About Lou Derr
Lou Derr- Singer/Songwriter
LA Music Awards Male Singer Songwriter of the Year 2006-07-Southern Rock
Lou Derr was born on Travis AF Base in Fairfield, Ca. By the time he could reach the old upright piano he was banging away and eventually started making some pretty sounds from the old family room furniture. Between sand buckets a metal bird cage and the old upright Derr had the beginnings of his drum set and musical instruments. It wasn't until the age of 12 that Lou got his first real guitar though and self taught himself by playing along with Beatles albums and old Merle Haggard tunes his folks had. Most of the learning process took place after school when no one was home for a couple of hours. I remember trying to play that Harmony guitar to every song I could find. By the time I hit 14 I had the starts of a neighborhood band going on with several of the kids on the block. Every Christmas it was all about who could get a new piece of equipment to make the band sound better, I remember my first electric guitar was given to me by my Uncle it was an old Framus and it was RED! I did all I could do to keep it in tune and I also kept all the rest of the bands guitars in tune. It was amazing how many cheap guitars were sold through Monkey Wards or Sears. I don't know how they expected anyone to play those guitars. The strings were so high off the fret board; kids were bleeding after jamming for a couple of hours. It wasn't until CCR hit the airwaves though before I took it all seriously. I met the guys in the band. My grandma lived down the road from "The Factory" in Berkeley. I spent all my extra time there and learning John Fogerty's guitar licks. I remember I went on a radio show and sung my first Haggard tune when I was 14 or 15. It was "Corrina Corrina". The crowd loved it and that's all it took for me to be totally hooked on playing out with a live audience. The writing came a couple of years later. When I turned 15 John sold me his "Red Ric" guitar and I got a few paying gigs at the Pac-bell Christmas party or the High School dances. I started writing about girls and bands on the road and stuff like that. I remember writing my first love song on the piano that was now in the family garage. We hung up moving blankets at my friend's house or whoever's garage we could practice at. The first song I wrote was called "Hitch Hiking" Me and my best friend wrote it about getting from Pinole to Berkeley everyday to hang out at "The Factory" . We actually recorded it in the 9th grade at a studio in Vallejo, Ca. We were the only High School kids to have a real 45 record out. It was pretty bad. Later I started writing in the style of Fogerty. The phrasing and the formula for the 3 minute hit was his specialty. I did learn that and I think everything I ever wrote has that same formula. I still write that way today. I put a 10 song album out and re-released it just this year. I am writing songs write now for the next album. There have been opportunities that have come along the way and I have performed worldwide doing DOD tours but now with the internet it is getting a lot easier to get your songs out there so I have been self promoting for the last 3 years. I love to sit down with a guitar and write a tune. It is really rewarding though to get it down on tape or?. Even if it's a home recording. I am hoping to become a hit maker. I know it is in me. I am looking to listen to other writers in my genre and learn from others. You never know when someone is going to like your song and want to cut it on their album.
I am finding myself writing almost everyday as a passtime at work and I am coming up with some really good songs this last month. I noticed a genre that I probably fit into that's the West Coast Country genre . I feel my writing style tells a story and at the same time can be country with some Rock guitar licks also and I love the Bakersfield sound so maybe I have found my nich. I am writing a song called "Hobo Jungle" It's a swampy rock/ yet Tony Joe White feel of a song mixed with some cool guitar licks It's going on my next album for sure! iF i Can sneek a Fogerty style lick into a song it makes me chuckle. Just to know him is cool but to be able to play all his licks since I was 15 yrs. old is a....well his own kids are doing it too.....even on stage with John. He is my true mentor on guitar even though there is a time for Fogerty licks and then there is a time for that truck driven Bakersfield sound. I love it all !! I wish I could play for The Hag. I would have been a good Stranger! Hey a new song!