Dubbed “a troubadour of life” by the Walnut Valley Festival, veteran singer/songwriter and champion guitarist Andy May infuses his songwriting and his shows with his trademark creativity, humor, and consummate musicianship. His music embraces styles from blues to bluegrass, old-time country to contemporary folk, traditional reels to roots-rock.
Andy started performing seriously in his teens, immersed in and part of the ‘60’s Folk Revival in New York’s Greenwich Village. He had his first concert as a songwriter at Izzy Young‘s Folklore Center in New York City in 1970. Izzy had given Bob Dylan his first concert there, too (in 1961)–not a bad way to start a career! Andy soon became a mainstay of the major folk and bluegrass venues in the city, including the Folklore Center and WBAI-FM. During that time, he also performed at Carnegie Hall, worked with Brill Building songwriter and producer, Artie Resnick (Under the Boardwalk, Good Lovin’), and appeared with Jerry Jeff Walker, Pete Seeger, Janis Ian, and many others, making a name for himself as an up-and-coming musician and songwriter. (Read more)
Moving to New England in 1970, Andy earned a following there as a folk- and country-rock original. With subsequent moves to Colorado and then to Nashville, his reputation has grown to include his extensive work as a producer and an educator. For many years, he has been an annual performer and educator at Walnut Valley Festival and MerleFest and a regular workshop presenter at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Andy’s desire to mentor young musicians led him to create his beloved Acoustic Kids Showcases, and through these non-competitive events, he has provided performance opportunities for many hundreds of young musicians at major music festivals over the course of nearly three decades. Andy also started, runs, and produces for the IBMA Award-winning record label and production company, Swift River Music.
Andy has eight CDs of mostly original music on Swift River Music and has written for many Nashville recording projects. His most recent album, The Good Things (Outweigh the Bad), a bluegrass/old-time project with 5-string banjo legend, Curtis McPeake, came out in March of 2018. (McPeake subsequently received a Distinguished Achievement Award from the IBMA, honoring his many accomplishments during his 70-year career in the music business.) Andy’s 2016 release, Room for Roots, and his original song, The Woman in the Wings, earned spots on Roots Music Report‘s “Top Americana Country” Album Chart and Song Chart, respectively, in both 2016 and 2017. An earlier song of Andy’s, The Sweetest Story Ever Told (MaySongs), was on the Juno Award-nominated MCA album, Can’t Sit Down (Eric Nagler), and on the Gemini Award-nominated CBC TV series Eric’s World. He has written music for Channel 5 Boston and the UNITED WAY. Andy is also an award-winning fine artist and arts educator.
My thanks go out to Andy, and my admiration, for putting words together in such a powerful way. ~ Eric Nagler, The Elephant Show (CBC TV) & Eric’s World (CBC TV)
“Today is like a new and shiny instrument
just waiting to be played…”
-from Endless Possibilities, by Andy May-