MP3 Derek See - FOLK: Modern Folk
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11 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Modern Folk, ROCK: Acoustic
With his solo debut, Derek See takes a sharp left musical turn from what is his norm.
It's definitely a departure from anything that I've done in the past," he said. "As far as original music, the bands that I've been in have always leaned more toward underground rock or garage rock. What I'm doing now is mostly acoustic-based."
See may be a familiar face to acoustic music players and fans in the region. Residing in Valparaiso, See has served as the repair manager at Front Porch Music for the past two years and has hosted the venue's weekly Open Stage night since 1996.
After spending his childhood living just outside of Los Angeles, See moved to the region when he was in high school, graduating from Lake Central High School in St. John. Reared in a musical household -- his mother also is a singer and songwriter and his stepfather is a musician -- See was weaned on '60's rock and pop as a child before discovering punk as a teenager. He also got his first major taste of acoustic music while working at a record store in his teens.
A guitarist since he was a child, See began writing songs when he was a teen.
"There really wasn't much deciding," he said. "It was always around me. It seemed kind of logical. Music, I think, kind of chose me."
Over the years, See -- without a doubt one of the hardest-working musicians in Northwest Indiana -- has immersed himself in the region's music community. Along with pursuing his solo works, he also serves as a member of the rock outfits I, Sharko, Cosmic Slop, Resplendent and Long Division, and is a member of the Beatlenerds, an acoustic-rooted Beatles cover band consisting of See and two other Front Porch Music managers.
For his solo album, which has yet to be titled, See drew on a variety of acoustic and acoustic-minded artists, ranging from the Kinks to Nick Drake to Robyn Hitchcock to Elliot Smith, to name just a slight few.
"Their music is so personal, it's so timeless," he said of the above-mentioned songsmiths. "To me, it's interesting because it's like looking into someone's diary. It's very vulnerable, and musically, its melodies are very, very strong. There's something about an acoustic singer and songwriter that's always been appealing to me."
See began recording the 13 tracks that will make up his first solo set at a friend's home studio in Crown Point in November. He finished recording the album in May.
Upon his debut's release, See hopes to hit the road in its support, something he says he hasn't been able to do in several of his past or present bands.
"There have always been members who weren't really able to get away and play out as much as I would like to, but at this point I'm just relying on myself, not having to worry about other people's schedules," he said. "And the good thing about working at Front Porch is it's understood that something like this could happen, and the owner understands that it's an inevitable thing."
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