Testimonials

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  • Henry May named Semi-Finalist in International Songwriting Competition, 2016

    February 28, 2017. Nashville, TN

    International Songwrithig Competition Semi Finalist - 2016Great news! Henry May’s blues guitar instrumental, Dreamin’ the Blues, is a semi-finalist in the 2016 International Songwritng Competition (ISC)! ISC is internationally renowned for its high-caliber judges, and with more than 16,000 entries overall, that’s a real coup!  Congratulations, Henry!!

    Stay tuned!! Finalists will be announced within a couple of weeks, and winners will be announced once the judging process is completed.

    “Dreamin’ the Blues” is on Henry’s Swift River Music CD, Dreamin’ the Blues, produced by Andy May.

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  • Gary McMahan: “Room for Roots” by Andy May

     
    blockquote>Gary McMahanI love your  new album! Well written. Well sung. Solid heartfelt songs. Well played and well produced! I’m recommending it every chance I get! … Well done my old friend!    Gary McMahan on Room for Roots by Andy May

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  • The never nervous, always prodigious Acoustic Kids

    20160811-Photo fro Boulder Weekly-Mariah Taylor-photoBy Mariah Taylor, Boulder Weekly, August 18, 2016

    Read on the Boulder Weekly site  ◊  PDF

    Andy May is a soft-spoken man who calls children “youngsters” and adults “folks.” His talent as a musician and teacher is undisputed, but he’s likely best known as the founder of the Acoustic Kids Showcase.

    The showcase is a non-competitive “Opry-style” performance program that allows musicians [16] and younger to perform on professional stages at festivals around the country. On Aug. 13, May’s “acoustic kids” took to the Guitar Center Stage at Guitar Town in Copper, CO.

    “I’m an artist, a guitarist, a singer-songwriter, a performer, a band leader and many things as well as an educator,” May explains. “I’ve produced many records and won awards but this is something different. Acoustic Kids is something kind of, well I don’t know what. Some people say it’s my legacy. I hope it’s not a bad legacy to have.”

    The first Acoustic Kids event took place in the 1980s in Fort Collins, where May was, at the time, producing music and teaching.

    “Back then there was the Midwinter Bluegrass Festival held each year in Fort Collins and I went to the fella’ who ran that festival, Mr. Ken Seaman, and said, ‘What about giving some youngsters the opportunity to perform?’” May says. “I explained the philosophy behind it: that it’s not a contest but an opportunity for deserving youngsters to perform in front of an audience at a real, legitimate venue. Ken thought it was a great idea and so began the first Acoustic Kids program.”

    The program grew from there. In 1991, Bob Redford, head of the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas, happened to be sitting in the audience at an Acoustic Kids Showcase at Midwinter Fest. Redford approached May about bringing Acoustic Kids to Walnut Valley and, 25 years later, the program is still a staple.

    “Thousands of youngsters have gone through the Acoustic Kids program there, including a bunch of 11- and 12-year-olds by the name of Nickel Creek,” May says. Now, Acoustic Kids also participates in MerleFest in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, and, as of last year, at Copper Mountain’s Guitar Town festival.

    While there is an audition process for the kids who join the program, one of May’s goals is to give anyone who can benefit from the program a chance to participate. “If they’re ready for stage, it doesn’t matter if they’re beginners or highly advanced, we accept them all as long as the opportunity will be worth while for them — as long as it’s something they really want to do,” May says. “If they can do a job that they can look back on and be proud of in the future — something that can capture the audiences’ imagination and attention, that’s what we’re looking for in Acoustic Kids.”

    And, yes, May does welcome beginners into the program quite warmly. But the “highly advanced” Acoustic Kids, what May now calls the Acoustic Kids Ambassadors, are likely to leave audience members slack-jawed at the sight of their tiny, pre-teen fingers flying across the strings of their guitars or violins with skill well beyond their years.

    Among these gifted Acoustic Kids Ambassadors is 13-year-old Ruth Shumway. Ruth has been playing fiddle as an Acoustic Kid at MerleFest since she was 4 years old. “She would carry her violin with her to music events like that, just in case she could play with someone,” says her mother, Mary Shumway.

    It’s tough to imagine 4-year-old Ruth’s tiny hands lugging a violin around a national festival, the preschooler desperately hoping to jump on stage in front of a large crowd of people, but she denies ever feeling anxiety around performing.

    “It was just fun and enjoyable and everyone was doing it and I wanted to do it, too,” Ruth says.

    In fact, none of the Acoustic Kids interviewed recalled ever feeling performance anxiety. One after the other described being on the Acoustic Kids stages as a purely joyous, communal experience.

    Ruth’s mother, Mary, has her own thoughts on the lack of nerves among Acoustic Kids.

    “Andy told us that his criterion was that each kid has a positive experience,” she says. “I think that because Ruth had those opportunities she never developed anxiety. It just always seemed like something that everyone did.”

    Nearly all of the Acoustic Kids participate in competitions on the side — fiddler’s conventions in Ruth’s case — that entail higher stakes and a more serious demeanor. And while Ruth admits she enjoys the competitive atmosphere at these conventions, she sees the benefits of May’s approach clearly.

    “Acoustic Kids has definitely fostered my level of performing,” Ruth says. “I’ve met a number of great friends there, unlike competition where you don’t really talk to the other kids performing.”

    And, unlike competition, Andy May’s Acoustic Kids was built to be what he thought a young musician’s experience should be. It should be communal, supportive and respectful.

    “If they’re up there, there’s a reason they’re up there and they’re treated with respect. There’s nothing condescending about it,” May says. Simply put, and wholeheartedly enforced.

    On the Bill: Andy May’s Acoustic Kids Showcase at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas, Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 14-17. For a complete schedule see wvfest.com/schedule/Thursday.

