Monday, 22 February, 2010 11:33 AM
CMA New Artist Spotlight: 'Derek
by Goldy Locks (The Factory Photography)
2010 CMA Close Up News Service
As a toddler back in
Torrance, Calif., Derek Sholl knew what he wanted to do with his
life from the moment he uttered his first word: “Ball.”
This former pro baseball player might have added “sing”
as an afterthought. After all, that’s what he does on his
newly released self-titled album, produced by Austin Deptula, Chris
Estes, Greg Hunt, Tim Johnson and Gary Leach and distributed by
of Alan Jackson and Randy Travis hits in the clubhouse and in the
dugout won encouragement from his teammates to think seriously about
pursuing Country Music during the off-season. When an Achilles tendon
tear thwarted his shot with the Kansas City Royals, he followed
that advice, though as a full-time occupation.
As a solo performer and
with a band in Las Vegas, he caught the ear of Jay Leno, who signed
Sholl to open for him at The Mirage.
The qualities that won
Leno’s attention transfer into all 13 tracks of Derek Sholl.
First among these is an upbeat personality and infectious, self-deprecating
humor, especially on “Poor Man’s Miracle,” one
of Sholl’s five co-writes with Sarah Thiele, and the Connie
Harrington and Lee Thomas Miller song “Now and Her Driveway,”
on which his comic timing is razor-sharp. Yet he’s also capable
of delivering a romantic lyric, as on his singles, the mid-tempo
“Here,” written by David Brainard, Greg Becker and Dan
Crouch, and the power ballad “But It Was,” by Joe Doyle
and Tim Johnson, though with a pebble-skimming, grinning feel that’s
about as Country as sandlot baseball on a summer afternoon.
Sholl has also collaborated
with Random House by tying his video for "When They Come Back,"
which he wrote with Tim Johnson, to their campaign for their new
book, Shadow of the Sword, by Jeremiah Workman.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
DREAM DUET PARTNER
“Anything with horseshoes on it — especially my horseshoe
FAVORITE FOOD ON
“Hands down, Outback Steakhouse.”
SONG YOU SING IN
“The national anthem.”
“The sports page.”
CD IN YOUR STEREO
“Jamey Johnson, That Lonesome Song. ‘In Color’
is one of my new favorites!”
“My food getting cold and waiters/waitresses that don’t
write down your order then screw it up.”
LOVE TO RELIVE
“High school football. Not to change anything, just really
loved those Friday nights under the lights.”
“Probably my first national anthem before an Anaheim Mighty
Ducks game. Barely rehearsed (except for the shower time), a little
unsure about the vocal range in that song, and somehow pulled it
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