Derek Astles .... FOLKNROLLN
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Derek Astles .... FOLKNROLLN

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"Best Local Bands 2010"

Scott Trottier
of Dually Finch

My first choice for favorite local artist of 2010 is an easy choice. Snake Miller. Though snake has spent some time in the spotlight playing lead guitar for such acts as Cub Koda(brownsville station), Noah Hunt(lead vocalist of The Kenny Wayne Shepard Band), Medicine Hat, Crazy chester, and others, he came back to NH to put time and focus into his own songs. That focus and effort produced snakes first solo record, "HillBilly SpeedBall," which is not only my favorite album of 2010, but one of my favorites of all time. It has not come out of my cd player for over a year. Snake is an amazing songwriter and hillbilly speedball doesn't disappoint any listener. At time snakes songs are blatantly biographical and honest and at other times reflect the craft of an expert story teller. Combined with incredible guitar arrangements and beautiful harmonies, Snakes music is hands down my favorite of 2010.

My second choice is Derek Astles. Derek has a style all his own utilizing folk, rock, jam, and alt country appealing to a wide audience and winning fans wherever he plays. I enjoy seeing an artist emotionally commit to their music and Derek shows his passion for what he is playing with every note. I cant say enough good things about Dereks music. If you enjoy artists like Guy Clark, Steve Earle, Townes Van Zantd, Wilco, and so on, your sure to enjoy Derek Astles.

Thirdly is the legendary Jon Nolan. Jon is the former front man for the epic Say Zuzu and is now playing in support of his first solo album, when the summers lasted long which is on my list for top ten albums of all time(sharing a space with Lynyrd Skynyrds Gimme Back My Bullets). Jon is a prolific songwriter and a must see(or hear). Check him out and I promise you will be an instant and life long fan. - yourband.info


"Sonicbids Artist of the Week"

Sonicbids Artist of the Week: Derek Astles
By Marya McLaughlin, on December 12th, 2011 | Features
Influenced by the twangy country of an older generation and the new age pop sound, Derek Astles has found his own original sound. Dubbing his unique music “folknrolln”, he’s been spreading the genre-bending love all up and down the east coast. We recently caught up with Derek to chat about his favorite gig, the art of a physical album, and where you can see him next.

What do you hope listeners will get from your music?

I’m a lyric lover. The right words put together with the right music makes my knees weak. When I was a little kid I remember every time ‘Where Did Our Love Go’ by The Supremes came out of the radio it made my chest numb and my spine tingle. An amazing rush would sweep my brain away. There was something magical in the way that song made me feel. Some of the songs I’ve written do that to me now and I’d like to find out if there are people out there who might feel the same.

What’s the best gig you ever played?

It was a month n’ a half into my first ever tour. I’d booked about 20 shows from New Hampshire to California. I was with a harmonica player named Streetlight and we had a van and a tent to sleep in and a rock n roll dream. We started the tour off around Halloween in Bradford, NH and over the next two weeks snaked our way into Dixieland through VA, NC and eventually in Knoxville and Nashville. I bought the van a new transmission in Lenoir City, TN then we played some in WV and Kansas and rode into the sunset and Colorado for a few weeks then to the land of Enchantment, New Mexico. At this point I was really feeling good about my playing and mixed with the spirituality of the landscape I was hypnotized, in a total cowboy trance when we rolled up into Taos. And it all came together that first time I stepped to the mic at The Historic Taos Inn. It was the perfect setting for the acoustic western rock style I’d been playing. The night was alive, the crowd was perfect and it definitely felt like the best show of my life when I crawled into my room at the Inn that night for my first good sleep in a while.

What’s your prediction for the next big advancement in how we find/listen to/share music?

This is the hardest question for me to answer. What else can we do? It’s tremendously easy to listen to any artist or song you can think of in a few clicks. On the TV, the computer, your phone…from anywhere. I’m sure we could figure out a way to stream music from any household appliance or embed it into your bed sheets to discover new artists in your dreams. I do hope this ‘digital only’ album thing is a fad. Even if they were just collecting dust somewhere I’d hate it if my albums weren’t out there in a tangible form. To answer your question I think the next big advancement is already here, in abundance, and it’s going to take a while to get everything dialed in.

What’s your favorite way/tool/site for you to interact with your fans in the digital age? Do you recommend anything to other artists?

Everyone is on Facebook so it’s kind of hard to compete with the numbers. There are a whole lot of potential fans there. I just recently made a FolknRolln Derek Astles page but honestly I probably won’t be asking for too many ‘likes’. Pandora is great. There are a million outlets to get the music through and it all works. The business side of things is a lot easier in the Digital Age, especially booking. But is anything ever going to be more effective than interacting with your fans live and in person? I don’t think so.

What’s your next big gig coming up? When/Where?

I’m playing at All Asia in Cambridge on Dec. 14th. I live in Boston now so I’m hoping to really get into the mix here in the coming months. I’m looking to start a band too if anyone’s out there (bass, drums). - sonicbids


"Musician lets life write his songs"

By AMANDA PARRY

Monitor staff

WARNER - Derek Astles doesn't write songs about moonshine anymore.

"What do I know about moonshine?" asks the New Hampshire-born singer-songwriter.