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  • David Sokol, WRSI: “Room for Roots” by Andy May

    Andy May lives and records down in Nashville but was a longtime Valley resident and friend to so many here in Western Massachusetts. There are plenty of fine songs on 2016’s “Room for Roots,” and “Haggard and the Queen” feels like a natural for our Sokol Heroes radio show on WRSI, focusing on artists with roots and connections to Western MA. It’s catchy, heartfelt, and tells an engaging true story from the perspective of a hard-working touring musician who’s paid his dues and been rewarded nicely along the way.

    David Sokol on Room for Roots by Andy May

    Room for Roots page  ♦  Testimonials

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  • Jamsphere: “Room for Roots” by Andy May
    Andy May: “Room for Roots” – grabs listeners with small-town stories and sharply cut images

    Andy May: “Room for Roots” – grabs listeners with small-town stories and sharply cut images

    In a career spanning 5 decades and 3 regions of the nation, Andy May’s originality and optimism combined with his love and respect for America’s musical roots shine through his work. Through the years, he has appeared with artists as diverse as Pete Seeger, Merle HaggardNickel CreekBrownie McGhee & Sonny Terry, and John Hartford. Andy also runs the record label and production company, Swift River Music, which has become the home label for other independent artists as well as himself.

    the album cover artwork

    the album cover artwork

    Andy May currently has 7 CDs on Swift River Music, with the 7th, Room for Roots” having just been released during April, 2016. I’ve been waiting a long time for this album, it was worth the wait. In my opinion there are few other songwriters who get small town and real American life than Andy May. Room for Roots” is one of his best examples of that skill.

    From the colorful images of “Life’s a Gig” to the feelings of desperation and triumph in “The Woman in the Wings” you can feel the salt of life in his songs. The album has the great acoustic simplicity for most of the songs that just lets Andy’s soul shine through. This simplicity is interspersed with a bit of swing on “Haggard and the Queen” and heavier Americana with “Helen’s Eyes”.

    Really, few active songwriters can grab a listener with small-town stories and sharply cut images like Andy May. Grab a listen to “Stone Soup from Hard Times (Featuring Maura O’Connell)” or “The Harvest” and “My Small Town”. The characters in his songs are everybody’s friends, neighbors and relatives. Andy deftly employs just the right combination of words against the backing of solid Americana-folk to paint pictures of tricky relationships, the power of nostalgia, the experience of growing set in one’s ways, and lessons learned the hard way.

    Andy May

    Andy May

    Andy seems to write of only real life; if not life lived by himself, then life that is carefully observed and empathized with until a true story emerges. All of these songs are memorable long after hearing them and give the listener something to think about. That, again, is a rarity in popular music nowadays.

    There were so many turns of phrase that just captured my imagination and pulled me into the world created by Andy May on Room for Roots”. Not to lapse into hyperbole but I really find Andy to be a unique talent whose music is timeless and sits nicely alongside anything created by other classic Folk-Americana artists.

    Andy’s guitar playing prowess is often concealed on his recordings, but on Room for Roots” he shines, and you know it. The production and engineering are exceptional as is the musicianship of everyone involved. In many ways I feel like Room for Roots” is the perfect follow up to “Retroflections”, Andy May’s previous album. And although it’s hard to pick a favorite, this new one is in the running. — Rick Jamm, JamSphere~ The Indie Music Magazine & Radio Network, on Room for Roots by Andy May

    OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITESTREAMINGCDBABYFACEBOOKYOUTUBEFLICKR

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  • Band Camp Diaries: “Room for Roots” by Andy May

    Andy May - Room for Roots

    Andy May – Room for Roots

    Andy May is a driven singer and songwriter with a warm and personal approach to his rootsy blend of folk and Americana. His latest studio effort, Room For Roots immediately strikes for Andy’s gripping vocal performances: his voice sounds wise and seasoned, yet youthful and energetic, creating a beautiful dualism. I immediately feel like I am sitting in a room listening to the amazing stories of an old friend who jut came back to town after traveling the world and collecting incredible tales of people, places, songs and ideas – and he tells the stories so well you almost feel as if you were there.

    With its incredible slap-back guitar intro, Haggard and The Queen is one of my favorite songs, with its understated, yet rich arrangement and memorable melodies. Same Ol’ Blues is a timeless classic with a flavor that just never dies. Likewise, Helen’s Eyes captures the blues energy through hints of rock, while remaining faithful to the roots / Americana aesthetics, echoing the works of performers such as Neil Young or Tom Petty.

    Andy May is a storyteller and songwriter with something truly special to share with his audience.   The Band Camp Diaries on Room for Roots by Andy May

     
    (Read original review)
    More Room for Roots testimonials.

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  • WNCW: “Room for Roots” by Andy May

     

    Great new CD!!!   WNCW, MerleFest Radio Hour on Room for Roots by Andy May

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  • Sara Watkins: Andy May’s Acoustic Kids

    Nickel Creek in Acoustic Kids - Walnut Valley Festival - 1995

    I met Andy and Lauren at the Winfield festival over 20 years ago and I still remember the open and friendly environment they created for the young players at the festival. Andy has a remarkable ability to make kids feel welcomed and valued as a person and musical contributors. I’m so glad Acoustic Kids has stayed involved in the community, because not only does it give all these kids good memories, but as they grow up, they’ll remember that their contribution is important. – Sara Watkins (Website)

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  • Bridge Guitar: “Second Wind” by Bill Mulroney

    Being a professional for more than 20 years this singer/guitarist started in 2001 again with writing new compositions after a period of not being so active. Bill formed a band again and his music is inspired it seems by fine songwriters like for instance James Taylor and his voice reminds one too to this fantastic musician, although Bill has a lower range. Bill plays the acoustic guitar himself and Danny Parks plays extremely well on the electric guitar. His first piece “Something Phil Dirt Said” could be written by Phil Spector or can be an ode to him. Bill has an intimate voice which is stylistic with a romantic touch. “Young Aladdin” has a beautiful melody performed with the intimate sounding guitars. “Angela Dawson” is certainly a winner for the brilliant harmonics and the soulful songwriting skills. An uplifting song is “Cinderella Women” with Danny Parks doing an excellent job on his guitar which has a sublime drive in it, while Bill sings moody lyrics. “The Man You Used to Be” is a story about the destructive effects of alcoholism. Yes, “Ravens’ Fan” is a pure rock song which lifts ones feet of the floor. One can say that Bill Mulroney knows to impress on this album, which is well-balanced, intimate, romantic and rocking at the right moments. Highly recommended.

