Thanks to such artists as Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepard and Susan Tedeschi , who each play traditional blues with a slightly updated sound, and alternative blues being the catalyst with acts such as Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, G Love and Special Sauce and the North Mississippi Allstars, blues is finding a new and younger audience. While the Will Derryberry Band are labeled alternative blues, they are in reality, good old fashioned guitar driven Texas blues with rock and roll intensity. Following a solo project featuring Will and his resonator guitar and the 1999 live record, the band returns with their first studio album, Demonstration.
At age 14, Will Derryberry began showing up in local clubs and astonishing the audiences with his brand of blues, which was influenced by everyone from Robert Johnson to Eric Clapton. His remarkable ability to transition from lead to rhythm guitar without missing a beat, coupled with the youngsters' amazingly soulful voice, gained Derryberry a strong following. After years of fine-tuning his craft, he was grabbed up by a Sacramento based record label, Fair Oaks Music. After bass player Ian Kilpatrick and drummer Baron Miller joined the young guitar slinger, the Will Derryberry band was born.
The young band's first effort is comprised of seven original compositions and seven covers. The sound of the record is as rambunctious as Hound Dog Taylor, yet smooth as Robert Cray, and while it may be sacrilegious to draw this comparison, Will Derryberry's smooth changes and fierce solos could be likened to the late Stevie Ray Vaughn. With the sound of seasoned veterans, this disc starts cookin' with four high-powered original shuffles: 'Day And Night', 'Upstanding Man', 'Funky Instrumental' followed by the funk-driven 'Don't Ever Leave Me Be'. The drumming of Miller is tight, yet rowdy; as Kilpatrick's bass lines are uncomplicated and efficient. Will's guitar playing is amazingly diverse as the group updates the Robert Johnson song 'Malted Milk' with a loose and unrehearsed interpretation. With a harmonica intro provided by guest performer Mick Martin, the band tackles the Elmore James classic 'It Hurts Me Too' with respect to the original recording. Will and company give us a little soul combining a blues twist on a cover of Ray Charles's 'Blackjack'.
Derryberry has an amazing ability to emulate his influences while remaining truly unique. This quality united with a tight rhythm section, Will Derryberry Band is one artist to watch closely.
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