Derrick Williams

one-man-band releases debut album

Ted Waldbillig

It’s not easy for Luddites to make it in today’s music industry, what with Facebook, the hyper-digital age Twitter, and the telephone becoming necessities. Derrick Williams laments the decline of acoustic music on Wooden Music, setting himself at a distance from 808s but not heartbreak: “Losing their way on a digital wind / as they kiss themselves goodbye. / Technology bringing death to life / in the future-laden skies.”

Williams’ album Digital Wind is a collection of ballads; a reflection on the holds of life with interspersed hope. Though it sometimes leans a little bleakly, it’s not as sparse or even as cold as the snowy landscape cover art might suggest.

Williams is credited as the writer, vocalist, guitarist, bassist, drummer, percussionist, and organist. In short: he’s a busy guy, and even his solo performances are self-described as lacking no passion. The CD is produced warm and throaty, complimenting Williams’ multi-tracked, self-harmonized voice. An electric guitar adds a bittersweet melody to an agreeable acoustic as Williams wonders at the afterlife: “In the end / Heaven must be getting crowded / with all the people there / lifting up your arms.”

While the religious undertones are few enough to refrain from calling Digital Wind Christian music, the lyrics are accessible and promising for fans of inspirational folk.

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