It's taken me all my life to learn what not to play. -- Dizzie Gillespie

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04 May

Andy McKee

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Andy McKee’s acoustic guitar can approximate the polyrhythmic interplay of a percussion ensemble, the harmonic sweep of a string section, the dazzling runs of a bluegrass doghouse bass-and-banjo duo, and virtually anything else his pastoral compositions and tasteful covers require. In 9 years and 5 records he’s written an oeuvre that globally inspires and intrigues music fans

His masterful expressionism on the guitar includes exotic tunings for rich resonance, drones for mystical ambiance, complex polyrhythmic percussion, slap and pop funk bass dynamics, and a tasteful two-hand tap technique that’s unique in that it favors percussion and expansive harmonic capabilities verses show-off licks. His vision extends beyond standard instrumentation and Andy has been fortunate enough to have endorsements from a number of forward-thinking luthiers like Greenfield fanned fret guitars, Lance McCollum Baritone Guitar, and Ron Spillers Harp Guitars to build him instruments and him realize his exotic and complex musicality. Ernie Ball Strings has engaged Andy to help them refine and present to the global acoustic community their state-of-the-art acoustic strings meant for maximum performance and consistent spectacular tone. His chops are compositionally-derived, his art necessitated his technique, and this approach has an emotional resonance and purity lacking in many guitar virtuosos where chops are for peacocking the audience.
Andy is a self-taught musician who grew up studying cassettes and CDs of artists as diverse as Preston Reed, Don Ross, Billy McLaughlin, and Michael Hedges, Eric Johnson, and Dream Theater. Interesting enough, his slap and pop technique is inspired by Earth Wind & Fire’s bassist Verdine White. He also absorbed the sophisticatedly accessible work of 1980s icons like Toto and Tears For Fears. His compositions and imaginative technique are an amalgamated conception of these disparate aesthetics—the chops-y journeys of guitar masters, the irreverent genius of the modern acoustic wizards, and the creative and hooky compositional and arrangement sense of good 1980s pop. Andy writes with rich impressionistic chords that often evoke beautiful country landscapes. He arranges with a keen understanding of dynamics and how songs have to feel transporting to have emotional currency. And he’s been able to confidently apply his concepts to playfully sincere renditions of pop standards such as Tears For Fears “Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” Toto’s “Africa,” and even a refreshingly rustic rendition of “Stairway To Heaven.”

He started his professional career like many musicians as a guitar teacher before his career-launching appearance at the venerated National Finger Style Guitar Championships in Winfield, Kansas where he was a top finalist. From that platform he went on to be a recording artist, and sticking close to his indie ideals, he’s managed to sell 60,000 records and have his songs used in major commercial campaigns.




Andy McKee at Gazarte on May 4, 2014 - Voutadon 32-34- Gazi - 210 3460347  - www.gazarte.gr

Last modified on Tuesday, 15 April 2014 09:21

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