Derrick Harris - I'm Not Leaving CD Review -
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Mission Statement: "My vision is to play positive music that delivers the Gospel in a creative way in secular areas. There are so many people searching for answers and - for some reason - if you play the guitar, they want to talk to you. This gives me the opportunity to share Christ with them. This is my foremost goal."

Review - I'm Not Leaving CD

Derrick Harris is a 24 year old singer / song writer from Birmingham, Alabama, who is quite gifted as an acoustical guitar player and vocalist, as well as a very talented song writer, both in the musical and lyrical department. Harris got started early writing songs and creating music in high school, participating in various bands. While playing music, Harris went to college and graduated from Auburn University in 1999. In 2002, he married his college sweetheart.

The songs on his debut CD, I'M NOT LEAVING are a real treat to listen to and absorb. Every song is unique, with musical arangements that are interesting to listen to, which support Harris's creative lyrics, that explore "various life situations and life problems that we deal with day to day. They show that there is hope."

While exploring these common human problems and weaknesses Harris cleverly incorporates his personal beliefs in the Gospel of Christ, and the teachings of the Bible, in a way that reaches out to people, both believers and people searching for faith without hitting them over the head with the message.

"If you are going to be a Christian, you're going to do the best you can at everything, you do for the glory of God. I want to do that with my music too."

Here are a sample of the wonderful songs that can be heard on this CD.

G.M.O.L - Reminds this reviewer of the teaching in Mathew 5:13-16. Christians are to be the salt of the earth, the light of the world. As with a lighted lamp in a house, we are to let our light shine before people.

The song starts off with a strong acoustic guitar, setting the beat and rhythm of this song, with very light bongo rhythm in the background. Third stanza, electric guitars and easy drums come in to support the guitar and vocals. Nice use of dynamics. Harris has nice vocal range ability to do some interesting singing using intervals.

"It is a song about God's love for us. If we know our purpose, then we don't have to retreat into our bubble of just being with other Christians. While we need to strengthen and encourage one another, we should also go out and share the Glorious Message of Love, so others can experience it." - Derrick Harris

Lyrical Sample:

1) Where there is water there's life. Where there is darkness there's light. Where there are ears won't You let them hear. The glorious meaning of love?

2) So You tell me this infection is real. It's the core of complication and all I feel. Well now we're all justified let's all live, the Glorious Message of Love.

CHORUS: You always said that I could be the one to hold Your hand. And every day You'd hold me in Your arms and pray (show me the works of Your wonder).

* * * CUP OF LIFE - Based on John 4:13-14 (Woman at the well story): Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water, welling up to eternal life."

Nice melody, easy drums, electrical keyboard (Brian T. Murphy), light acoustical guitar, high lights and support from electrical guitar (Brad Lyons), some harmony in vocals (Harris does both parts).

It is a favorite of this reviewer. The lyrics really spoke to me, about a very human problem. Walking the Christian life isn't easy, especially since the secular world is always tempting us with many types of "candy dreams," which offer instant gratification, but leave us spiritually empty.

In this song, which so beautifully describes our human struggle, Harris says that he is talking to himself. "Even though I know better, so many times I think this world is so great. I let it fill me up. I wake up empty every time."

Lyrical Sample: Look there's the world. What a luscious sight, what a candy dream. I want my fill. Let me have a piece, let me take a dive.

Hook: Every day is the same, I choose life in the flames. And it seems that I can't escape. When I eat of this world I'm left hungry again.

Chorus: You can take a sip, but you'll be thirsty again. You can drink with your tongue, you can taste with your lies. You can take a sip but you'll be thirsty again. When you drink with your heart, when you see with your eyes, All your casual talk, all your glorious lives. When you taste it for real then He will quench it away.

"And Then There Were Three" - Based on the Old Testament story found in Daniel 3:1-30, about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, three friends of Daniel who refused to bow down to Nebuchadnezzer's golden statue. They were thrown into a fiery furnace, but were protected by God who sent an angel to stand with them. Harris writes this song from the perspective of Nebuchadnezzer, recording his change in attitude and heart toward God.

This stirring ballad starts with a beautiful acoustical guitar introduction which introduces the melody, and sets the rhythm. At the transition, electrical guitar joins in as support. Chorus brings in drums, more guitar work. 2nd verse has full band, with easy drums. Nice instrument / drum short introduction to the 2nd verse. Nice piano and guitar work at the end.

Lyrical Sample: 2). When they heard the sound, and the people revered, I looked out on the seas that bowed there for me and then there were three. Heat the furnace up and have their bias thrown in. And as I watched for their burn...woe unto me...I thought there were three.

Transition (Hook): In my time I see an openness. Though what I know isn't what I seem to know and what I do isn't what I say. But I know and I love this openness and now I see (The answers in front of me).

Chorus: Oh man, it's got to be real, if you want to fell all of the grace that's sufficient for you. But if you don't believe then you won't receive all the peace and release of the hell in your heart.

FACING 2 - This song explores how hard it is for human beings to experience change, loss in their lives. The underlying message reminds the listener that although change and loss are painful, we can take comfort in our faith that God is with us, a source of strength, comfort, and empowerment to continue to send us forward in ministry for Him, no matter what our circumstances.

Derrick Harris says that he wrote this song when he graduated from college, and was going to leave his girlfriend behind, who still had two years to go, before they could get married. Also, he would be leaving the ministry that he had been involved in for four years as well.

