Derek grew up in a small town in Western Tennessee. Located smack dab between Memphis and Nashville, Derek was influenced by the Blues, Soul and Rock coming out of Memphis – and the traditional and contemporary country sounds from Nashville. Growing up in a musical family, he played and sang in church, and absorbed all the gospel and traditional music around him. His first solo in his father’s church was “Imagine If You Will” at the age of 4.
While Bass is his primary instrument, Derek is an accomplished guitarist and piano player, as well as being an outstanding vocalist. His vocal talents landed him in the top Daytona area spot in auditions for The Voice – and he participated in the national contest.
After moving to Daytona Beach, Florida in 2015 with just the clothes on his back, and a bass guitar in his hand, Derek has carved out a great reputation as a singer and bass player, playing in several Daytona and surrounding area bands of all styles.
This led him to form the band “EasyStreet” with outstanding guitarist Gary Koz and drummer Reginald Upshur (The Rock) in 2016, playing hundreds of engagements each year. After Gary (whom Derek respected deeply as a wonderful musician and mentor) passed away suddenly in 2019, Derek teamed up with Guitarist John Long, and has added Keyboardist Chris Nordman to the band in 2020.
Derek’s vision for EasyStreet continues as “we play it all”, and being a “band for everyone”, playing Merle Haggard to Prince.
Derek shines on every vocal style with authentic renditions of Classic Rock, Southern Rock, Blues, Country, Soul, and Pop tunes. This coupled with heartfelt bass lines makes him a one-of-a-kind musician.
When asked about musical influences, Derek replies “Gospel has always been a big part of my life and sound, but Elvis Presley, Otis Redding, Tab Benoit, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Chris Stapleton have always moved my soul and inspired me”
Derek has shared the stage with Thomas Wynn And The Believers, Larkin Poe, Heidi Newfield (of Trick Pony), and the Swon Brothers, to name a few.
As for the future: “The Sky Is the Limit”. The band will be recording soon, including Derek’s originals and band favorites, as well as traveling in the Festival and Concert Circuit.