    – Henk te Veldhuis, Bridge Guitar Reviews


    Visit the Second Wind page:

    Listen to and download tracks, order CDs, read the liner notes and more reviews!


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  • “Chesapeake Music Guide:” Second Wind” by Bill Mulroney

    The title of Bill Mulroney’s album Second Wind refers to his second attempt at the music biz, after taking a hiatus of over 22 years, and the resulting effort is one of the most pleasant new releases to come out so far this year. With a vocal style reminiscent of a young James Taylor at times, and Danny O’Keefe at others, the album is a very personal one for Mulroney, and starts off with a tribute to Phil Morris a/k/a Phil Dirt, a friend and longtime fixture on the local music scene Mulroney was a part of.

    Mulroney writes great love songs with titles like “Lovers Never Rest on Sunday,” which extols the pleasures of spending the day in bed with someone you care for, and “An Angel’s Come To Town,” a nice ode to meeting, falling in love and ending up with that special someone, sounds like Mulroney’s writing from the heart and experience.

    A couple of tunes on the more serious side deal with war. “Freedom’s Call (the Soldier & the Miller)” tells the story of a young solider and his dilemma as to whether he should fight or not, and “Battleship Wisconsin,” a song about the glory days of that old war boat.

    A song torn from the recent headlines, “Angela Dawson,” recounts the story of a Baltimore family who took a stand against drug dealers in their community, only to be killed by the dealers, who torched their house while they were still in it. Not as downtrodden as it sounds, the message appears in the last line, “Know what’s good, and do what’s right” and it reminded me a little of Neil Young, both vocally and musically. It’s a rocker with a touch of grunge.

    The production by Andy May is perfect for the material presented, very clean and uncluttered. The emphasis seems to be on the lyrical content, so the vocals are clear and right up front, with the backing musicians’ individual instruments very well defined and spread across the entire soundstage.

    One can only hope it won’t be another 22 years before Mulroney gives us another offering, but if it is, Bill Mulroney’s Second Wind certainly holds up to repeated listening, and good things come to those who wait.

    –Michael Macey, Chesapeake Music Guide


    Visit the Second Wind page:

    Listen to and download tracks, order CDs, read the liner notes and more reviews!


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  • “Bluegrass Unlimited:” “The View From McPeake” by Curtis McPeake

    Curtis McPeake‘s name is spoken with something very much like reverence in the nationwide banjo community. A widely recognized authority on fine and vintage banjos and a dealer in vintage musical instruments of all kinds, he is also an expert picker, as this fine instrumental album makes plain (in case his skill hadn’t already been made clear by his recordings and performances alongside the likes of Bill Monroe and Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper). He is joined on this record by guitarist Charlie Cushman, fiddler Aubrey Haynie, mandolinist Dave Harvey and bassist Dennis Crouch, all together they play a winning assortment traditional and original banjo showcase tunes.

    McPeake’s original compositions are some of the best things on this album-the aptly titled “Fire In The Furnace” and “Leap Frog” are both classic pieces of 1950s-style instrumental bluegrass, while “Long Way Home” is a slightly more complex and slightly less zippy composition. On the traditional side there are exciting versions of “Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down,” “Sail Away Ladies,” and the inevitable “Cotton-Eyed Joe,” but the most attractive numbers are a gorgeous arrangement of the gospel standard “Gathering Flowers For The Master’s Bouquet” and the charming old waltz tune “Drunkard’s Hiccups.” This album was made live in the studio over the course of a single long day of recording, with all of the musicians together in the same room; it’s an approach that contributes to a feeling of warmth a camaraderie throughout the album. Highly recommended.

    –RA, Bluegrass Unlimited (reprinted with permission)


    Visit the The View From McPeake page:

    Read the liner notes and more reviews!


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  • “County Sales Newsletter: “The View From McPeake” by Curtis McPeake

    It’s been quite a while since we have heard from McPeake, the Nashville-based banjo player who was good enough to have filled in for Earl Scruggs on more than one occasion. It is a real pleasure to hear him here “playing it straight” and backed up by excellent Bluegrass musicians. Those include Aubrey Haynie on fiddle, Dave Harvey on mandolin & Charlie Cushman on guitar, and the 13 good tunes feature a fine mix of standards and several neat originals. Thanks to producer Andy May for doing this up right-it should bring McPeake some of the credit he deserves as one of the top Scruggs-style banjo pickers for over 40 years now.

    County Sales Newsletter (Reprinted with permission)(Reprinted with permission)


    Visit the The View From McPeake page:

    Listen to and download tracks, order CDs, read the liner notes and more reviews!


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  • “Bluegrass Now:” “The View From McPeake” by Curtis McPeake

    Curtis McPeake’s professional music career spans more than four decades and includes performances with such notables as: Wilma Lee & Stony Cooper, George Jones and Melba Montgomery, and Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass. The View From Mc Peake could have been recorded only by someone who has experienced a long and illustrious career. The collection of traditional bluegrass instrumentals contained on this project illustrate the reason for Curtis’ popularity and successful career.

    This CD was recorded, interestingly enough, in one session. Curtis wanted the CD to capture the energy of a live performance and the results certainly give one that feeling. The musicians were all in one room taking their cues from Curtis, and the resulting sound is relaxed and flowing with the appeal of a live performance.

    Other musicians on the project include Charlie Cushman (guitar), Aubrey Haynie (fiddle), Dave Harvey (mandolin), and Dennis Crouch (bass). The songs include four McPeake originals, old favorites such as A.P. Carter’s “Gathering Flowers”, and the Monroe classic, “I’m Going Back to Old Kentucky.”

