Derek Crider

If you haven’t heard of Derek Crider yet, hold on to your hats. Your cowboy hats, that is. Crider will play as part of the pre- and post-parties for two major country shows this weekend, and it looks like that’s just the beginning for this local rock/country/soul musician.

From noon to 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1, Crider will play outside at Bally’s Patio, directly across from the stage where the Zac Brown Band will play at 4:30 p.m. Then from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, Crider will play the after-party for the Florida Georgia Line show on the main stage of the Mountain Bar. And that’s just this weekend.

“I’m happy doing what I’m doing,” Crider says of the three-to-five gigs he plays per week, playing a mix of originals and covers. He’s got approximately 50 more gigs scheduled through December, when he plans to leave the area for Nashville.

“The songs (from his debut album ‘Lost & Found’) are really resonating with people,” Crider says. “‘Girl Walks a Country Mile’ and ‘Whiskey Burns’ are probably the most popular.”

Crider has played music since he was a kid, and while he’s performed shows for several years, it’s really only been since 2015 that Crider has launched himself as a solo act. With one album in the can, and a second — “Burning Down the Night” — due for an early September release, plus upcoming opening spots for Drake White and Canaan Smith, means Crider is poised to become a force to be reckoned with.

“I really like anything with a good melody,” Crider says of his musical preferences, which range from Aerosmith and the Rolling Stones to Johnny Cash and Jason Aldean. “What drew me to country was the storytelling. The story was first and that’s what I really like.”

While Crider works on his own songs, he’s not averse to doing covers, even unexpected covers.

“I stick to stuff I like — John Mellencamp, John Fogarty, Neil Young — and fuse it with Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, then maybe a cover of Steve Miller, Johnny Cash or the Doors,” Crider says.

“Someone will ask for a Neil Diamond song and I’ll play it and make it fit right in and sing it like me, and it will be more ‘countrified.’”

DEREK CRIDER

Who they are: Derek Crider: vocals, guitar

For more info: DerekCrider.com

Coming up: Noon Thursday, Sept. 1, Bally’s Patio, 1900 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City, free; 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2, The Inn at Sugar Hill, 5704 Mays Landing Road, Mays Landing, free; 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, Bally’s Mountain Bar, 1900 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City, free.