He says he won't fall into the trap of penning tunes about hitching along the railroad tracks, either.

"There aren't any more railroad tracks," he said. "At least not the way there used to be."

At 21 years old, Astles has already learned an important life lesson: He's got a lot to learn about life. The musician's also made an important decision: He's not going to pretend he knows stuff just so he can write about it.

Those are humble declarations for someone who's already recorded an album and won a national country music competition.

But the Hopkinton High School grad insists it's just his way of making the kind of music he wants to make.

"I'd rather write about what I know," said Astles.

For example?

"My girlfriend and I were in New York, in Saratoga, and we were walking along the railroad tracks and they weren't like they are in songs. And I thought, 'Why don't people just write about things the way they are?' "

Two years ago, when Astles took home the Best New Country Artist and Best Traditional Country Artist awards from the Country Music Organization of America, it looked like he was a step away from Garth Brooks-hood.

He had entered the competition after winning third place in a Concord bar's country music talent show. Astles was surprised because he hadn't really considered himself a country musician until then, even though he wrote all the songs he used in the competition.

Soon after the local show, Astles won a statewide contest sponsored by the New Hampshire Country Music Association. He then took the top prize in a regional competition in Rhode Island, and then cleaned up

at nationals in Las Vegas.

And although some big names in country music had won the same competition - LeAnn Rimes and Jo Dee Messina among them - Astles decided not to chase the bright lights of Nashville.

He worked on his music. He got a degree in audio production and at the New England Institute of Art and Communications in Boston. To the musician, learning and making good music were more important than being a teen pinup.

That's not to say he's not pursuing a career.

"I just want to be able to make a living playing tunes," said Astles, sipping coffee in the kitchen of the Warner farmhouse he shares with friends. "But it's hard to say what I'll be doing next. I don't know even know what I'm doing after this interview."

He's only exaggerating slightly. Astles has a trip planned in the fall, cross-country and down to Mexico. And while he hopes to play music on the road, the real purpose of the trip is to learn. And to gain some life experience.

"I don't know how anyone thinks they can be 20 years old and have enough soul to write really great songs," he said.

(Copies of Astles's album, Seedn'it, are available in Concord at Two Moon Traders, Pitchfork Records and Borders Books and Music. For a list of other locations or for information on appearances, visit Astles's Web site: www.invisiblecolorcompany.com.)


Copyright (c) 2003 Concord Monitor - Concord Monitor 8/7/03


"Listening Party: Derek Astles, Laura Blackley and Nikki Talley"

We start this week’s Listening Party with the work of Derek “FolknRolln” Astles, a self-described “hardcore” and “folk rock” performer based in Asheville. There’s scant information on his MySpace page, but a quick web search reveals that Astles has quite a history as a cafe-circuit touring perfomer. His songs fall into a somewhat classic folk-oriented vein, but there’s quite a sense of insightful, pop-music savvy craft to his tunes. We suggest starting with the song “The half of you.” - www.mountainx.com (Asheville, NC)


Discography

Seedn't . Naked Ear Records . (2002)

Astles' Boot/Bare Bones . Cheesebox studio . (2004)

Derek Astles . Cedarhouse Sound . (2006)

RadioNow Vol. 1 . 3000 Records . (2004)

Best of the Great American Music Vol. 3 . Lost Cat Records . (2006)

Photos

Bio

SONICBIDS ARTIST OF THE WEEK! (DEC 2011)

Born in New Hampshire in 1982, Derek Astles has been performing his FolknRolln music across the USA since the year 2000. For even more music follow the myspace and facebook links...and the official www.FOLKNROLLN.com

.......From MountainX Newspaper(Asheville, NC)
We start this week’s Listening Party with the work of Derek “FolknRolln” Astles, a self-described “hardcore” and “folk rock” performer based in Asheville. There’s scant information on his MySpace page, but a quick web search reveals that Astles has quite a history as a cafe-circuit touring perfomer. His songs fall into a somewhat classic folk-oriented vein, but there’s quite a sense of insightful, pop-music savvy craft to his tunes. We suggest starting with the song “The half of you.”

Past venues include: House of Blues (Boston, MA), Taos Inn, Taos Ski Valley, Alley Cantina (Taos, NM), Santa Fe Brewing Company, Commadore Sports Bar (Nashville, TN), Jim Hightower's Rolling Thunder Democracy Tour W/Michael Moore, Blue Plate Special Radio Show (Knoxville, TN), The Mellow Mushroom (Asheville, NC), The Winnapisakee Playhouse (Laconia, NH), Castaways Resort (Las Vegas, NV) Live@Lunch (Fort Collins, CO), The South Park Saloon (Alma, CO), Barley House (Concord, NH), Daniels (Henniker, NH), The Press Room (Portsmouth, NH).
Additionally Astles performed with Josh Kerin (Freeks, Grayson Capps Bass) at Lizard Lounge in New Orleans, LA and with John Holden (Chip Smith Project) at numerous venues across New Hampshire...including FletchFest in Warner, NH.

Derek Astles has won numerous awards including
First place NACMAI country music contest (Las Vegas, NV)
First place NHCMA contest
Second place True Value country showdown
Second place Granite State songwriting competition