DERIN DOW BAND – Illuminate (2016)
Now we have the immense pleasure to feature here a superb album; “Illuminate“, by DERIN DOW BAND. The Derin Dow Band is an ’80s inspired AOR / Melodic Rock act from Los Angeles fronted by vocalist-guitarist Derin Dow which have been on the road for fifteen years.
“Illuminate” was released at the end of last year, but due to some factory troubles it’s available on CD now.
The Derin Dow Band already has a previous album under their belt, and have opened shows for major acts such as Asia, Ambrosia, Shaw-Blades, Eric Johnson, etc.
For “Illuminate” Derin Dow Band features some line up changes, now including talented keyboardist David Cutler Lewis from classic AORsters Ambrosia, and guitarist Rick Sailon, partner with Stan Bush in their project Acoustic Saints (album featured here on the blog).
What can I say about Derin Dow Band’s “Illuminate”… first of all, please, do not be fooled by the cover artwork… this is not metal, but pure US Melodic Rock / AOR of the highest order.
Musically, Dow is definitely a fan of the ’80s, with his combination of clean melodic vocal work and catchy choruses plus a superb, elegant, tasty guitar work.
Happily, it also sounds damn good production-wise despite of being a self-managed / released album.
Derin’s voice is especially designed for this type of music, smooth when needed and dynamic on the rockin’ tunes. He’s like a mix of Carl Dixon of Coney Hatch fame, and Tommy Shaw.
The atmospheric ‘A New Day’, the lovely ‘Close At Hand’ with some REO Speedwagon on it, the awesome ‘Fly’ plenty of melodies galore, are among the pearls on this terrific album.
But to be honest – and this has been said many times, but in this case cannot be more accurate – all 10 tracks are pure gold; All Killers / No Fillers.
The elegant semi-ballad ‘Waterfall’ sounds like a missing track from the outstanding 1989 Michael Thompson Band album How Long, while Tommy Shaw would have been proud to write a track like ‘Ladysong’ for any Styx album during their golden days. What a marvelous tune!
If you need catchiness with a poppy AOR feel get ‘Jesus’ (not a religious song) with a hint to Jimmy Davis, and if you wanna an uptempo melodic rocker ‘I’m Gone’ will satisfy your thirst with a Boston / Night Ranger feel.
A prove of Derin Dow Band’s classy sound & style is their cover of Chicago’s classic ’25 or 6 to 4′, done with tons class and superb arrangements / musicianship.
I can’t recommend Derin Dow Band’s “Illuminate” enough.
Silently released with little promotion this album must be heard by the masses. Or at least for all AOR / Melodic Rock fans and all ’80s music lovers out there.
A hidden gem brought to you as always, by 0dayrox.
01 – A New Day
02 – Close At Hand
03 – Fly
04 – I’m Gone
05 – Waterfall
06 – 25 or 6 to 4
07 – Marina
08 – Ladysong
09 – Jesus
10 – Lonely Feeling
Derin Dow – lead vocals, guitars, bass
Rick Sailon (Acoustic Saints) – guitars, vocals
David Cutler Lewis (Ambrosia) – keyboards, vocals
Kevin Millar, Billy DiBlasi – drums
BUY IT !