Derek Miller


April 24, 2004

For the umpteenth time at Jazzfest, I stumbled upon a group whose performance made me a fan. Saturday afternoon I was unexpectedly rocked by vocalist/guitarist Derek Miller and his band at the Lagniappe Stage.

As their set went on, the energy around in the audience and around the stage increased. I was soon surrounded by people bent on getting closer.

The fuss was that Miller and his mates(bassist Kenny Hoover and drummer Sean Kilbride) played plutonic blues/rock. I know they sweated buckets, but I wouldn't be surprised if they shed some blood, too. The band, dressed in matching suits, had a garage rock attitude. Miller had the confidence of Jagger, and he flailed and strutted while he expertly dumped off a blistering guitar solo. The guys played mid-tempo stuff, but when they increased their speed, I felt like I was listening to AC/DC.

The Lagniappe stage was predictably filled with middle-aged wanderers, but even they got into the hard rock after a bit. Miller was a good showman.

The crowd shouted for an encore, a rare thing for Jazzfest. After a minute the boys re-emerged from the horse stables behind the stage to satiate the audience with one more rocking song.

Miller is based in Toronto, so don't expect to see him anytime soon. But, if you saw the concert and liked him, drop him a line at his website. I'm sure he'd like to hear the southerners enjoyed him.

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