Because he started writing and performing when he was a child, Leucadia resident Darius Degher said music has been the most consistent thing in his life.
“I do it for myself, because I have to,” said Degher of the creative process. “These albums I put out every few years are kind of like snapshots of my life. They all have pretty substantial meaning for me.”
Degher’s latest is called “Eleven Story Strum,” which, true to it’s name, is a collection of 11 songs written in a story format. “The title was an impulsive one,” he conceded. “I hadn’t thought of a title yet as it was going to the printers. When I was listening to it while it was being mixed, I realized that they’re all story songs, which is part of my style.”
Degher has been developing his style for the past six albums, but he started honing his craft as a 9-year-old. “My brother was 10 years older than me, and he always had Bob Dylan or Van Morrison records playing,” explained Degher of his earliest influences. “I wrote my first song when I was 11, and I remember performing it at a sixth-grade assembly.”
Along with music, writing has been another constant in Degher’s life. He teaches an online creative writing course for a public school in Sweden. (His wife is Swedish, and the Deghers lived there for the better part of 12 years before relocating to North County.) In addition, last year he released his first book of poetry, called “To See The Sound,” which according to Degher contains poems about “perspective, the shifting ways we see the world, the interplay of our ideals and the senses as we negotiate our lives and deaths.”
It’s the music side of Degher’s creative life that has been on the front burner of late, as he’s been focusing on “Eleven Story Strum.” The album, which Degher produced, was mixed by San Diego native Jeff Berkley. Drums, meanwhile, were recorded in Los Angeles with some of Degher’s old friends.
“I still get excited about the idea of giving birth to a new record,” said Degher. “As far as people hearing it, I hope that people will really enjoy it, but I also have released enough records to know that doesn’t always happen.”
Throughout the process, he keeps a sense of humor about his art. (As an example, the recent press release touting “Eleven Story Strum” was titled, “Middle-aged folksinger with badly managed career releases new CD!”)
“I take inspiration from all sorts of things,” noted Degher. “On the album, some songs are fictional while others are autobiographical.”
“Eleven Story Strum” is slated to be released on May 10, Mother’s Day, and will be available on iTunes, Amazon, Rhapodsy and Spotify. A record release party is scheduled for the same day from 1-4 p.m. at Tower 13 in Cardiff. For more on Degher, visit www.dariusdegher.com.