    The View From McPeake will be well received by lovers of traditional bluegrass music. The original material, while unfamiliar, is performed in the traditional bluegrass style which most bluegrass fans will enjoy. Banjo pickers especially will enjoy this CD, as Curtis McPeake is certainly one of the masters of the five-string.

    –JP, Bluegrass Now (Reprinted with permission)


    Visit the The View From McPeake page:

    Listen to and download tracks, order CDs, read the liner notes and more reviews!


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  • JamSphere.com: “Retroflections” by Andy May

    Andy May: “Retroflections” Great Vocals, Savvy Production and Earthy Guitar Work

    By his 20th birthday in 1969, Andy May had played Carnegie Hall and had won the Grand Championship on guitar at the fabled Union Grove, NC, Fiddler’s Convention World Championship, having won First Runner-Up the previous year. In a career spanning over 4 decades and 3 regions of the nation, he has appeared with artists as diverse as Merle Haggard, Pete Seeger, Mike Seeger, Nickel Creek, Brownie McGee and Sonny Terry, Tom Paxton, Jerry Jeff Walker, John Hartford, Ralph Stanley, Joan Osborne, Jim Rooney, Janis Ian, John Prine, Nancy Griffith, and many, many others.

    He started and runs the IBMA award-winning record label, Swift River Music. He has had songs on Juno- and Apollo Award-nominated albums and T.V. shows, United Way fundraisers, and major T.V. documentaries. He has been a yearly performer and educator at major music festivals like MerleFest (since 2001) and Winfield (since 1989), and a regular workshop contributor to the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, TN.

    Recently Andy released his latest album, “Retroflections”, which is a kind of re-visitation and reworking of some favorite original songs from his classic catalog. A vagabond spirit permeates Andy’s tales accompanied by acoustic-guitar punctuating arrangements that range from country to folk-rock. Straight off, from track one; you get the impression that this guy is great.

    Soulful, gritty Americana-rock, with savvy production and earthy guitar work permeates the entire 10-track album. This is one of the best independent alt-country or Americana records in years; totally deserving of your attention!

    Andy May has decidedly got his own sound, a raw authentic country-inflected Americana that can pile drive on one song and lope on the next. The band’s musicianship on each recording is also nothing short of exceptional.

    The sheer number of great songs on this album, tell you that this is a guy who’s got a lot more in him. Everyone will love “Follow Your Heart,” “Gentle Breeze”, “The Queen”, “Ride With Me” and “Love, Turn A Heart Around”, but right now I can’t get enough of “Hello.” I’m just sad when it stops after six minutes and four seconds!

    There is so much honesty, roots and tremendous songwriting in this album. In a world of over-produced formula country and folk-rock, this is a breath of fresh air. For anyone who appreciates Steve Earle or Townes Van Zant and wants to capture the essence of Americana with a bit of shine to it, this is a tremendous album. There are no throw-away cuts. Each song is a story and well worth listening to.

    I’ve been waiting for an album like this to come; one from an artist you don’t know jack about, but play it repeatedly because it’s simply well written music. Each song has a very clean, classic feel with Andy May’s strong and crystal clear voice leading the way. It is, however, hard to explain what Andy’s voice does for you on these ten tracks. However it’s one that you don’t have to listen to the lyrics, to know what he’s saying. There are songs that will move you and others that will make you sing along. His wholesome voice and style is just beyond description, and simply stated, very awesome.

    I can’t say enough about the talents of Andy May and how much I enjoyed the “Retroflections” album. I would not consider myself a country music or folk-rock lover, but if this is how it’s supposed to sound, I could become a huge fan. There is a lot of emotion and heart, not to mention some great guitar picking, in this album!

    -Rick Jamm, JamSphere~ The Indie Music Magazine & Radio Network

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  • Walnut Valley Festival: “Retroflections” by Andy May

    In the past 4 decades, Andy May has experienced a lot of life. He’s played music at Carnegie Hall, won guitar contests and appeared with artists that range from Merle Haggard to Dr. Ralph Stanley over the years. One of Andy’s stronger talents is his ability to write great music. The newest recording in the Andy May collection is titled “Retroflections”.

    In early years when paying his dues, an impressive number of well-written songs were born. “Retroflections” is the second awakening of those songs. The first track, “Follow Your Heart. is the appropriate opening song. The lyrics give the listener a glimpse into the heart of a young man chasing his dreams and looking to make his profession on the road as an artist.

    I was surprised by the different style of music included in this collection. Most of my previous exposure to Andy’s music has been with a country / bluegrass flavor but “Retroflections” has a folk almost pop sound that I found very enjoyable. All of the songs tell a story that is easily pictured in one’s imagination. The 10 track CD will take listeners on a journey back in time with Andy. Songs like “Ride with Me” and “Friends” give a look into the past when Andy was creating his own path through the music world. Love, Turn a Heart Around, written to perform for at a hunger relief concert is an early suggestion that the writer will be known for his caring personality and his willingness to share his music for the betterment of others.

    In an attempt to select my favorite track I found myself starting from the opening with and progressing through the first 3 songs, enjoying each about equally but finally settled back to “Follow Your Heart.” Maybe it is the tempo, or it could be Jeff Potter on the harmonica.

    Pick up a copy of Andy May’s “Retroflections” and enjoy the journey!

    Walnut Valley Festival, Winfield, KS.


    Visit the Retroflections page:

    Listen to and download tracks, order CDs, read the liner notes and more reviews!


     

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  • Walnut Valley Festival: “Endless Possibilities” by Andy May

    The newest recording released from Andy May is titled “Endless Possibilities.” The back cover of “Endless Possibilities” explains that — “It’s country. It’s folk. It’s contemporary, it’s old-timey. It rocks, it soothes, it aches, it rejoices.”

