Local Music Monday: Dereck Oldham

Mar 13, 2017

This week on Local Music Monday DeBraun talks with Dereck Oldham, lead singer of  Driftwood Gypsy.

Dereck Oldham
Credit Tom Wickstrom

Dereck Oldham is a native of Paris, Kentucky who moved to Lexington in 2000. Growing up, he was surrounded by music in church; his father was known for his powerful voice. Oldham says he always loved music, but didn’t take it seriously until he started writing music of his own.

“The whole thing for me is, if you are a musician, that’s an expression of art form and how can you paint a picture without a paint brush of your own, does that make any sense, like, I can sing a song you write, but that’s not me writing a song and that’s kinda what got to me was, I was like, ‘wait a minute, I think if I can learn the melodies and how to get this out of an instrument, I could do this.’”

Oldham got his start playing music in Lexington sitting in with different bands on the drums. In 2012 things changed after he picked up a guitar and met David “Chill” Napier. The duo performs together in The Baja Yetis and Driftwood Gypsy. Oldham says both bands push him to become a better musician and songwriter.

“The whole thing for me is, if you are a musician, that’s an expression of art form and how can you paint a picture without a paint brush of your own, does that make any sense, like, I can sing a song you write, but that’s not me writing a song and that’s kinda what got to me was, I was like, ‘wait a minute, I think if I can learn the melodies and how to get this out of an instrument, I could do this.’”

Oldham got his start playing music in Lexington sitting in with different bands on the drums. In 2012 things changed after he picked up a guitar and met David “Chill” Napier. The duo performs together in The Baja Yetis and Driftwood Gypsy. Oldham says both bands push him to become a better musician and songwriter.

“I feel lucky, like, I have phenomenal musicians in each band and they’re all so different and unique and the music’s so different and unique, I never thought I’d be doing Jazz standards in a band with Brandon Bowlds and Billy Underwood and Shawn, there’s no way I would have ever thought that when I started this and then on the other hand, I have this other band who’s doing something completely different and it all meshes together so much to the point to where, I can bounce ideas off both groups of people and always get an original and authentic answer.”

Driftwood Gypsy is set to release their debut album later in 2017. While the process to release the album has taken time, Oldham says the band wants the record to reflect their growth and the love that they all have for each other.

“Both bands come straight from the heart, but it’s just different sides of the same coin and we all love music and the way you approach the process is gonna be different with different individuals, so with Driftwood it was a little more laid back approach whereas, that’s the reason it’s taken so long for our album to come out because we wanna get it right, we’re not super educated in recording and doing everything, but we wanna do it [ourselves] with the help of our friends, we wanna do it our way, we want the creativity that we have in the recording process to show through in the music.”

Dereck Oldham performs with The Baja Yetis and Driftwood Gypsy. Driftwood Gypsy will be performing on April 19th at the Burl. More information about Oldham and his projects can be found at