Growing up on the prairie in the ’60s (I was born in 1954), my major musical influences were classical music, old country, rock and roll, British invasion, Woodstock, Jimi Hendrix, Doors, Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, Dylan, the Stones. And did I mention the Beatles?
An important musical mentor was my cousin David Schick, who is now a Lutheran minister, and Kevin Heiderman, a bass guitar player from Scottsbluff now living in Tucson.
I’ve been banging on a guitar now since I was 15 years old: 47 years now. I have about 40 musical compositions that I plan to release by the end of 2017, of which 21 are songs with words and 19 are guitar studies.
I’m playing music (principally rhythm guitar) with a great group of people. Raymond LaPlante (drums) originally invited me through BandMix.com, and he’s playing mostly ’50s-’60s cover music—Ray’s Silver Rock Band—including singer Susan LaRocca, and including Dirk Zipf (bass), and guitarists Mike Round, and myself. Rob sits in on electric guitar.
Most of these folks (including myself) also play with the Sunshine Gang, organized by Jim Klein, which includes Jay Hirschman (who helps lead the Acoustic Cafe in Arlington), Donna, Hunt Anderson, Ying Smith, Veronica, and Rose.
The overlapping set lists of the songs I’ve learned playing with these folks are found at the above password-protected link.
The first sixteen of the 21 Songs of Love and Loss comprise the Crole River album. You can find demo versions of the Crole River songs at my soundcloud site. The music is in a range of styles: blues, country, rock, folk, Christian, reggae and Latin, but all American, built on heavenly vocals over acoustic guitar, with bass and drums on 11 out of the 16 songs.
Here are excerpts of I Paved the Path, sung by Lydia Salnikova, and Goin’ to the Mardi Gras, sung by Alexandra Fessenko:
The Crole River album started as a partnership between myself and Alexandra Fessenko, but later employed Lydia Salnikova to cover vocals on 9 of the songs. The album includes 11 songs that I composed over the last many years and decades, as well as 5 that I wrote during 2016.
A bonus track has been added to the Crole River album, a reprise of the song He is My God in Russian, Он мой Господь, adapted, arranged for and performed on piano by Lydia Salnikova. The Crole River album was released in spring of 2017.
is the provisional title for my collection of guitar studies. When the title track’s done it’ll sound like a balalaika.
You can hear some demo versions of a few of the instrumental pieces at the link above.
Pending Additions to the Oeuvre
Please take 2:20 out of your busy schedule to sample my Newriff4u, demo version, Music by Charles Dermer, and see what I’m trying to get at