California native Derek Sholl didn't plan on making it big as a musician; in fact, Derek Sholl didn't learn to play guitar until he was in is twenties. His first love was baseball, and he was good at it too - good enough to be drafted into the Kansas City Royals' farm league straight out of high school. Though he excelled at baseball, a number of injuries (including a broken arm and a torn Achilles tendon) forced him to end his career early...so he hung up his jersey and picked up a guitar instead.Six-foot-five and a natural athlete, Derek quickly taught himself to play guitar and sing, inspired by the likes of country greats such as Randy Travis and Alan Jackson. His God-given charisma - coupled with his newfound skill at strumming the guitar and singing - led him to ply his craft at honky-tonks and clubs throughout the Southwestern United States, all the while caring for his son DJ and working as a truck driver by day. Sholl realized that he was as good at singing as he ever was at baseball, and soon began to form a backing band and a professional stage show. Confident in his newfound skills, Sholl relocated to Dallas, Texas and began to pursue large-scale gigs through a professional management team. He also spent a few years in Las Vegas, performing standing room only shows at venues like the world famous Mirage hotel and casino where he served as the opening act for comedian Jay Leno. In 2006, Sholl independently recorded his first album, Don't Threaten Me With a Good Time, which became a hit across Texas radio with songs like "My Life" and "Thinkin' Bout You". Sholl continues to tour aggressively across the Southwest, and recently released his sophomore album Here on Dallas-based Salt Creek Records. Recorded alongside veteran producer Chris Estes at Rosewood Studios (LeAnn Rimes, Jordin Sparks) in nearby Tyler, Texas and released in late 2008, Here has all the markings of a hit album, and has already began to receive regional exposure with the hit single "(I'll Be) Here". Derek is currently working on an exclusive reality show here at Yallwire. Check back soon for the latest update!
Sometimes it takes the rough hand of fate to send a man chasing his true calling in life. As a kid, Derek Sholl dreamed of making it to the big leagues, to feel the incredible power of a ball park cheering for his team, and to knock one into the cheap seats with the game on the line. A common dream, but uncommonly, it came true. Out of high school, this charismatic Southern Californian signed with the Kansas City Royals.
On his fist day as a pro, a wild pitch broke one of his knuckles. While on the injured list, he entertained his teammates by singing the country songs they loved to hear. He soon adopted the passion of the music he imitated, and could be found strumming a guitar in the dugout, doing his best impressions of Alan Jackson and Randy Travis.
"I would just mess around and sing to them at practice...They laughed, but would say, "Man, you're really good! Either get off the disabled list or get yourself to Nashville!" Sholl recalls.
Every time Derek came off the injured list, his pro baseball career would suffer another freakish blow. A fast ball broke his arm just after his first return to the outfield. Finally, a torn Achilles tendon ended his dreams of MLB greatness for good. Little did Derek Sholl know that when he parted ways with the Royals, his true opportunity in the big leagues would come from the talents he had honed off the baseball diamond.
The poignant lyrics and great life stories that form the lifeblood of country music spoke to Derek in a way unlike any music he'd experienced growing up. He hung up his cleats, picked up his guitar and made his mind up to conquer a new mountain: the country music scene.
He formed a band, and his smooth baritone voice captivated packed venues all over the South until a handshake deal turned into a three year run opening for Jay Leno's live show at the Mirage in Las Vegas.
"He plays every gig like it's the Grand Ole Opry and I think that is the key" Jay Leno
Derek recalls, "Playing for Jay at The Mirage in Las Vegas was a privilege for all of us! People would visit his show from all over the world and even though we had built a fan base at the casinos, we had a different kind of crowd every night with Jay. It taught me how to work a big stage."
When under the lights, Derek's engaging smile and obvious passion turned accidental attendees into devoted fans. His shows combine boot stomping fun with honest lyrics in such a way that audiences readily identify with Derek's music.
Fresh from his run in Vegas, Derek set his sights on the Lone Star State. In 2006, he recorded his debut album Don't Threaten Me With A Good Time and released his first radio song, "Pray For Me" to the Texas music scene.
Don't Threaten Me With A Good Time won over critics and fans alike. Countrychart.com wrote, "Sholl's album shows that he is a gifted songwriter with a huge drive, a skill for marketing and, most importantly, an amazing new country voice that is definitely just warming up. So move over Randy and Alan, the name of the next batter is Derek Sholl."
In 2008, Robert K. Oermann gave his DISCovery Award in Music Row magazine to Sholl for "Here," an honor given to country music's most noteworthy up-and-coming artists. "Here" broke onto Music Row's chart's top 100 after just two weeks at radio and went #1 on the Country Music Airplay Charts in Germany.
Today Derek eagerly anticipates the September 15threlease of his new album which debuts "When They Come Back," a powerful and evocative tribute to America's returning combat veterans. Co-written with legendary songwriter Tim Johnson, "When They Come Back" will surely speak to a generation's struggle to readjust to life here at home after facing death and trauma overseas.
"When They Come Back," is a great tribute to our uniformed men and women. Being an Iraq Vet this song was like a bittersweet time machine. One second I was eagerly listening for the next line in the lyrics, and the next second I found myself flooded with memories of the war and the brothers we lost. There hasn't been a more moving song to send chills down my spine since Tim McGraw's "If You're Reading This" or John Michael Montgomery's "Letters From Home." Instantly I loved the song. Derek you are a true patriot. Thank you.
(Sgt. USMC, 2001-2005)
As the new album's release approaches, Derek notes, "There are so many exciting things happening right now for us. The album is being released and I have just completed my first music video. I can't wait to get on stage for the fans and perform the new material."
Derek Sholl has always dreamed big. Though fate threw him a curve ball and forced him away from the bright lights of major league ball, his drive and talent earned him a spotlight on a new stage and the realization of a second dream come true.