Though The Winter Clothes is Derek Fawcett’s solo debut, he should be no stranger to you. His powerful, thoughtful singing and skin-splitting djembe playing have been lighting up stages across the country for more than a decade in Chicago's beloved acoustic quartet Down The Line (shared stages with Ben Folds, Peter Frampton, Lifehouse, America, Pat Benatar,
and Colin Hay; XRT & WGN-TV darlings; etc.)
As a soloist, Fawcett’s music is informed by his tenure with Down The Line, and further influenced by Tom Petty, John Mayer, Bon Iver and Fountains Of Wayne. He has switched from djembe to keys, but apparently hits just as hard: He recently broke the Hotel Cafe (Los Angeles) piano, mid-show.
Though the aggression on the piano may occasionally channel the angst of Ben Folds & Billy Joel, similarly, many of his songs tell thoughtful, poignant love stories: warm to cold, faithful to un-, fits and starts, admiration from afar, even ‘love of country’. Fawcett’s hallmark warmth and strength as a singer are on full display in The Winter Clothes: comparisons to Mayer, James Taylor, Jakob Dylan, and Gavin DeGraw come quickly and frequently.
His first solo American tour covered both coasts, and included opening for Blues Traveler in New York, and Kate Miller-Heidke (on tour with Ben Folds) in Chicago. After a brief tour in Europe in January, 2013, he returned to Chicago to officially release The Winter Clothes at Schubas, on January 27th.
In his new solo persona, Fawcett has made unique collaborations a priority. Lucky Plush, a critically acclaimed dance company, opened for him in May. The ‘album covers’ for the first three songs released from The Winter Clothes were all works of art (painting, photography and a work on paper) by Chicago artists. Further, he has dedicated a portion of his album and ticket sales to Chicago charities (The Gads Hill Center, Inspiration Corporation, and Experimental Station), a practice he plans to build upon and continue in 2013 and beyond.