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Derek Kidd

Derek and his Martin D-18GL. Photo 2003 Kimberly E. Pendergrass
Derek and his Martin D-18GL. Photo 2003 Kimberly E. Pendergrass

Derek Kidd was born in 1958 — around the age of two, he began driving his parents nuts by incessantly singing “It’s a Grand Old Flag” around the house. When he was 8, a combination of two major influences — the Beatles, and a 3rd-grade teacher who played and sang folk songs during the afternoon recess — inspired Derek to take up the guitar.

A self-taught musician, Derek counts Gordon Lightfoot as a principal influence on his own guitar playing. The two guitarists Lightfoot has utilized for lead guitar duties over the bulk of his career — Red Shea and Terry Clements — have also been formative influences. Additionally, Derek cites the Lightfoot band — Lightfoot, Clements, Rick Haynes on bass, Mike Heffernan on keyboards, and Barry Keane on drums and percussion — and their approach to ensemble playing, as being a primary inspiration for his own work in various groups over the years.

Besides performing songs by Lightfoot (his favorite!), Derek also plays songs by such diverse songwriters as Sting, Lucinda Williams, Michelle Shocked, Jill Sobule, Joe Jackson and many others, as well as few of his own compositions. He played lead guitar and keyboards (and occasionally bass or drums in the case of emergencies!) for over ten years with a 50s-60s rock and roll/Motown band (Mid-Life Crisis). Currently, he is involved with an acoustic-based quartet called Red Brick Stew: together for about ten years and performing a rather eclectic repertoire comprised of folk, jazz, bluegrass, blues and other less classifiable tunes, Red Brick Stew plays in various coffeehouses around the San Francisco bay area.

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©2001-2003 by Valerie Magee