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Servin' up some Blues for the Holidays

By releasing my new CD, WHY I CHOOSE TO SING THE BLUES, hopefully I will answer the question that's been on a lot of folks' minds...Just why DO I choose to sing the Blues? When I started out oh so many years ago as a professional musician, my earliest influences were, interestingly enough, the British bands whose music I was soaking up: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Them, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, et al. Little did I know at the time, but they had mostly all started out copying the music that came from a short distance away from my Milwaukee home, Chicago IL...the home of the Blues. When I dug a little deeper I found a treasure trove of music

Glad Tidings!

OK… I know it’s been way too long since my last post. The good news is that it means I’ve been busy. The bad…I’m not letting you in on all that’s been going down. I guess the end of the year is as good a time as any to re-cap all the news, good and bad. On the song front, Terry Abrahamson and I have been kickin’ it big time. Our writing keeps getting better and better. We have been covering a variety of musical genres, all while staying true to the distinctly American feel. Blues, Country, R&B, Rock, even old school ‘Nawlins. There will be posts later with links to some of this new material. For now, you can enjoy one that I’m quite proud of that was spawned by the events in Newtown at Sandy

The End of an Era

We just received word that TWO of our songs from Born In The Heartland, Gravity and A Place In The Sun, are licensed for use on the one hour series ending episode of the long running NBC hit, The Office! Co-written with Brett Ratner, these blue collar working man’s tunes should fit right in with the Dunder Mifflin Paper Co. crowd. We are more than proud to be included in such an iconic show. I’m sure the ratings will be off the charts. It’s nice to know that the Hollywood music supervisors have found our Heartland rock and hopefully we’ll continue to see more licensing opportunities in the future. Now go set your DVR’s to this Thursday night on NBC!

Use What You Got

Use What U Got to Do What U Can As we move from the recently celebrated Thanksgiving holiday weekend… and shouldn’t EVERY weekend be a thanksgiving opportunity… we now find ourselves in the mad crush of the Holiday Season! Parties, open houses, dinners, any reason to get together and eat, drink and be merry! While I have always loved this time of year, especially here in the MidWest where traditionally we would have frosty temperatures and possibly even snow by now, this holiday season I’m feeling more reflective and keenly aware of others and their emotional well being during this sometimes very stressful time of year. I look forward to spending time with family and close friends, and the o

End of Days…Summer that Is

So, it’s been a while since my last post. Crazy summer heat has slowed us all down somewhat… at least here in the MidWest. Time to play outside while we can, enjoy the wealth of activities that are all seemingly crammed into a few short months before we get our wool undies back out of storage! Music festivals were everywhere, water activities, plenty of food and drink to last through our ensuing hibernation. I only hope that the distraction of the upcoming presidential election will sustain me as I get ready to hit it hard musically during the traditionally “slow” winter months ahead. I’ve been enjoying a recent creative start with a new writing partner, Terry Abrahamson. Terry and I go way

On Wisconsin

Yeah… I know. I’m not supposed to be political. But it IS a song after all. In fact, I believe Paul McCartney owns that one! However, I’m compelled to write in the aftermath of the recent historic recall election in my former home state. Governor Scott Walker is no friend of mine, nor anyone I know. I’m ashamed for the people of Wisconsin that they fell for the bought and sold tactics of an absolutist dupe of big business. As I spent most of my formative years in Wisconsin, playing in a variety of blues, rock and country bands, I knew it mostly to be the birthplace of the Progressive movement and home of hard swingin’ Senator William Proxmire, who would take on anyone who was trying to bulls

One Thing Leads To Another

Sometime in mid February I came across an ad in the sports section of the Chicago Tribune about a song contest sponsored by WGN radio, the broadcast home of the Chicago Cubs, looking for a new song to promote the Cubs games this baseball season. I thought about if for a second and decided I should enter the contest. Nothing like some good old free publicity! The resulting effort, Rockin Right at Wrigley, did not ultimately win the contest, but was one of three finalists out of over 300 submissions. It was a lot of fun and led to some new relationships at the radio station and beyond. One of those new friends, a fellow most excellently named Maximus Squirehogg, was a huge supporter of my song

American Music Queen

Been listening to the new Bonnie Raitt record, Slipstream, the last few weeks… a lot! It’s her first new recording in seven years, and it is worth the wait. I’ve been a huge fan of Bonnie’s ever since my old red headed girlfriend turned me on to her in the late 70’s. Instantly fell in love with her blend of American music styles from blues to country to rock all on one record. I was very into Little Feat at the time, and she struck me as a female version of that group. I found out a little later that she was actually being courted to be part of their lineup at one time. Every track on the new record is solid and her long-time band is smokin’. She’s changed keyboardists yet again… oh what I w

What’s in a Name?

What does it mean to be an American? By calling myself Derrick An American I realize that I am possibly setting myself up for all kinds of interpretations…and misinterpretations. After all, in this world of instant communication and feedback, blogs, youtube and social media driven change, a name like that could lead anyone to believe that I’m some kind of super patriot. And, of course, I’d either be the kind of patriot that the reader would like me to be or someone who’s out to lead young minds astray and bury the republic. The truth is that I happen to like the sound of the name…go ahead, say it a few times…. and I happen to delight in writing, producing and performing genuine American musi

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SawRite Music
Chicago, IL