Back to the top


The Story

The Short Story...

Derek Christie‘s music has traveled from garage to gospel, folk/roots to rock, and ska/reggae to soul with a Leonard Cohen-meets-Patti Smith sensibility. Born and raised in Montreal, Christie’s first bands originated in the local punk scene in the late 1970’s. He then migrated to Toronto’s Queen Street West scene in the early 1980’s with enigmatic activist band Conditioned Response and then Mayday. Christie released his first solo album, the acoustic-based ‘Undecided’ in the ‘90s, and launched heavy rock-funk duo DarkRide, which will release its sixth album this July. Going it alone for the album ‘Secrets’ in 2011, Christie’s latest solo effort is the eponymous ‘DC’.

Stylistically, the new album is a return to earlier influences but the mature themes are both personal and political. From oppression and empowerment, to heartbreak and healing, to the rock bottom moment that led to sobriety, DC’s message is one of survival, redemption and resurrection.

The Full Story...

Derek Christie‘s music has traveled the roads from garage to gospel, folk/roots to rock, ska/reggae to soul. A hybrid reference could be, Leonard Cohen meets Patti Smith.

Born and raised in Montreal, his musical core was forged as a teen in 1970’s. Late nights spent listening to album oriented FM rock radio followed by the advent of punk rock in the late 1970’s – a world of diverse music outside the pop mainstream – were critical shots into the musical bloodstream of a young artist. It soon inspired informal jamming with friends on Clash, Bowie and Who covers as a drummer, then on guitar. Things took flight tangentially in 1979 with his first couple of bands, then progressed into the 80’s as part of Toronto’s Queen Street music scene with the enigmatic activist band Conditioned Response, then the currently rebooting project Mayday.

In the 90’s, he ventured into the solo realm with his first release, the acoustic based ‘Undecided’, while collaborating in the heavy rock-funk duo DarkRide (their sixth album arrives in June 2022).

Following a hiatus from the live scene, Derek re-emerged with a new roots rock sound, an expanded band and collection of songs which resulted in the 2011 album, ‘Secrets’. An extensive period of live performance, writing and recording over this past decade – not only his own music but with other artists such as singer/songwriter and band mate Laurelle Augustyn, whose vocals feature prominently on his recordings, Greenway Blvd and others – honed his songwriting and production skills, yielding another batch of tunes included his most recent full length missive, ‘DC’.

Produced by mutli-instrumentalist, songwriter, band mate and friend of four decades, brilliantfish (Hush & Rust, Frank Patrick, Baby Is A Bombshell) with input from ‘DC’, the songs on the new album are the result of a deep dive back into the early stages of Christie’s many musical influences. “I wanted to reflect a diverse taste in my love for music by including different styles. Each song is unique, but there is a common thread throughout”. A way to get him to conjure up the energy of earlier days was for brilliantfish to put Christie’s Fender Telecaster back in his hands, which meant he ended up playing the vast majority of electric guitar on the album.

Recorded intermittently over a three year period (2019-2021), with a global pandemic, the death of a family member, social upheaval and a first hand Covid related brush with death in the middle of it all, the songs tackle mature themes, both personal and political, from oppression and empowerment, the rock bottom moment to sobriety, heartbreak to healing… the end message is that of redemption, survival and resurrection. The overall approach was to produce a recording that sounds – and is listened to – like a vinyl album.

photo: Chris Robart

© 2022 Good Montreal Boy Productions