Entry Requirements: 18+
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—and his fans-first commitment, 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—a tour package of edgy progressives—is helping to redefine our conception of acoustic guitar. Recently he’s garnered plum exposure touring with Dream Theater (where he played to 10,000 in Mexico City) and Eric Johnson (who made a rare acoustic showing on the Guitar Masters Tour) where he’s been able to share his unique artistry with a wide and diverse audience. Fans of sophisticated holiday music had the opportunity to hear Andy on Josh Groban’s Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum Christmas album, Noël. In December 2008 Andy was awarded Acoustic Guitar Magazine’s esteemed worldwide silver medal award for his finger style 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. Youtube, and video culture in general, tends to have a shtick-based popularity where humorous and superficial images tend to attract the most attention. That a guy with just an acoustic guitar and no fancy camera work or special effects could resonate with that many people is inspiring in that it showed there is a powerful and widespread hunger for pure and progressive musicianship.