What I Learned at Bandcamp: Derek James
New York City singer-songwriter Derek James released his sophomore album, Take You Out Dancing, on April 14. James plays a mix of rock, folk and soul featuring a ragtime piano, upright bass, vintage electric guitar, ukulele, banjo, accordion and more.
The album can be purchased for $7 or streamed on Bandcamp for free.
Read The Spec‘s interview with Derek James and listen to tracks from the album, below…
Tell us a little about yourself…
I enjoy mozzarella sticks, crepes, blues, folk, gypsy jazz, galloping on a horse, and staring at magic eye paintings.
How long have you been making music?
I’ve been making music since I was a wee boy, writing guitar licks beginning in middle school.
Who/what are your influences?
Mom played Broadway show-tunes on our piano that shook the house both physically and emotionally. That left a mark. So did live performances I caught as a teen, most notably of Martin Sexton, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, and Sting.
What is your favorite song you’ve released and why?
Today, I’d say “Won’t Be Long” is up among my favorite releases. It’s got all of my favorite musical flavors – twang, blues, rock, ’20’s kazoos, harmonies, ragtime piano, and a whole lotta slapback.
If you could no longer be a musician, what would you be or do for a living?
I’d like a job living among gorillas like Jane Goodall. Or an astronaut.
What musicians or bands do you look up to?
Tom Petty, Sting, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Martin Sexton, Bahamas, Rolling Stones, Beatles, McCartney, all great songwriters that move me.
Why do you make music?
Joy seems to bubble up pretty readily when I’m holding an instrument. That feeling I get when I look around a room at my bandmates and we’re creating music in realtime together, that’s unbeatable.
Anything else you’d like readers to know that we haven’t asked you about?
My main focus currently is a new band I’m in called The Last Bandoleros. It’s one part Tex-Mex, one part Brit-pop and two parts country/Rock. We just debuted at Webster Hall in New York City opening for Feist. Super excited about this project.