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MP3 Derrick McKee - Drive Until Daylight

One of the hottest new acts in the world of country music, combining traditional elements of the genre''s past (mandolins, banjos, fiddles) with up-tempo, contemporary song-writing based around lyrical hooks and memorable melodies.

10 MP3 Songs
COUNTRY: Country Pop, COUNTRY: Contemporary Country

When the time came for Derrick McKee to start recording the follow-up to 2006’s Ticket to Somewhere, a clear plan was in place: the songs were written, studio time was booked, a release schedule had been developed, and the new album had a title (Racing to Red Lights). Then, in a span of about two weeks, McKee’s musical world flipped upside-down.

McKee, who had spent his musical career studying and obsessing over rock and pop acts such as Third Eye Blind, Tonic, Billy Joel and John Mayer discovered, fell in love with, and started writing country music.

“WHAT?!” was the typical response from close friends and family skeptical of McKee’s decision.

“Just wait and see...” was the confident response from McKee.

Now, nearly a year later, the 24-year-old Wheeling, WV native has emerged from the recording studio with a new album, a new game-plan, and a new cowboy hat.

Drive Until Daylight, a collection of ten original songs that combine traditional elements of country music’s past with contemporary song-writing built around memorable hooks and engaging story-lines, has silenced the skeptics.

“People anticipated me moving away from acoustic rock towards rock and roll,” said McKee. “They didn’t really see the country thing coming... and to be completely honest, neither did I... but that’s the funny thing about inspiration. You never see it coming, you can’t plan for it, and you certainly can’t fight it when it hits you. You can only embrace it and run as far as you can with it.”

McKee, who started writing and performing original songs as a junior in high-school, is quick to credit his close family for the wave of inspiration and productivity.

“It wasn’t that I didn’t like country music in the past. I just never listened to it,” said McKee. “Then my little brother begged me to go to Jamboree In The Hills with him and started making me country mixes. Eventually, my dad bought a couple Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley albums for me and everything just clicked.

I became obsessed with the song-writing style, the musical instruments, the harmonies... Everything about it spoke to me in a way that other genre’s hadn’t. Then, all of the sudden, I was writing country music all day every day. After I had about 20 songs, I scrapped the Racing to Red Lights plan and geared up for the big overhaul. It was the best decision I’ve ever made and the reception has been phenomenal.”

The reception has been so phenomenal that a music critic recently compared McKee’s song-writing ability to that of accomplished veterans such as Jakob Dylan and John Mayer.

“To even be mentioned in the same breath as those two is an honor. They’re both huge influences of mine,” said McKee.

While the majority of Drive Until Daylight treads on a light-hearted and sometimes humorous tone (see the album’s lead single, “My Biggest Fan Is My Mom,” or the slightly vindictive, “You’re Ugly Now,”) unprecedented depth and maturity is displayed on tracks such as, “This Old Town,” and, “The Second Time.”

“It’s all about connecting with people. Whether you set out to make them laugh or cry, you have to make a connection or the songs will fall to the wayside. I truly believe that every song on this album succeeds in that regard.

McKee finally realized that song-writing isn’t about venting your emotions for your own peace-of-mind or saying ‘I love you’ in a creative way to a girl. It’s about creating something that causes an entire group of people to stand up and sing along. It’s about creating something that causes people to come together to forget about their problems for an hour.

“That’s what this album, these songs, and country music is all about. Getting people together and having a blast. I’m having a blast doing it and am very, very thankful my little brother annoyed me to the point of submission last Spring.”

Judging by the response thus-far, thousands of people nationwide are thankful as well.

People who are interested in Kenny Chesney Brad Paisley Chris Cagle should consider this download.
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