    There is really not a better way to describe this CD; it contains a wide variety of styles about all of them listed on the cover. The project is made up of 13 tracks, all with very nice vocals by Andy and top notch instrumentation also by Andy as well as a cast including some of Nashville’s first call musicians: Buddy Greene, Kenny Malone, Jeff Taylor, Dennis Crouch and the late Hal Rugg, just to name a few.

    Besides being a performer, Andy May’s talent as a songsmith is quite evident here. Another pleasant surprise to be found are the number of collaborations in the songwriting category between Andy and his wife, Lauren May. One such piece that will work on the strings of your heart is “Old Dog,” a touching journey through the years in the life of man’s (and woman’s) best friends. If you’ve ever shared your life with a special dog I guarantee this one will take you back in time. It may even draw a tear to your eyes.

    My favorite of all the tracks has to be the title cut, “Endless Possibilities.” Written by Andy from inspiration brought on when a friend loaned him a 1950’s vintage Gibson J-50 guitar to play. The song is as smooth as a gentle summer breeze.

    The entire album is worthy of your consideration, and while some of the songs may be biographical for Andy, we can all connect to the songs in one way or another, but as the back cover continues — “It’s Andy May’s music, and there are endless possibilities.”

    –Rex Flottman, Walnut Valley Festival (Winfield) program, on Endless Possibilities by Andy May

     


    Visit the Endless Possibilities page:

    Read the liner notes and more testimonials!


     

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  • KRFC-FM: “Endless Possibilities” by Andy May

     

    …Great job. [“Endless Possibilities”] contains many of [Andy’s] best songs yet – so good that we played several songs twice. The production quality and choice of instrumentation was nothing but first class. I just now looked at the players on the album – no wonder it is so good. The whole package is much to be proud of.

    –Brent Hawley, KRFC-FM, Fort Collins, CO, on Endless Possibilities by Andy May

     


    Visit the Endless Possibilities page:

    Read the liner notes and more testimonials!


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  • Jim Rooney: “Endless Possibilities” by Andy May

     

    Andy, Congratulations! I put your CD on tonight and thoroughly enjoyed it. “Endless Possibilities” sort of sums it up. How lucky we have been to have music in our lives — all the places it has taken us, all the friends we have made. I like the artwork too. It seemed to suit. As Bill Monroe would have said, “I hope this record does you some good.” There’s a lot of good to be gotten out of it.      —Jim Rooney on Endless Possibilities by Andy May

     


    Visit the Endless Possibilities page:

    Read the liner notes and more testimonials!


     

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  • Kenny Malone: Andy’s Songs

    This is real music! —Kenny Malone

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  • Kenny Kosek: “Endless Possibilities” by Andy May

     

    I listened to (Endless Possibilities) this morning…. What a treat. The cover art is beautiful.    Kenny Kosek on Endless Possibilities by Andy May

     


    Visit the Endless Possibilities page:

    Read the liner notes and more testimonials!


     

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  • Harry Warner: “Endless Possibilities” by Andy May

     

    Loved it!      Harry Warner, Executive Vice President of Writer and Artist Relations, Broadcast Music International (BMI), — retired on Endless Possibilities by Andy May

     


    Visit the Endless Possibilities page:

    Read the liner notes and more testimonials!


     

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  • Rick Lee: “Endless Possibilities” by Andy May

     

    Brilliant CD!! Material, performance, production, package…. Fabulous. Rick Lee on Endless Possibilities by Andy May

     


    Visit the Endless Possibilities page:

    Read the liner notes and more testimonials!


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  • Curtis McPeake: “Dance of Life” by Andy May

    Andy May …is a great artist and record producer. …He has remastered and remixed this project and it is a great work of mainly Americana music and songs. Andy is a fine singer and a multi-talented musician. The songs and tunes compiled in this recording are truly varied from early Irish jigs to early American songs and some that go back many years. I am amazed at the quality of the artwork in the CD cover. The artwork alone should appeal to children and the great mandolin solos and song selections should perk up our ears no matter what age we happen to be. This is a great recording by a bunch of great artists. You will like it!!

    Curtis McPeake – Trailblazer Award winner, former Blue Grass Boy, banjo legend – on Dance of Life by Andy May


    Visit the  Dance of Life  page:

    Read the liner notes and more reviews!


     

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  • Mt. Pleasant, TN, Middle School of the Visual and Performing Arts – School Show

    All of us down at Mt. Pleasant Middle School …remember your show as being one of the best we’ve ever had. …It’s hard to hold the attention of middle school kids, and you and your band certainly did the trick.

    —Camille Allen, Mt. Pleasant Middle School of the Visual and Performing Arts, TN

    More Video: In the Pines

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  • “Bluegrass Now:” “Blackberry Jam” by Andy May

    Andy May began his musical career back in the late ’60s, playing music in the New York area with live performances as well as appearances on live radio. His “roots” music contains elements from many musical styles including folk, bluegrass, and country, both old and new. Blackberry Jam is his latest offering and features all original material written by Andy and wife, Lauren.

    Joining Andy on this project are Jim Heffernan (Dobro), Kenny Malone (percussion), Dennis Crouch (bass), Rick Lee (piano, keyboards), Tim Crouch, (fiddle), David Talbot (banjo), Larry Marrs (harmony vocals), and Craig Fletcher. (harmony vocals)

    Andy uses the Dobro as the out-front lead on most of the cuts, and while the banjo is listed, it is used very little. Although bluegrass influences are heard throughout the CD, most of this music is not what most would call bluegrass. It’s hard to put this music into a neat category– however, acoustic country or alternative country comes to mind. This is not to say it’s not good music, because I thoroughly enjoyed this fine CD.

    The music is all original, well written, and fresh. Andy’s vocals are clear and clean and he is an excellent guitar player as well. One cut, “Little Bird,” I especially enjoyed features Andy playing some fine finger-style guitar with a banjo-like roll.  “They Put the Blue in Bluegrass”, is another I enjoyed. It is the only cut that utilizes a banjo and has a bluegrass sound.

