Derelict Hands are the broken-in palms and expert fingers delivering contemporary guitar as a crown to the head of modern music. 


Formed in 2014, in Denver, Colorado, the duo shares a rooted passion: To champion music that is unfamiliar, unique, and untried. 

Calum Borthwick and Russ Callison met as graduate students in the Lamont School of Music's guitar department. Both studied under Jonathan Leathwood and Ricardo Iznaola while pursuing masters of music degrees. Though thousands of miles separated their beginnings, Calum and Russ shared similar backgrounds in their art – classical performers now, both actually began on the electric guitar before interest in the classical sound was cultivated.

Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Calum attended the University of Strathclyde through his bachelor of arts degree. Seeking graduate-level education, he relocated to the University of Denver to achieve his masters degree. 

A Texas native, Russ studied classical guitar at Collin College and the music division of the Meadows School of Arts at Southern Methodist University – where he earned his bachelor's degree in guitar performance – before moving to Colorado to become a master of music at the University of Denver. 

Friendship born of a mutual love for current guitar music, it didn't take long for Russ and Calum to put their talent and ingenuity together for something extracurricular. Thus, Derelict Hands came together in a round of applause. Within one month of their creation, the duo played to high praise for acclaimed guitarist Rupert Boyd, and played to an audience of over 1,000 people for the University of Denver's Sesquicentennial Gala. The duo recently won the Southern Guitar Festival's Ensemble Division Competition. Their unique vision and commitment to a new, engaging sound has marked Derelict Hands as an impressive act with a provocative agenda: To illuminate the obscure.