Acoustic Innovators Series – Andy Mckee

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Andy Mckee

Andy Mckee a modern acoustic virtuoso and a torch bearer for the movement. He is known for his trademark melodic sensibilities and of course the viral success of his youtube videos in the mid 2000s. Andy shared his thoughts on the acoustic guitar and performing instrumental music to audiences around the world.


AU: What is the perception of the acoustic guitar?

AM: I've heard some people call it grandpa's guitar you know, I think a lot of people have this idea that it's just something that accompanies singing you know generally. I often call fingerstyle guitar or what I do and a lot of other guys do ‘modern acoustic guitar’ because we're not trying to just strum chords and sing, we're trying to have a complete piece of music on the steel string acoustic guitar and a lot of us were inspired by guys like Michael Hedges you know where he was trying new ideas and techniques as well on the instrument.

AU: Why do you play instrumental music ?

AM: Instrumental music always resonated with me and how you can incorporate that into your life you know into whatever your story has been so far. Maybe some songs with lyrics have a particular story and you can't really relate to it necessarily. So I really gravitated towards instrumental music. The whole instrumental thing without the lyrics as I feel it's the best way for me to express myself and my emotions and my experience in life.

AU: What is life like as a touring solo acoustic artist?

AM: The professionalism that you have to have on the road you really have to to be on your game you get to wake up on time. Hit the road and drive you know that's something that I kind of learned from touring with Don Ross early on that he was really kind to take me on to Germany and Canada and so you know seeing how how he operated. Definitely was some insight for me and I still try to keep up with that. And another thing was I got to tour with Tommy Emmanuel early on too and we just we stayed in a little car you know for two weeks in the UK and so another great insight for me was just to be on well with him.

You know you got to remember that you're out there to give people a good time that hopefully lift them up for a few days you know and then get to bed and wake up in the morning at the next town. So.

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