Derek Breyette grew up in Saranac, NY with a dream of one day becoming a professional drummer. After playing drums in various local bands he knew he’d have to be willing to take his dream on the road. And now he has done just that. Derek recently made the move to Nashville, Tennessee. It seems appropriate. After all Nashville is commonly referred to as “Music City” and is considered the capital of country music.
But there’s more to it than that. Derek believes in “Music City” because one of his heroes is one of its current stars. Country superstar Jason Aldean moved to Nashville in 1997 at age 21 to pursue his musical dreams. It took a few years of determination and hard work but eventually Aldean got his big break after a showcase at The Wildhorse Saloon (I suspect we’ll see photos of Derek on this legendary stage at some point. Please send them my way!)
Aldean was honored as the top new male vocalist of 2005 by The Academy of Country Music and has received numerous awards since, including a Country Music Television (CMT) Performance of the Year award for the smash hit "Tattoos On This Town." It’s easy to see why Derek might look up to him, besides the fact that his music has a wicked backbeat! Aldean took a chance on himself in a city where perseverance is the only option. Derek too has embraced this attitude.
Jason Aldean is perhaps one of the lucky ones who achieved fame in Nashville but he’s not the only one. Derek Breyette needs only to look to his hometown of Saranac, NY for that. In 1996, Tully Kennedy made a similar pilgrimage to “Music City” and is doing great things as a professional musician. He dreamed of becoming a rock star in Los Angeles but instead ended up visiting an Uncle in Nashville. It was there that he eventually landed a gig as bassist for…how about this…country star Jason Aldean!
Anything is possible. Musicians pay their dues and leave the rest to fate. In 1960 the legendary Willie Nelson made his way from Texas to Nashville. A year later his star rose after writing the smash hit “Crazy” for Patsy Cline. Jason Aldean almost gave up music altogether but gave himself six months in Nashville to see what would happen. He’s now one of country music’s biggest superstars. Former Saranac, NY resident Tully Kennedy thought his dreams would be fulfilled in Los Angeles but found success in Nashville. Not only is he the bass player for Jason Aldean but he has also worked with artists such as Keith Urban, Bryan Adams, and Jewel.
Where does this leave Derek Breyette? He remains humble. He says, “The dream I’m chasing is to just make a living playing the drums, either recording or touring, but hopefully both.” Why should anyone believe this won’t happen? He’s already taken a step that many never attempt. Derek has left his home in Saranac, NY to find his way in Nashville. One day we might be driving along Route 3 and hear a solid backbeat that gets our feet tapping. It might just be one of our own!
-Josh Clement (mountainlake.org/bn)