Derrin Nauendorf, Skin of the Earth, RUF 1145 3/4 Stars.
Crisp, clear Americana fare steeped in blues, and Creedence Clearwater Revival-like traits.
The Americana blues, rock and guitar music ride this train takes is a daring and refreshing one. Australian-born, Derrin Nauendorf has been a UK resident for the past six years. Accompanying his strong, clear vocals and guitar, he has Rick Foot (double bass) and Mike Hellier (drums) to help him deliver a compact, full-bodied, punchy sound.
MH Maverick Magazine 2008
With the exception of Bob Dylan's Most of the Time and his Steve Earle-ish Mystery Girl - a co-write with Tansy Nauendorf, Derrin penned all the songs. Skin of the Earth that opens, possesses a relentless, pounding rhythm that immediately attracts the full attention of the listener and will have them eagerly awaiting his next move. Michelle is an urgent affair that keeps up the tempo. Likewise, the swirling, head spinning Southern country-rock driven Push the River hits the mark, then leaving his restless travelling shoes behind, the precision measured and beautifully presented Pride before the Fall lends a calming feel.
The Round-Up is an innovative instrumental offering a late 1960's feel, whether it is in comparison to soundtrack music of a spaghetti western or the rock bands of the era. Everyone's Got a Plan while possessing a strong country edge, rustles up a busy interesting melody as Nauendorf delivers some fine acoustic guitar licks. Most of the Time, another slow enchanting ballad, has Nauendorf keep it tight and make every nuance count - simplistic, but possessing powerfully emotions, it pretty much sums up the Australian's music. To close this hugely promising album, Derrin chose to feature a mellow, reflective acoustic instrumental selection in Sometime, and like the bulk of the record, it works well.
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Skin of the Earth 4/5 Stars, Derrin Nauendorf (Ruf Records)
Nauendorf has been one of the great dark-horse delights of American music in the past couple of years. As with his superb debut, The Rattling Wheel, much of this second album is built round the hypnotic delights of his loose, free-wheeling blues guitar whether he's playing rockabilly, as on Michelle, or the fast-picking folk of Everyone's Got a Plan.
Martin Townsend - Sunday Express, Sunday 12th October
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Derrin Nauendorf is a man that plays good rockin' r'n'b. Previously he's ploughed the artists record label route, but "Skin Of The Earth" sees him signed to RUF and a wider access to Europe ready for the next highly deserved boost in his career. The album has been recorded with his band and that tends to be higher octane than his solo performance, this is no exception. It's got energy, occasionally drifting to the point where the blues meet rock 'n' roll. Nauendorf is a consumate guitarist as well as writer so an album of this quality is no surprise.
Fatea Magazine - October 2008
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DERRIN NAUENDORF is one of my personal favourites. I've seen him live, interviewed him and admired him for the sincere, nice guy that he is.
And because I like him, I'm relieved to be able to report that it's refreshingly original and superbly executed.
If anyone deserves success, it's this straight-down-the-line, likeable Aussie who has found success the hard way from humble beginnings. After all, not many people would have the sheer guts to emigrate here and sell thousands of their own CDs from the back of the van they lived in for a year.
Now his continued excellence both a solo singer-songwriter guitarist and band leader has brought him before bigger audiences and it all seems to been happening for him.
That why his new album Skin Of The Earth (Ruf Records), on sale next week, is such an important project, pushing him on that extra mile.
Eight excellent songs, two atmospheric and fascinating solo instrumentals, Dylan-esque tortured lyrics and primeval rhythms that keep this album rolling from start to finish.
It's not hard to single out the title song Skin Of The Earth as the most outstanding track, with it's spaghetti western beat and haunting guitar work.
But Nauendorf (I've learned to spell it and say it now) is never one-paced. Michelle takes us straight into some fast, fundamental '50s style rock'n'roll; Pride Before A Fall is an unashamed, wistful, slow ballad; The Round-Up unwraps itself as a delightful cowboy-tinged moody instrumental, complete with subtle wah-wah pedal.
Mystery Child is Springsteen and Dylan tinged, showing his influences, and the rhythmically complex Everyone's Got A Plan is a triumph of acoustic gymnastics.I like the laid-back feel of Most Of The Time and would love to see the drum-spanking, eastern-flavoured I'm Not Alone performed live.
Nauendorf waves us off with Sometime, an all-too short, gentle guitar solo that's sweet without being cloying and is about the most therapeutic tune you could ever unwind to, lights low, drink in hand.
Thanks, Derrin, and hope to see you soon. If you ever get the chance,do yourself a favour and catch this guy live. You won't regret it or forget it.
Alan Candy from Luton Today.
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Having already been blown away by this amazing guitarist when he played a solo support slot with Los Pacaminos at The Robin 2 in Bilston ... I went along to the fabulous Musician with my mate Nat last night to see him headline with his band.
Nat had put his CD on in the car on the way (what! NOT SHURMAN NAT!! ) and as we pulled up at the venue with the windows down ( hey it was hot!) Derrin was outside with his drummer Mike. Nat turned his music up even louder...lots of smiles and laughter...ha!
Then our favourite singing barman Andy (Andy Griffiths) ( how's that for shamelessly throwing compliments around then!... see I'm not fishing ) walked over and he's another knight in shining armour as he walked us into the venue.
JT Nero was an excellent support for the evening and we were listening and chatting at the bar.
RIGHT THEN... Derrin really isn't allowed to do this. I already can't wait for his new CD to come out in the autumn. He really is an amazing artist ( Ok he's an Aussie but he's forgiven!! Just don't mention cricket to all of us...and there was much talk about cricket tonight too.)
