Saturday, August 25, 2007

Andy McKee - Official Website - Andy

Long vacations are nice. They allow you to lose touch with all your local news, and life slows down to a more natural and comfortable pace. But how often have you discovered, long after the fact, that some noteworthy person died while you were so disconnected, but you never heard about it? This has happened to me a couple of times. The notable person dies, there is a brief burst of news about it, but by the time you've returned it is all over. It can be 6 months, a year!, before you find out, and then when you do it is oddly stunning. How could that famous person who I am so familiar with have been gone all this time, and everybody knows, and I was completely unaware of it until now?

This happened to me recently when a long time, well known local newscaster died. We were on the east coast for 10 days, he died the day we left, and by the time we got back there was nary a sign he was gone. I only read an offhand reference to his passing two weeks after we returned, and wow, I was stunned.

This same thing happened to me with my guitar hero, Michael Hedges. I'd seen several of his shows, owned all his albums, etc. After I brought up Hedges in a dinner conversation one night, lacking the expected somber tones, my colleague asked, "You do know that Michael Hedges died in a car crash, don't you?" I was floored. How could such a notable passing occur without my hearing about it?

I remember all this after getting shunted to YouTube today by some random link, where I came across Andy McKee, the second coming of Michael Hedges. Hedges came before online video, and even sitting up close at a small show I could never quite make out just *how* he could sound like three guitarists playing at once. Andy McKee has a series of videos on YouTube that gets me that much closer. Apparently these videos have led to his discovery by the masses, no orchestrated marketing by record executives involved.

He says a bit about this on his website, Andy McKee - Official Website - Andy:
IC: Your videos really exploded in popularity late last year, and have now received millions upon millions of views! What kind of an impact did all the publicity have on your career?

McKee: It's been stunning to say the least. I had been teaching guitar for the last 10 years but recently stopped due to all of these gig opportunities. I was on the late night show Last Call with Carson Daly back in February. Someone there had seen the YouTube videos and emailed me. I recorded a tune for Josh Groban's next album in late April. He was really a nice guy - unreal voice. Apparently he saw my videos while on his tour bus in Arizona! I performed in England, Germany, and Austria a couple months ago, and will be in Portugal in June, Canada this summer, Japan in September. The impact has been huge on my life to say the least. CD sales are going strong as well as transcriptions. I'm really living my dream, making a decent living playing music! It's all I've wanted to do since the age of about 14.
Check out the videos! Start here:

1 comment:

tagryn said...


Good points. Though, with the advent of the Internet you can somewhat "relive" what other fans were thinking/feeling at the time by browsing message board or USENET archives. That's limited, of course, since a lot of the time those archives or even the board itself goes out of existence eventually, and you can't participate in the discussion as it happened.

Thanks for the reference to Andy Mckee, I haven't heard of him before but the couple of videos I've seen so far on YouTube have been impressive.