Andrew McKnight | Beyond Borders

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Folk: Modern Folk Country: Bluegrass Moods: Type: Lyrical
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Beyond Borders

by Andrew McKnight

The acoustic singer/songwriter stretches his wings on his fourth solo CD, blending global influences, spoken word, and traditional music into his acclaimed songcraft, vocals and guitar work.
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. How High The Mountain
3:13 $0.99
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2. Hard Times in the Heartland
4:25 $0.99
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3. Beyond Borders
4:46 $0.99
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4. Wishing
4:40 $0.99
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5. My Good Name
5:05 $0.99
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6. The Poet's Great Romance
3:49 $0.99
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7. Good Things Matter
3:22 $0.99
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8. Atlantis
4:57 $0.99
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9. Do You Hear Them?
2:48 $0.99
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10. Rust on My Halo
3:11 $0.99
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11. Flowers in My Yard
3:27 $0.99
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12. When the Maples Turn
3:46 $0.99
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13. Million Miles Together
3:16 $0.99
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14. June Apple
2:57 $0.99
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15. Alchemy
4:39 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
***One of five finalists for the Independent Music Awards, 2005 Americana Album of the Year***
***Nominee, Best Contemporary Folk Recording, 2005 Washington Area Music Awards***

The acoustic singer/songwriter stretches his wings on his fourth solo CD, blending global influences, spoken word, and traditional music together with his acclaimed songcraft, rich melodic vocals and deft guitar work. A creative collaboration with two old friends, Beyond Borders was recorded by original Nitty Gritty Dirt Band member Les Thompson, who also recorded Where This River Runs, and mixed by Michael DeLalla, who recorded Andrew's 1995 debut Traveler and is the founder of Falling Mountain Music, the record label for which Andrew has been a cornerstone artist all these years.

The result is a stunning soundscape of 13 original songs, plus the traditional "June Apple" and the spoken word "Do You Hear Them?" with its improvised accompaniment. Andrew's acoustic and electric guitars and vocals are captured in powerful and impassioned performances, with tasteful ornamentation throughout courtesy of keyboardist Jon Carroll (Mary Chapin Carpenter), string whiz Danny Knicely (Footworks, David Via and Corn Tornado) and the world beat percussion of N. Scott Robinson (Malcolm Dalglish and the Oolites). Organic tones and rich textures highlight stellar craftsmanship in a diversity of settings, including the haunting bounce of "The Poet's Great Romance", call-and-response gospel ("Rust on My Halo"), high lonesome bluegrassy vocals ("How High the Mountain"), and the feelgood vibe of "Good Things Matter", winner of the Great American Song Contest Acoustic/Folk category.

“Bluegrass harmonies, introspective lyrics, & astute observations...Overall this is a great CD with a number of standout tracks including the opener “How High The Mountain,” the stripped-down “Wishing” (featuring McKnight’s exotic cedar flute work as well as noted percussionist N. Scott Robinson), & the chain-gang style vocals of “Rust On My Halo.” ...A cross between Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket), Nickel Creek’s Sean Watkins, and Ani Difranco this CD is for fans of intelligent & heartfelt songwriting.” (Sean Lewis, Minor 7th)

“writes earnest, well-crafted songs, possesses a tuneful tenor and keeps good company. His guests include keyboardist Jon Carroll and mandolinist Danny Knicely, who help enliven, color and ornament McKnight’s eclectic repertoire” (Mike Joyce, The Washington Post)

“Strong release....no, make that STUNNING...covers abundant and fertile ground, musically and lyrically, though it seems unfair a gifted songwriter should also possess such a fetching voice and hot chops” (Dave Obermann, KUT FM Folkways, Austin TX)

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Reviews


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Sing Out! (Review by Angela Page)


More than one spiritual speaker refers to health benefits gained from good deeds, both for the doer and the receiver. There's evidence now that even onlookers will experience a rise in seratonin. If so, celebrate being considerate of others with McKnight's lively "Good Things Matter", a highlight from his new release Beyond Borders. This feel-good song promotes the golden rule with positive energy and suggestions, while managing to avoid slipping into sappiness.

