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 robust 200 dates-a-year tour itinerary—often spanning domestic rural to the exotically remote, from Arizona to Zimbabwe and everything in between make him a worldwide ambassador for a new era in acoustic virtuosity.
ANDY’s imaginative and masterful approach to the instrument and his Guitar Masters tour franchise is helping to redefine our conception of acoustic guitar. Recently he’s garnered plum exposure touring with Dream Theater and Eric Johnson where he’s been able to share his unique artistry with a wide and diverse audience. In December 2008 ANDY was awarded Acoustic Guitar Magazine’s esteemed worldwide silver medal award for his fingerstyle approach. But most fans first exposure to ANDY’s guitartistry has been through his Youtube presence; the Topeka Kansas native’s 100 million cumulative Youtube views puts him in the top 3 most viewed subjects on the site’s storied 7-year history. That a guy with just an acoustic guitar and no fancy camera work could resonate with that many people is inspiring in that it showed there is a powerful and widespread hunger for pure and progressive musicianship.
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”.
ANDY is currently building the Guitar Masters Tour brand, a franchise that seeks to combine technically masterful acoustic guitar performances with artist’s workshop accessibility for an engaging and participatory fan experience. The album is a breakthrough as he tastefully expanded his artistic palette through adding drums and cello in select places, showcasing his scoring capabilities outside the guitar-centric realm.