THE THING ABOUT DEREK
Robert Johnson famously called it "The Devil's music." In the 1930s in the Mississsippi Delta, the blues was given life through the talents of Robert Johnson, John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Son House, and others.
Derek Fairchild brings back the authentic Delta roots of the blues with a heavy brass slide wielded on a National Resonator Guitar from 1931. His signature sound conjures his long musical history in San Francisco and is further influenced by Jimi Hendrix and Keith Richards. This adds a psychedelic twist that brings people to their feet to dance and packs the house like a hot Juke Joint .
Attending high school in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco, Derek Fairchild studied the blues way more than algebra. Robert Johnson, John Lee Hooker, B.B King, Howlin' Wolf and Albert King were his favorites. But Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan had a transformational influence on his playing. As his playing evolved towards a Psychedelic Blues that is unique so quintessential to San Francisco and the Haight.
Derek got his first taste of success in Rio de Janeiro as a founding member of Blues Etilicos, now considered to be Brazil’s premier blues band, then it was Manhattan touring, doing shows, sessions, musicals etc with some of the world’s finest musicians. Notably, he was guitarist and musical director of a Broadway style production written by Billy Boesky [Ivan Boesky's son] called Fallen Angel. It was loosely based on Derek and Billy's lives. It was picked up after a small production in New York and run in Chicago at the Halsted Theatre in the summer of '92. It was produced again in '94 back in New York at a large theatre on Bleecker Street. It featured world class players like Corey Glover [Living Color, Full Metal Jacket], Van Romaine [Drummer in the Steve Morse Band] and Winston Roye [Bassist with Billy Hector, Soul Asylum] [He eventually made his way home to San Francisco. He has made a name for himself playing Steel Guitar with slide and plays for some of San Francisco’s finest performers as well as working with his own band, DROP_D.
Derek is renowned in San Francisco as one of it’s finest and most versatile soul and blues guitarists. “He doesn’t play guitar, he sings it.” He is able to play with great digital dexterity on his Stratocaster or Telecaster with bright, crisp tonalities that would make Keith Richards proud. The very next song he might slip on his ancient National Steel guitar and instantly transport the crowd to the Mississippi Delta. He’s a natural lead singer and effortlessly harmonizes background vocals. His knowledge of music theory and site reading along with his already vast repertoire of popular songs make him an asset in just about any ensemble.