Many numbers address aging. "When the Maples Turn" foreshadows aging by watching his own grandmother who, as he puts it, "made the last century a better place." Though vocabulary used by the child upon the knee seems advanced, the essence of the mood is of believable warmth and love. "Million Miles Together" glances backward at youth and "Alchemy" celebrates the bonding of aging lovers, with harmony by Terri Allard.

"Poet's Great Romance" is a great, moving melody, very singable with a bouncing chorus as if riding along with the outlaw protagonist. There's a bluesy addition, "My Good Name" which takes responsibility for a misdeed. Other cuts show an obvious concern for land use and the average worker's struggle with economically hard times. These themes reach beyond McKnight's native Appalachia.

Beyond the thoughtful lyrics and very appealing melodies, there are huge bluegrass overtones. McKnight furnishes both lead and harmony vocals for the opener "How High the Mountain" during which his guitarwork, the mandolin of Danny Knicely, and fiddle by Alexander Mitchell seem to be vying for a "hottest licks award". The men are as impressively ostentatious later, on the traditional instrumental "June Apple". This is McKnight's fourth release in the past decade.
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Minor 7th (Review by Sean Lewis)


Bluegrass harmonies, introspective lyrics, & astute observations characterize Andrew McKnight’s fourth CD "Beyond Borders." Overall this is a great CD with a number of standout tracks including the opener "How High The Mountain," the stripped-down "Wishing" (featuring McKnight’s exotic cedar flute work as well as noted percussionist N. Scott Robinson), & the chain-gang style vocals of "Rust On My Halo." But this diverse record’s true strength lies in AM’s vocal work & lyrics, which are best represented in the simplest of settings, despite several competent ensemble performances. The best songs by far don’t stray from AM’s Appalachian, story-telling roots with narratives like "The Poet’s Great Romance" & "Flowers In My Yard." He even manages to toss an old-fashioned bluegrass instrumental in with "June Apple," an old Appalachian fiddle tune. A cross between Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket), Nickel Creek’s Sean Watkins, and Ani Difranco this CD is for fans of intelligent & heartfelt songwriting. Though at times didactic this disc has a song for every acoustic music fan out there.
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Green Man Review (Review by Alastair Brown)

Beyond Borders is well worth a listen.
Beyond Borders is the fourth release from environmental activist Andrew McKnight. He has a very fine high tenor voice, and it is that, I suppose, that makes it tempting to think of this recording as primarily a country influenced one, as at first that is the sound one recognizes. There are many more influences at work here. Certainly many of the songs have that country sound, but then you get to the holler, "Rust on My Halo", the bluegrassy, "June Apple" and the tone poem, "Do You Hear Them." The songs cover a wide range. The first two tracks are the "quasi bluegrass" spiritual, "How High the Mountain" and "Beyond Borders," whose influences are acknowledged as a rhythm from East Africa, and a melody evoking the Middle East. "Wishing," "Atlantis," and "Do You Hear Them?" are testimony to Andrew's environmental interests. All in all, Beyond Borders is well worth a listen. Andrew McKnight has been a regular performer at festivals and other venues for many years, and this latest offering will not disappoint his fans. With a bit of luck, and if there's any justice, it should also win many new converts to the work of this very personable and talented singer songwriter.
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The Washington Post (review by Mike Joyce)

writes earnest, well-crafted songs, possesses a tuneful tenor and keeps good com
Like (Jonathan) Byrd and Dromedary, Andrew McKnight will never be accused of being too hip for the coffeehouse. The singer-songwriter and guitarist writes earnest, well-crafted songs, possesses a tuneful tenor and keeps good company. His guests on "Beyond Borders" include keyboardist Jon Carroll and mandolinist Danny Knicely, who help enliven, color and ornament McKnight's eclectic repertoire, variously inspired by fiddle tunes ("June Apple"), gospel harmonies ("Rust on My Halo") and small-town travail ("Hard Times in the Heartland" and "Flowers in My Yard.").
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