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Genres You Will Love
Folk: Modern Folk Moods: Solo Male Artist Folk: Traditional Folk Country: Bluegrass Country: Country Folk

By Location
United States - Virginia

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Andrew McKnight

Since permanently leaving his corporate environmental engineering career in 1996, the award-winning folk and Americana artist's musical journey has traced nearly half a million miles of blue highways nationwide, and earned him a wealth of critical acclaim and enthusiastic fans for his captivating performances and five CDs on the independent Falling Mountain Music label.

While Shenandoah Valley-based performer has toured as a solo singer/songwriter and guitarist for the past 15 years, he is a musician first and foremost, in the mold of John Mayer or Darrell Scott. Putting himself through Connecticut College and graduate school at UMass/Amherst by moonlighting in rock and blues trios shaped his musical sensibilities, and his latest CD "Something Worth Standing For" showcases the full maturation of his musical artisanship.

With songs collectively arranged with four trusted and talented friends, “Something” is a coherent and compelling musical portrait of contemporary America, heavily inspired by Andrew's recent foray into fatherhood. Spanning haunting blues, feisty anthems, rustic folk, and a bit of swing while drawing inspiration from music legends like The Carter Family, Robert Johnson and Woody Guthrie, paints many colors with his supple tenor and acoustic and electric guitars. It earned him an Album of the Year nomination from the Washington Area Music Awards, as well as Americana Album of the Year nomination from Just Plain Folks.

In addition to his thriving solo career, Andrew is also the leader of Beyond Borders, along with original Nitty Gritty Dirt Band member and longtime collaborator Les Thompson on upright bass, banjo and mandolin, Stephanie Thompson on harmony vocals, bass, percussion and guitar, and WAMMIE-winning singer and songwriter Lisa Taylor skillfully handling drums and harmony vocals. the quartet blur the lines between electric and acoustic, folk with blues and rock, traditional with contemporary.

Whether solo or with Beyond Borders, the foundation is always McKnight's stellar songcraft and captivating storytelling. His previous CD of the same name was a 2005 Americana Album of the Year Finalist in the Independent Music Awards, and includes "Good Things Matter", Winner of the Great American Song Contest (Acoustic/Folk).

His songwriting also encompasses his passion for community and causes such as preserving American landscapes and heritage, like the haunting Civil War ballad "The Road to Appomattox" and "Company Town", his protest against mountaintop removal coal mining. McKnight often shares his talents for worthy causes, such as recent benefit performances for a community radio station in Massachusetts, an at-risk youth mentoring program in California, a food bank in suburban Seattle, and for the Sierra Club's "Inner City Outings" program in several cities.

Those passions, and the thoughtful ways he expresses them, have drawn legions of fans who sustain his independent career. In the early 90s Andrew grasped the power of the internet to grow and connect with a loyal listenership, and his career has blossomed largely through their "efangelism" instead of the traditional elements of the music business. Many friends and fans even host concerts in their homes for 30 to 50 listeners, venues Andrew refers to as “safe houses on the folk underground railroad”.

In addition to those house concerts and several performances at the Kennedy Center, his musical resume includes a wealth of small theaters, music festivals, and some of the nation's premiere intimate listening rooms. Highlights include the Mountain Stage NewSong Festival, South Florida and Boston Folk Festivals, Chattanooga Riverbend Festival, and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. His music is heard on hundreds of broadcast and internet radio shows worldwide including National Public Radio affiliates, XM Satellite, and the nationally syndicated "River City Folk" and "The Midnight Special". He is a frequent guest musical presenter at Unitarian church services across the U.S..

Andrew has produced or performed on recordings by many different artists, been a contributing writer for Blue Ridge Country and Americana Rhythm magazines, and is a sought-after clinician for songwriting and music business workshops. He enjoys an artist endorsement with Elixir Strings.

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