Derrin's guitar playing is off the map, Rick's double bass creating a mighty sound and Mike drumming was hot.
Derrin wrote down the setlist for me at the end of the night (thanks Derrin) ... he had fun trying to remember himself...but thanks to Derrin I can say they played:
There was a totally different feel hearing him play with his band, who are the brilliant Rick Foot on double bass and Mike Hellier on drums. What an incredible sound they make together. If they are ever close to you go see 'em.
The word really is WOW! They were fantastic.
They played excellent new songs and I was just amazed by their musicianship.
Skin Of The Earth ... Push The River...Pride Before A Fall...Everyones Got A Plan...Mystery Child...Things Have Change...Sometime...Crossroads...Not Alone...Who Are You...As The Crow Flies...
I LOVED the pure acoustic guitar track 'Sometime' ... the room was silent as Derrin played this one. That's just me and my love for acoustic guitars showing...
such a beautiful instrumental though. They are all so immediate and hearing them played as a band was just incredible. Rick's tuning was a highlight as Derrin said 'with Rick around I tune and sound better'. He reckons he gets away with murder when he's playing solo gigs.
If they keep playing music like this they can get away with murder whenever...they're mighty.
October 2008 from www.toxicpete.co.uk.
This new CD and any tour they play will be essential.
Go listen to him...he's a legend.
Derrin Nauendorf @ The Musician in Leicester by Gaynor at LastFM.
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It seems that no matter what this guy does he always comes up smelling of roses. So, you won't be surprised to read that Derrin Nauendorf's latest album release is yet another super piece of work! Nothing at all flash about this - this is just real straight arrow, straight down the line, folk blues of the highest calibre. Quality from conception through to final delivery, nothing amiss, nothing to fault - much to admire, much to take away and think on. Altogether, 'Skin Of The earth' by Derrin Nauendorf is the mutt's nuts and a real pleasure to partake of.
'Skin Of The Earth', for me, finds Nauendorf in a slightly bluer vein; on the country side of folk blues with the occasional subtle hints of delta and the odd part 'trip' to the sounds of the big cities. As you'd expect, 'Skin Of The Earth' demonstrates Nauendorf's guitar virtuosity but never falls close to becoming self-indulgent. Nauendorf is more poet than prima donna and he makes a difference through words, voice and instruments without having to rely on fussy showmanship or showboating. The songs are exquisitely written and beautifully crafted to bring all that's good about Nauendorf to the fore. Nauendorf's distinctive dusky vocals are absolutely typical of the great man and his vocal delivery is precise and crystal clear. So, nowt to pick up on so far then!!
'Skin Of The Earth' is quite sparsely populated when it comes to instrumentation; Nauendorf allows his songs to be the prime movers as he adds, in the main, just bass and drums to his own, trademark, guitar work with just an occasional extra instrument added to add drama and effect and to punctuate rather than lead; the result is dynamically uncluttered and nicely proportioned. Packaged beautifully, 'Skin Of The Earth' demonstrates how to offer a complete 'package' without needing to overdo things - again Nauendorf lets the songs and their execution be the key, no pussy-footin' around for this guy, it's all down to great songs and fantastic musicianship and nowt else.
'Skin Of The Earth' by Derrin Nauendorf is everything you'd expect it to be from a man of such musical wealth and creativity; another in the long line of top notch releases from the gritty and influential Derrin Nauendorf. Hot stuff - awesome! Flawless!
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Ruf records bold policy of sighing up young talent from a wide variety of musical backgrounds continues apace with this excellent album by Australian singer sing writer Derrin Nauendorf.
Ruf is the label that also oversaw Ian Parker’s ascent to becoming a major touring artist and they also recently signed 18 year old blues rocker Oli Brown and the similarly young raw edged talent of Danni Wild. And while there are always bluesy elements somewhere in the mix, Derrin offers something a little different.
With ‘Skin of the Earth' Derrin proves himself to be arguably one step ahead of the latter two artists, having already gained plaudits for his first album ‘The Rattling Wheel’ which sold in excess of 12,000 copies independently.
The fact that he includes one solitary cover by Bob Dylan – an excellent reading of the wistful ‘Most of the Time’- is significant, if only because Derrin’s husky voice and deliberate phrasing are at times very reminiscent of Dylan. There's a similar influence in some of his more astutely observed lyrics. This is particularly so on the Americana outing ‘Mystery Child’. Derrin’s accompanying notes suggest Steve Earle, but the phrasing is Bob Dylan.
Skin of the Earth continues where the debut album left off, albeit Derrin song writing and playing cover a wider range of emotions from optimism and gloom to introspection and ebullience.
What separates Derrin from many of his contemporaries is his imaginative guitar lines and subtle tonal colours. On the excellent ‘Not Alone’ for example, he achieves an eastern sounding flavour to his acoustic before saving a heavy duty electric tone for the solo. On ‘The Round Up’, Derrin musically achieves an unlikely cross between a Western film theme and a Bowie derivative riff, all topped by a quirky wah wah style guitar sound.
**** (4/5) review © Pete Feenstra www.getreadytorock.com
If there‘s one thing holding this excellent song writer back its his voice, which although expressive and certainly more impressive than the majority of singer song writers, doesn’t quite have a trademark style that would set his songs apart from other contenders. Be that as it may, Derrin’s words and intense guitar playing do enough to draw you in. On another stab at Americana style roots on the imaginatively titled ‘Push the River’ he combines poignant lyrics with a repeated acoustic motif to great effect. The closing acoustic instrumental ‘Sometime’ finishes the album on a beautifully judged laid back positive note, on which the ‘less is more’ approach, makes you want to go back to the beginning and play the whole thing again!
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