Home Read Albums Of The Week: Mike Derrick | Shades Of You

Albums Of The Week: Mike Derrick | Shades Of You

Imagine what it would sound like if Brian May joined CSNY. Then again, you don't have to — you can just spin the British-American troubadour's superb second LP.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Singer-songwriter Mike Derrick had been in bands throughout his life, gigging in pubs and small venues in the U.K. (where he was born) and in and around the San Francisco Bay area (where he now resides). Despite being a lifelong musician, interestingly enough, Mike never considered himself a songwriter until he addressed his pandemic drinking. He discovered when he stopped pouring the booze, songs miraculously began to flow.

“The catalyst for my songwriting has been calling it quits with drinking,” he affirms. “Suddenly, I had lots of time on my hands, and I naturally caught the music bug after many years dormant. I didn’t have the confidence before, and I don’t think I really had anything to say. But since I wrote my first song, there’s been a flood, and I haven’t looked back. I can’t get enough of music these days!”

True to his word, Mike has emerged a prolific artist who released his debut, My Old Friends, in October 2021. Now, just over a year later, he’s back with his sophomore album Shades Of You. Mike is the sole songwriter, producer, recording engineer, and plays all the instruments except drums and percussion. His music is produced at his home studio, much to the frustration of his teenage daughters.

Mike’s sensibility lives in that sweet spot between folk and classic rock, his sound harkens back to the harmony-lavished songs of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and the intimately elegant recordings of classic Nick Drake. Yet, Mike also exhibits a song-centric rock side that recalls the catchy but sophisticated pop-rock of Queen and Crowded House.

The tight, well-crafted 10-song sophomore album brims with harmony-laden folk, pop and rock. On For the Sake Of It and The Silver Nymph, Mike cleverly sneaks in odd-time signatures into anthemic rockers. Mike’s 19-year-old daughter Reilly turns in some poetic and purposeful lyrics on climate change on The Wind Brings All To Dust. He supports her words with a sonic bed of stately strings and imaginatively arranged classic rock. The first track, For You, is a stunning mid-tempo country rock tune about fractious relations between loved ones. Here, Mike sagely sings: Why wait until it’s too late? / No agendas, just a clean slate I’ll always be here for you / You should be here, too.”


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