June 24, 2024

JOPLIN, Mo. — A Crest High School graduate gets his break when his band completes their first album. Derrick Gates, now a Joplin, Mo., minister, is the lead singer for the band Blood of Innocence. Gates said the band formed eight months ago when he met bass guitarist Joe Boyd at Gates’ church. Boyd was living in a Joplin homeless shelter when he went to the church. Since they started the band, the two have written more than 30 songs. The band also includes drummer Lee Shorter Jr., lead guitarist Steve Young and guitarist Jeff Meeker. They describe the band’s music as progressive rock. Blood of Innocence signed a deal with Seventh Seal Records and will begin a 50-city tour this week.

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