wildflower Folk Festival- Richardson, TX .
The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival-Hillsdale, New York,
The South Florida Folk Festival- Sunrise, FL.
Heavily influenced by the popular music being played on the radio throughout his childhood like James Taylor, John Denver, David Wilcox, and Harry Chapin, Derek’s original music is highly introspective and also has a definite pop flavor to it. The creation of his latest recording WHERE WE HIDE (Song Dog Records) came upon the heels of a deeply introspective time in Derek’s life, concluded by coming back to friendships, faith and his heart’s desire to best serve God by writing songs about the human condition and understand the places we hide, from people and ourselves, to avoid pain. This journey is heralded by these songs. Like page-turning short stories, delivered by his spirited tenor-to-baritone, each track leaves the listener wanting for one more. Produced with fellow MTM member Bill Ward at Songdog Records and accompanied by the soothing harmonies of another MTM member Selia Qynn and Melissa Sambrooks, there is something for everyone’s iPod here. Born and raised in Marlborough, MA just outside of Boston, (across the street from Desperate Housewives actress Marcia Cross,) Derek envisioned himself as a musician from the precocious age of eight but did not start playing until after high school. It was years later when a college baseball career was winding down at University of Maine-Orono, that his childhood vision returned, and he began to teach himself guitar and play around with some lyrics. Within a year he won the Bangor Bass Park Music Festival Songwriting Competition in Bangor, ME. Quite a ride ensued – opening for Livingston Taylor in Bar Harbor, ME and then on to Boston where he worked by day to support his songwriting habit, and played various venues by night including Nightstage in Boston, and The Bitter End in The Village of NYC. His talent was evident and the vision became a few steps closer. The compass of destiny pointed southwest in the fall of ’92, by way of a brown-eyed gal from Texas who captured his heart and shared the promise of his dreams. Debbie was a childhood friend who also enjoyed “Barefoot sprints to catch the ice-cream man...” summer days on Robinhood Road, while visiting her grandparents in Marlborough. A period of time Derek so sweetly captured by the song “Robinhood Road.” They married in 1993 and made Houston their home. Music took a back seat, while a growing family and working by day in the financial services field were top priorities. Yet, there were national anthems sung for Houston Rockets’ playoff games, openings at the Millbend Coffee house and airplay on WATD in Marshfield, MA; WKPFT in Houston; WKKFI in Kansas City; and WAVM in Maynard, MA. WHERE WE HIDE was released at a private event on March 24, 2007 in Houston and airplay on KPFT in Houston followed within a week. The response has been “Unbelievable – like a dream come true.” While the path has been a bit round-about, looking back he wouldn’t change a thing. “It has been a great ride, and by some miracle here I am. I long to create music that makes others feel the same joy and peace I feel when I hear a song I love. The music is out there; all around us, everywhere, everyday…all we have to do is reach out and grab it. “
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