    Blackberry Jam is compelling, fresh music most will enjoy; although not much is bluegrass. Fans of acoustic music and especially Dobro fans will enjoy this album.

    — JP, Bluegrass Now


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  • Walnut Valley Festival program: “Café Americana” by Andy May

    Andy May’s grasp of what makes good listening is impeccable. His warm and mellow voice invites the listener to relax and let the music move around the edges of consciousness.

    The man who can encourage young talent to blossom under the Kansas sky at the Walnut Valley Festival’s Acoustic Kids sessions has just released another album, titled “Café Americana”. With samplings of bluegrass, country, folk and acoustic swing styles that evoke many nuances of emotion, this is a great album for any collection.

    The CD begins with “It’s a Brand New Day” (which I’ve got programmed to play when my alarm goes off). It’s a simple two-chord feel-good-in-the-morning song, and it awakens a sense of the day’s possibilities. To play along with Andy and the band, capo the third fret and alternate between a D chord and Em with D and F# in the treble. Then, switching to a bluegrass ballad style, he aims for the funny bone on “Old Pain.” Losing the pain produces a big gain. Track 6, “Comin’ ‘Round,” is sort of he says she will be sorry she left and come crawlin’ back, whereas in, “If She’d Never Been to Boulder,” he seems to realize it’s beyond salvaging and though she has come back, the lure of someone she left behind in Boulder is too great. “Lord I’m Gonna Find a Way” and “I Want to See my Master Smiling” celebrate faith with very different approaches. One is a personal prayer put to music and the other is a bluegrass gospel toe-tapper. Several tracks will remind you to take another look at the beauty that surrounds you.


    Andy has assembled a talented crew to back him on “Café Americana.” Kenny Malone, Dennis Crouch, Kenny Kosek, Jim Heffernan and many others are definitely ‘n’ Synch with May’s soulful singing. Though there are no instrumental only tracks, these people enhance the songs professionally with great riffs and instrumental interludes. Harmony backup singers are likewise seamlessly woven into the rich sonorities. Those accustomed to hearing Andy play solo or with one other artist will find this offering a nice change of pace, but the essence of his music hasn’t changed. He still cuts to the heart of a concept and brings it to life in song.

    — Paul Stamper, Walnut Valley Festival program, 2005

     


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  • KAYO-FM: “Flyin’ Fast” by Brycen Fast

    Once we went on the air with [Brycen] and played a few cuts [from his CD], our listeners went nuts. Since the interview, we’ve been inundated with phone calls, requests, and e-mails asking about Brycen….

    You’ve got a major find here…! We will continue to help and support Brycen in any way that we can…!

    Kim Taylor–Chris & Kim in the Morning, KAYO FM, Olympia, WA


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  • KMPS FM: “Flyin’ Fast” by Brycen Fast

    …We had Brycen Fast come into the KMPS studio to play and sing live a few of his original songs for our listeners. The audience response was extremely favorable and we also were very impressed with what he had to offer….

    RJ Phil, Producer, KMPS FM–Seattle, WA


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  • WCWM Radio: “Flyin’ Fast” by Brycen Fast

    Greatest things that I have heard in YEARS! This guy is good.    — Paul, WCWM, Williamsburg, VA


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  • Tennessee Arts Commission, Arts in Education: Andy’s School Program

    … In addition to being an accomplished singer-songwriter, Andy May has tremendous respect among traditional musicians nationwide. Traditional country, blues, and bluegrass music are the heart and soul of Tennessee’s cultural identity. Andy has developed a program that pulls in some of the most talented musicians from this heritage. All of these musicians are highly requested set musicians in the studios on Music Row or are regulars from the Grand Ole Opry, including Curtis McPeake, banjo player for the late bluegrass legend Bill Monroe. Andy’s group is devoted to the preservation of American traditional music. In fact, the materials presented in his performances work well with the PBS documentary series American Roots Music, which includes online resources, study guides, and lesson plans.

    —Hayden Roberts, Tennessee Arts Commission, Arts Education Director

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  • Tennessee Arts Commission Folklife Program – Andy’s School Program

    …It was wonderful to see kids getting such high-quality exposure to bluegrass music in a school context. … It’s heartening to see a school program skillfully validating and interpreting traditional acoustic music for youngsters who too often get very different, negative and class-stereotyped messages about their region’s vernacular music in educational settings. Those kids got “inoculated” …through a live performance of bluegrass standards played by top-flight professionals, and your experience in arts ed residencies framed the music for them very nicely. I have no doubt that they all went away informed and inspired, and that the program afforded a formative, significant cultural experience for many of them.

    I thoroughly endorse and encourage your continued work in this area, and I think you’re uniquely situated to help implement future programming of this sort. Every school should be lucky enough to benefit from it.

    —Robert Cogswell, Tennessee Arts Commission Folklife Program Director

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  • Walnut Valley Festival: ‘Blackberry Jam” by Andy May

    Andy May is no high lonesome singer. He has a graceful baritone and an easygoing manner. But make no mistake. The man appreciates bluegrass, and he proves it with two songs on the new CD Blackberry Jam.

    “They Put the Blue in Bluegrass” is a song that bluegrass lovers will want to own. It commemorates the birth of bluegrass and the roles that Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt played. “When [the] people heard that sound / It just turned their heads around / I wish I’d been there that day,” sings May. Fans who share his nostalgia will enjoy this song; those who didn’t know about the roots of bluegrass will benefit from this history lesson.

    Less academic but more fiery is “Bound for Tennessee.” May again references Monroe as well as heroes Uncle Dave Macon and Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith. This kind of uptempo song would be a workout for any banjo player, and frequent May collaborator Jim Heffernan handles the task beautifully. Fiddler Tim Crouch steals some attention, too.

