I first saw Derek Miller when he was featured on the live music TV program, ‘Arbor Live’, on the APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network). Arbor Live is a fantastic show to catch great new and independent bands. Unfortunately the budget must be tiny, because they can’t afford to keep those TV labels telling you who’s playing, plus the song and maybe the album, up on the screen for more than a few seconds.
So by the time you realize the act you’re watching is totally fucking awesome, and you’d really like to find out more about them, the label is long gone and no one ever mentions the name of the band ever again.
Thankfully I caught a repeat of the Derek Miller interview and performance. And, having learned my lesson, when Derek’s performance started I grabbed my glasses and got to within a few inches of the TV, and there it was… “Derek Miller”, ‘Devil Come Down Sunday’. Fucking awesome.
‘Devil Come Down Sunday’, The Dirty Looks (2006); Derek Miller
‘Lovesick Blues’, Music is the Medicine (2002); Derek Miller
‘Stoned for Days’, Derek Miller with Double Trouble (2010); Derek Miller
Derek has incredible skills, and ‘The Dirty Looks’ is now one of my favourite albums. “Devil Come Down Sunday” is probably one of the best guitar-heavy Blues songs to come out of Canada since… I don’t know, lets say Big Sugar’s “Red Rover” in 2001. “10 000 RPM”, “Malibu”, “Shot o’Cake” and “Mystery Train” are also all excellent tracks. I’ve seen Derek live on Arbor Live, and on fan-generated videos on YouTube, and he’s someone I’d definitely spend money to see.
Unfortunately, for whatever it’s worth (and, unfortunately, it’s worth a lot), Derek’s social media / Web presence sucks dry donkey balls. He’s one of the 200 people left with a MySpace page, but it hasn’t been updated since March, 2011. He has an “Official” website, but it’s still pushing a documentary that played three months ago, and the trailer is “locked”.
The blog attached to the “Official” site hasn’t been updated since 2010, but it does have a great idea for ‘free music downloads’, all you have to do to get “Oh Boy” from his 2010 album ‘Derek Miller With Double Trouble’ is Tweet about it. Unfortunately I don’t Tweet, but there’s only the one song available for download so it doesn’t really matter.
Derek does have an active Facebook page (6,676 followers) and Twitter account (1,522 Twits), but his YouTube account has four videos and not much else. Which makes sense. Social media takes time, and even cash, and I don’t get the feeling Derek has a lot of either. Especially the cash part, what with him being a blues musician… from Canada. That’s not even a licence to print Canadian Tire money, let alone the real stuff. Still, it’d be nice if he logged into his accounts once in a while, just to keep those accounts relevant.
The man has played with Buffy Sainte-Marie, Double Trouble (Stevie Ray Vaughn’s backup band) and Willie Nelson, he has won a couple of Juno Awards and played the closing ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.
His music can be found on iTunes, and his awesome 2006 album, The Dirty Looks, can be downloaded as a Torrent… not that I’d ever, ever suggest doing so. But, fuck, if there’s no HMV in your neighbourhood, and you’ve got no credit card, or you don’t want to supply your credit card number to a gagglesack of 15-year old hackers, how the fuck else are you going to make a mix-CD for your girlfriend?