Starts out with a solemn, sad mix of electrical / acoustical guitar, single snare, with plaintive melody in a minor key, lyrics sung expressively. Great use of strings, and easy drum beat, in other parts of song. Ends with a simple yet effective electrical guitar solo. Harris uses his singing ability to reach hard musical intervals in the chorus, capturing the sorrow of the moment, which is this reviewer's favorite part of this song.

Lyrical Sample: 2) Soon everything will change. All the things we've said and done will all just be memories. But I know though I'll soon be gone, though I'm changing venues, it won't change the song that I sing.

Chorus: But I'll hurt, and I'll bleed, And I'll cry, and I'll need. My faith, I'll see, there's more in this than just me. Please don't forget me when I'm gone.

I'M NOT LEAVING - This metaphorical song explores sharing the Gospel with family members; people you love most, which isn't always easy; its like trying to share the cure for cancer with an afflicted patient who doesn't care. Harris also relates a cold house to a life without belief in the Gospel, and an inner warmth to acceptance of the Gospel, a warmth that can take away pain and give comfort.

Harris says,"Paradoxically, sometimes sharing the Gospel makes them feel that you don't love them when it is actually the greatest act of love you can do."

It is a nice acoustical guitar piece, with light drums and back up instrumentals scattered in various parts of the song.

Lyrical Sample: I'm not leaving 'cause I'm not cold yet. I'm not leaving 'cause I'm not cold yet. I'm know you're cold, but I can't make you warm inside.....Its so hard to watch you freeze to death, knowing if you weren't so right you might just find some warmth ......Well I choose to love you anyway, despite the fact that your house is cold....

Chorus: You keep pushing, but I'm not leaving. And this is more than just a sordid game. The answers you're seeking are kept in your statements. But I can't take away, no I can't take away your pain.

IGNORANCE - This is Harris's favorite song to perform. This song is a favorite with this reviewer as well. It reminds me of the teachings of Jesus, found in Matthew 25:34-40.

It points out that the busyness of our lives can blind us to the real needs of others, whom God has put in front of us. Christianity is an active faith. We should follow the example of Jesus and take the time to stop and help people who need it, because this is showing the love of God to those who need to experience it, which will perhaps change their lives, inspiring belief and closeness with God.

Derrick Harris was inspired to write this song after seeing a "homeless guy on the exit to our church. Everyone was in a hurry to drive past him so they could get to church to learn how to serve the poor. We have been given much. Why not stop and extend the hand of God, and say 'God bless you. Here 's some food. Whether you believe in Him or not, God is providing your needs right now.'" Nice electrical textured guitar work, with easy drum beat.

Nice vocal harmony on the chorus.

Lyrical Sample: Take a walk with me; tell me what you see.....2) Let's look across the road, another woman with a heavy load. Well her burdens run too deep. Abandoned at the age of ten, her father left and no one took her in. Well she's walked a lonely road. She's had no place to call her home. With four abortions she's scarred and unknown. Oh, if only we'd taken her in. It could've changed; she could've changed.

Chorus: Oh, lonely this road that I wander, but the pain I cannot know. Skilled at filling my life with distractions, from the pain I cannot know. But the pain I want no tears on my pillow. But the pain I can't won't go away (please go away).

PIGEON SONG - A peppy dance song with a steady rock beat, with a full band. Electric guitars really cook! This reviewer fully enjoyed the great lyrics and catchy, lively tune!

When Derrick Harris worked at the bank, he would go to the park during his lunch hour, there were always lots of pigeons. One had a broken leg, and all the other pigeons would take his food. "I would push the other pigeons away and let him eat. During that time in my life I felt a lot like that broken-legged pigeon. It seems God must break our legs in order to make us dependent on Him. The reality is we are always dependent on God for everything. But it is during those broken-legged times that we realize it."

Lyrical Sample: Won't you say a prayer for me? I've got envy on my back, I've got the demons on my knees. The things I've planned for my life, they all end up in tragedy. I like to walk my path, I like to do my thing, But making time for You only comes with suffering. Although I running free, I know You're holding me in Your hands.

Chorus: You take away my eyes so I can see, the beauty of the love You gave to me. The answer to my pain when it seems that I cannot find Your will. Take me away from here.

KING OF HYPOCRISY - This is the song most requested by an audience at a Derrick Harris concert. One can readily see why. Catchy rhythm in percussion, wonderful melody, and lyrics, nice electric piano, guitar work offers good support to vocals, which carry the main tune.

Derrick Harris: "We all do the opposite of what we say we want to do. We are all hypocrites. We'll never live up to our own standards. That doesn't mean we are not forgiven."

In Romans 7:19-25, Paul gives a full description of his own problems in this area, and an explanation of why we all are hypocrites, and in need of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who died on a cross, a sacrificial lamb for our sins, giving us a way to be forgiven through belief in Him.

Lyrical Sample: 2) In my heart there grows a planted seed. I am weak I've got a need to feed on the grace that You pour from Heaven's nectar streams. It's been a long time since I have longed and craved in this way. For you to lead me down the path of righteousness where the serpent's blood is on my feet? Still I hear my name. You're calling me ...Follow me..I'll meet you where you are. Oh to live is Christ, but to die is gain.

Chorus: I am the King of Hypocrisy and I know my life can't hold a flame to the face of the One who has covered me. And I know I've got a need to feed on the grace that You pour from heaven's nectar streams.

Julie Carr - Reviewer for

Read our interview with Derrick Harris.

To find out more about Derrick, hear his music, or order a CD, Visit Derrick at or

Derrick Harris