    In addition to the bluegrass celebrations, Andy May and co-writer Lauren May mix healthy doses of the introspective and the inspirational. “My Dad” delves into the personal, using recurring phrases and cold facts to build the picture of a relationship. Heffernan again shines on the track with a guitar solo that captures the mood of the song. “Big Wings” uses the imagery of a blue heron and an airplane to capture a moment of personal conviction. Closing the album is “Love’s the Greatest Gift of All,” constructed around a syncopated chorus that holds both tension and reassurance.

    Rounding out the release are some lighthearted songs, including the honkytonk shouter “I Think I’ll Move” and the wry diner ballad “Stan”.

    –Seth Bate, Walnut Valley Festival

     


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  • Dave Freeman: “The View From McPeake” by Curtis McPeake

    Thanks to producer Andy May for doing this up right-it should bring McPeake some of the credit he deserves as one of the top Scruggs-style banjo pickers for over 40 years now.

    Dave Freeman, “County Sales Newsletter

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  • Eddie Stubbs – WSM: “The View From McPeake” by Curtis McPeake

    Curtis McPeake has always possessed a truly unique style of playing the five-string banjo. This latest collection demonstrates the “McPeake Magic” is still there.

    Eddie Stubbs, Grand Ol’ Opry announcer/WSM-AM, Nashville, TN


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  • WPLN-FM: “Blackberry Jam” by Andy May

    These are fine songs…. A real winner.

    –Dave Higgs, Bluegrass Breakdown, WPLN-FM, Nashville, TN

     


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  • “Bluegrass Unlimited:” “Dance of Life” by Andy May

    Andy May started performing in the late ’60s, playing guitar in New York City with Kenny Kosek as part of the Star Spangled String Band. Andy subsequently expanded his horizons by moving to the Amherst, Massachusetts, area where he began songwriting, playing the mandolin and jamming with Jim Heffernan. Now located in Colorado, Andy has brought together Kenny and his fiddle, Jim on dobro and banjo, David Dick on banjo, Rudi Weeks on bass, and another New Yorker, Roger Mason also on bass, for “Dance Of Life (A Mandolin Celebration).”

    This release features eight traditional bluegrass tunes, jigs and reels as well as Bill Monroe’s “Bluegrass Stomp” and two May originals, the title track and “Bay Of Fundy Reel.” On “Dance Of Life” which opens the cassette, Andys light, bright mandolin picking sets the lead for Kenny’s swinging fiddle and the combination results in a sassy, foot-stomping, tune. You can’t help but like this number! The old classic “Bill Cheetham” follows and here Andy’s quick tempo is embellished by Kenny with a hot, bluesy fiddle lead. The banjo playing is also strong, but unfortunately the lack of liner notes leaves the listener guessing whether it’s Jim or David doing the picking.

    The Celtic-flavored “Swallowtail Jig” is next and by now it’s hard to hold your seat as Andy and the boys beckon you to get up and dance. The version of “Soldier’s Joy” that follows is enhanced by raspy vocals: “I am my Mamma’s darling boy, I’ll play a little tune called Soldier’s Joy!” The immortal “Bluegrass Stomp” closes the first side. On this cut we finally get to hear the fine Dobro work of Jim Heffernan, although it’s just a lick or two. Jim is one of America’s best kept Dobro secrets, but Rutabaga Records is helping to spread the word. (Pick up Jim’s “Dobro” – Rutabaga RR 3002 for a real treat.)

    Some side two highlights Include a lightning-paced version of another mandolin number, “Devil’s Dream,” as well as Andy’s second original “Bay Of Fundy Reel.” This slower paced, methodical tune has a beautiful, timeless sound.

    Dance Of Life is a light, enjoyable frolic through traditional mandolin standards. The musicianship is high, the original works strong and the tape is really a lot of fun.

    Bluegrass Unlimited

     


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  • Walnut Valley Festival on “Dance of Life”

    Andy is joined by several stellar musicians including Kenny Kosek on fiddle, David Dick on banjo, and Rudi Weeks on most of the bass tracks. The songs are traditional except for Bill Monroe’s “Bluegrass Stomp,” Andy’s own “Dance of Life” and his Celtic flavored “Bay of Fundy Reel.” A highlight of this collection is a vocal version of “Soldier’s Joy.” The tunes on this CD are performed tastefully at a cool tempo. These arrangements provide a relaxed ambient atmosphere and allow the novice picker (like me!) a chance to play along with tunes like “Bill Chatham,” “Cripple Creek,” and “Devils Dream” at a pace I can keep up with. My favorite is “St. Anne’s Reel.” Many flat pickers have turned the bridge section of this song into a samba, a Cha Cha or one of those Caribbean things. I thoroughly enjoyed this recording and thank you Andy May for keeping “St. Anne’s Reel” a real reel.

    — Ernie and Patti Hill, Walnut Valley Festival program

     


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  • KMNT-FM: “Flyin’ Fast” by Brycen Fast

    Just a word to let you know how much we enjoy Brycen’s CD. Well written lyrics… and the way Brycen delivers the songs hold promise for a bright future. At KMNT, we’re currently playing “Lookin’ at Love” to a warm reception… “Good Buzz on Brycen.”

    —Steve Schlenker, Program Director, KMNT FM–Centralia, WA


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  • Walnut Valley Festival: “MaySongs” by Andy May

    “MaySongs,” the album notes say, is a compilation of “the kernels of living…winnowed out of…the last 15 years.” Here in one convenient CD is Andy May with a plethora of pickin’ pals taking full advantage of studio music-making magic. Andy even does some of his own “background vocals.” Taking tracks from many different sources to create this CD, Andy has created a best-of-Andy May recording.

    And best it is. “MaySongs” reflects the spirit of this troubadour of life. The album is easy listening country music with a kinder, gentler focus than the down and dirty themes of much mainstream country music. The life May sings of is simple, joyful, nostalgic. Among other themes, he sings of the endless road (“Night Drive,” “Travelers”), connecting with true love (“Easy Street,” “Sight for Sore Eyes,” “Raise My Voice”), and nostalgia for places past (“Quabbin Moon,” my favorite cut).

