Sunday 13 Jul

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0

Kierston White - Don't Write Love Songs

The Tequila Songbirds have become just as beloved as about any group around these parts. And how could they not?

Featuring a revolving cast of the Sooner State’s most badass female performers, it’s a power hour of some of the best songwriting coming out of central Oklahoma. Sure, they might not technically be family, but they are clearly a band of sisters all the same, bonded by the same brand of whiskey running through their veins.

07/01/2014 | Comments 0

Depth & Current - Dysrhythmia

"Overproduced" is a term thrown around all too indiscreetly nowadays, usually applied when the thing that sticks out about a song or album is how it sounds rather than how it is constructed. Yet some of the most compelling albums ever crafted embodied a certain aesthetic that was just as skillfully and meticulously put together as any Bob Dylan or Miles Davis record — which is to say production is as crucial to our enjoyment of music as much as anything else; it's also the most overlooked.
06/24/2014 | Comments 0

Weak Knees - “IceBevo”

Indie rock has been in a good place as of late. Not caring about being cool is the new cool, and a couple of dudes on guitar, bass and drums can make catchy, earworm songs without being armed to the gills with computer software and vintage synthesizers.
06/17/2014 | Comments 0

Kyle Reid & the Low Swinging Chariots - “When I Was Young”

Every artist should be the star of their own creative life, which makes Kyle Reid’s steps out of the shadows of the many ensembles and supporting roles he has played in Oklahoma bands over the years to front and center on stage feel like a just journey.
06/17/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Blues brothers

Blues brothers

The family that stays together, plays together. The sibs behind Oklahoma City’s blues-rock act Black Jack Gypsys prove the adage true.

Joshua Boydston May 24th, 2011

The Black Jack Gypsys with the Copperheads, Plaid Rabbit and Psychotic Reaction
9 p.m. Saturday
Opolis, 113 N. Crawford, Norman, 820-0951

If together long enough, bands become little families; the fewer the people, the tighter the bond. Duos can become like twins: a tight-knit relationship that becomes more than mere partnership.

The men behind blues-rock duo The Black Jack Gypsys does the theory one better: The Oklahoma City boys are brothers by actual blood.

“Being close and brothers first, the connection we had was super-tight before the band thing,” singer and guitarist Mike Derrick said, looking over at his sibling drummer, Rob. “It was just something else we could share in.”

Wittingly or not, their parents set the roots for the act early.

“They knew what they were getting into,” Mike Derrick said, laughing. “They bought me my first guitar and Rob his first drum kit.”

Added his brother, “As cheesy as it is, it’s almost like it was fate.”

That destiny was realized, thanks to a steady stream of Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix through their formative years, then discovering newer acts like The White Stripes and The Black Keys.

It’s been eight odd years of Mike playing in various projects; Rob hadn’t been active in a band since his middle school days, but is studying sound engineering ACM@UCO. The Gypsys were born out of a casual jam between the two, and the instant chemistry encouraged Rob to pick up the drums again.

As expected, that connection gave way to plenty of bickering, but the relationship always has served as a doubleedged sword in that regard, encouraging arguments, for better and worse. “About half the time, or even more, we disagree on everything, but it’s good,” Mike Derrick said. “It keeps us in balance. The point we always meet at is better than the two separate points we were at before.”

Added Rob Derrick, “We are both so hardheaded and we both know it. Because he’s my brother, I’m not going to get pissed off, throw my sticks and walk out on the band, because that would be walking out on family.”

The one thing they never argue about is how important music is to each of their respective lives; it’s even led the two to launch Old Dog Records, out of their home, to help bolster the local scene.

“Our entire soul, our entire passion, our entire lives revolve on what we are doing with music,” Rob Derrick said. “We don’t call where we sleep our house, we call it the studio. We eat, breathe, sleep music.”

These past few months of musical endeavors have strengthened that bond.

“There are moments onstage where everything goes away, and we are just playing the music we wrote,” Mike Derrick said. “To share with my brother ... it doesn’t get any better than that.”

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05.25.2011 at 08:56 Reply

Rob and Mike have been some of the best friends a guy could ever have, and being around them whether just hanging out or jamming, makes you feel like a part of the Derrick family. I love these guys and everything they are about. If you don't catch them on or off stage then you are missing out.