About the Title
Andy May’s music has always had room for roots. He spent his teen years immersed in the vibrant folk music scene of Greenwich Village in the late ’60s. Mentored by working folks from Appalachia who brought their music – their heritage – north with them when they came looking for a better life. Encouraged by an earlier generation of New Yorkers who were also passionate about American roots music. Learning from the singers. The songwriters. The players. Living and breathing the traditional music right along with the cutting-edge new material that flowed through the city. Playing it all and playing it everywhere. Finding no conflict in the variety, only synergy. And inspiration. Always thirsty for more, he took it all in, owned it, and brewed it into his own style – a style that comes out in his original works and in his treatments of traditional tunes. A style that allows him to slide a couple of his arrangements of Carter Family classics in among his own compositions on this project with not a hint of conflict – only synergy. And inspiration. Because there’s room for roots in Andy’s music. There always has been.
Containing 12 original songs, two Carter family titles, and a bonus track narration of a retold folk tale, Room for Roots is a project you can immerse yourself in. Featuring some of Nashville’s finest musicians and singers, as well as Andy’s own guitar work and rich vocals, Room for Roots embraces a wide range of styles and moods, providing plenty to catch you ear musically. Showcasing Andy’s songwriting, the stories told are as varied as the musical styles, and the project moves seamlessly from one to another – embracing all with equal warmth and enthusiasm.
The process of recording Room for Roots was an intense and satisfying experience for me. These songs and the singers and players who joined me in the studio seemed to fit together in a natural and amazing way. I am grateful for the opportunity to have made this new project, and excited to share it with you. —Andy
- Andy May – Acoustic & electric lead & back-up guitar, Lead and backup vocals
- Dan Dugmore – Pedal Steel Guitar/Lap Steel Guitar (1,2,3,4,6,7,9,10,11,12,13) – Resonator Guitar (14)
- Kirk “Jelly Roll” Johnson – Harmonica (1,2,3,4,6,7,9,10,11,12,13,14)
- Rick Lee – Piano/Strings (4,12)
- Kenny Malone – Percussion (1,5,6,7,9,13)
- Rodger Morris – Piano/Organ/Keyboard (all)
- Curtis McPeake – Banjo (14)
- Jim Rooney – Rhythm Guitar (1,7,13)
- Jeremy Shearer – Bass (all but 15)
- Nathan Smith – Drums (2,3,4,8,10,11,12,14)
- Produced by Andy May
- Recorded and mixed at Mainframe Recording Studio, Nashville, TN
Engineer: Nathan Smith
- Cover Art: Andy May
- Life’s a Gig – ©Andy May – I have watched as a remarkable group of folks my age and older (some of whom I am lucky enough to call friends) navigate the challenges of life and the marketplace and live life fully.
- At the Fork in the Road – ©Andy May – A song about losing and starting over again, and a tribute to a time, a place, and the people who helped me learn to turn things around for the better.
- The Woman in the Wings – ©Andy May, Lauren LeCroy May, James Heffernan – There are people who encourage good things. The gifts that they give live on.
- Haggard and the Queen – ©Andy May – A short chapter in my book of true road stories. Dedicated to my friend and band mate, Tabby Crabb.
- Stone Soup from Hard Times – ©Lauren LeCroy May, Andy May – I was deeply moved by Lauren’s lyric for this piece. – Duet with Maura O’Connell.
- Comeback – ©Andy May – Everybody needs a comeback now and then.
- The Storms Are on the Ocean – ©A.P. Carter – I have played this song since I was in my mid-teens. Variants of these verses show up in many other old songs as well, and I incorporated one or two in my own version of “Storms.” – Duet with Maura O’Connell.
- The Harvest – ©Lauren LeCroy May, Andy May – Lauren’s lyric for this song is really a short story. When I began performing the song, it took on even deeper meaning for me as I became the storyteller.
- Helen’s Eyes – ©Andy May – On my desk sits a favorite photograph taken and sent to me by a favorite person.
- Tending the Flame – ©Andy May, Lauren LeCroy May – You can treat real issues in a very direct way in a country song. – Duet with Brittany Allyn.
- Ruby Lee – ©Lauren LeCroy May, Andy May, Ron Young, Wes Cooper – Writing material for and with artists that I have produced has given me many songs that I enjoy singing myself. This is one.
- My Small Town – ©Lauren LeCroy May, Andy May, Brycen Fast – What a gift it is when you find yourself in a good place among good people. A line in this song inspired the project’s title.
- Same Ol’ Blues – ©Andy May – “Times have changed but it’s the same old blues….”
- You’ve Been a Friend to Me – ©A.P. Carter – I have known this song, recorded by the original Carter Family, since I was a kid. It has taken on deeper meaning as I get older. – Duet with Joanie Keller Johnson.
- Bonus track: Stone Soup Retold – narration – ©Lauren LeCroy May – I had the opportunity to read Lauren’s version of this great old folk tale on stage on a number of occasions, and I wanted to include it here for those who may not know the story. Rodger Morris improvised on piano as I spoke.