    This patchwork quilt of Andy’s writing skills would be a pleasant addition to the music library for May fans, but more importantly, it could serve as an excellent introduction to his music for those who have not had the “May experience.”

    Walnut Valley Festival program, 1997 on MaySongs by Andy May


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  • Eric Nagler: “MaySongs” by Andy May
     

    My thanks go out to Andy, and my admiration, for putting words together in such a powerful way. …MaySongs shows the pure musical dedication and caring Andy May lends to everything he does.      

    — Eric Nagler:  Eric’s World, The Elephant Show on MaySongs by Andy May


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  • Quote: Songs – Harry Warner

    I have always believed in the songs of Andy and Lauren May.       — Harry Warner (BMI/Nashville)

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  • Stavros Moschopoulos (WHO): “Natick” by Rick Lee

    A MAGNIFICENT CD from one of the few TRUE folk artists around who still tells stories and makes music that speaks to the heart.

    –Stavros Moschopoulos, World Health Organization on Natick by Rick Lee


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  • Rounder Records: “MaySongs” by Andy May

     

    I enjoyed “MaySongs.” Fun listening… all the way through. —Ken Irwin, Rounder Records on MaySongs by Andy May

     


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  • WSM-AM: Andy May

    [Andy May] is an awesome performer, singer and entertainer. He’s one of those guys who can combine country and bluegrass and folk and Americana all at the same time– and that’s an art in itself.

    –Matthew Gillian, WSM, Nashville, TN

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  • “Dirty Linen:” “Natick” by Rick Lee

    Veteran traditional musician Rick Lee has been a familiar part of Boston’s old-time and Anglo-Celtic music communities since the 1960’s, making a series of records with his former wife Lorraine Lee and with the band “Solomon’s Seal.” This solo CD features Lee and friends in a set of ballads and story songs, some traditional and some modern, connecting British Isles and Appalachian sources and mixing in a couple of country songs, too. Lee has a weathered Yankee voice, sounding at times like a less polished but more rootsy Dave Mallet, adding practiced accompaniment on frailed banjo and electric piano. He’s one of the rare performers who has successfully adapted electric keyboards to this type of music. The title song is Lee’s vivid ballad of his hometown’s history, describing the 17th century meeting of English settlers and the native Natick people. Piano versions of the classic supernatural ballad “Tam Lin” and the haunting Irish tale of “The Tinkerman’s Daughter” are other highlights.

    – Tom Nelligan, (Dirty Linen, #66, October/November 1996, p. 83) on Natick by Rick Lee

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  • Jean Ritchie: “MaySongs” by Andy May

     

    Great CD.

    Jean Ritchie on MaySongs by Andy May

     


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  • Ranger Doug: MaySongs” by Andy May

     

    Loved “MaySongs” a lot! Great writing!

    Ranger Doug, Riders in the Sky, Nashville, TNMaySongs by Andy May

     

     


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  • KTEP Radio: “Natick” by Rick Lee

    Rick is a God-send to folk purists and music lovers alike.

    —Dan Alloway, Music Director, KTEP, El Paso, TX on Natick by Rick Lee


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  • Joe DeRouen: “Natick” by Rick Lee

    NATICK is a solid album, without even a single lacking track. If you enjoy traditional ballads and good acoustic discs, you’ll want to add this one to your collection.

    —Joe DeRouen, Addison, TX on Natick by Rick Lee


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  • WTSR Radio: “Natick” by Rick Lee

    Outstanding record – fresh sound with that traditional base…This album is in my top 10 for 1995 so far.

    —Peter Kernast, WTSR, Trenton, NJ on Natick by Rick Lee


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  • Lincoln Center, Fort Collins, CO

    Your show was tops– great!       —Lincoln Center, Fort Collins, CO

     

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  • Mayor’s Office for Cultural Affairs, Springfield, MA, on Andy May

    Andy May… knocked me out!       Mayor’s Office for Cultural Affairs, Springfield, MA

     

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  • Canton, CT, Creative Arts Council: School Program

    Your ability to communicate with the children and adapt your program to the response of the audience and the different age levels …was most impressive.      

    —Sue Norland, Canton Creative Arts Council, Canton, CT

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  • Peace Train Foundation: Andy May in Concert
    Andy May - Atlantic Express - Hartford - CT - Peace Train Foundation

    1984 – Hartford-CT-Peace Train Foundation – Andy May & Atlantic Express.

    Our enthusiasm was shared… by the 50,000 strong in the audience. We couldn’t have been happier with your performance.

    Peace Train Foundation, Inc., Hartford, CT

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  • Cultural Organization of the Arts, RI: Andy May’s School Program

    His music and songs are simple and meaningful; his manner is easygoing and conversational. He not only shares his music with students, but also the creative process through which songs are written and instruments are mastered.     

    —Joan Gardner, Cultural Organization of the Arts, RI


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  • The Springfield News, MA, on Andy May

    A blazing guitar picker and mandolinist!       –The Springfield News, Springfield, MA

     

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  • David Sokol on Andy May

    (Andy May’s) distinct style of writing and performing– with a mixture of warmth, sensitivity and good nature– bridges the gap between traditional and contemporary American music with purity and exuberance.

    –David Sokol, Editor, “Disney Magazine”

     

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  • Amherst, MA, Regional Junior High School: Review: School Program

    That the entire student body gave your presentation full and enthusiastic attention for a full hour is a tribute to you, …your program of music, and your sensitivity to the context of an assembly of over 900 early adolescents.

    —John Burruto, Principal, Amherst Regional Junior High School, MA

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  • Marblehead Festival of Arts, MA

    It was obvious after four encores that the audience loved your music….      

    Marblehead Festival of Arts, Marblehead, MA

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  • WFCR, Western MA

    [Andy May] is a skilled story-teller. –Charlene Koh, WFCR, Public Radio for Western New England

     

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