We love the glitz and the glamor of the music industry and all the fun that comes with it. But every once in a while it’s nice to find an artist who’s music has absolutely no gimmick aside from a strong melody, vivid imagery and a good story to tell.
And thank God we found Derik Hultquist. The Alcoa, TN native has a true gift. Through his vulnerable voice and expert phrasing, you can hear the years of memories filled with pain, joy, and lots of hard work in his music. It’s these qualities that has Hultquist being compared to the likes of James Taylor and Jackson Browne – an old soul with a timeless sound.
Take a track like “Leaning on the Rain,” for example. The first verse sets the somber, nostalgic scene nicely: ” “I had nothing but a shadow / when I walked out of El Paso / to vaguely find the pain that I was in. / But the miles fill in around me. / I was 21 and angry.” It’s a song of observation – as Hultquist ponders the past and the world around him.
“The skyline it don’t shake. It just leans a bit they say. / So I’ll be sitting here leaning on the rain.” Hultquist sings with such conviction and gusto – it’s hard not to feel something.
Hultquist signed a publishing deal with Carnival Music and recording contract with Carnival Recording Company in 2012. Carnival Music is owned by Frank Liddell, who’s produced for the likes of Brandi Carlile, Eli Young Band, David Nail, and basically everything Miranda Lambert has ever put out – not a bad home for a singer/songwriter like Hultquist.