Andy McKee

The Rialto Theatre & SBL Entertainment Present

Andy McKee

Michael Gulezian

Mar 19 Thu

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

The Rialto Theatre

$24.00 - $28.00

This event is all ages

Andy McKee
Andy McKee
Andy McKee is among the world’s finest acoustic guitarists. His youthful energy and attention to song structure and melodic content elevates him above the rest. He entertains both the eye and the ear as he magically transforms the steel string guitar into a full orchestra via his use of altered tunings, tapping, partial capos, percussive hits and a signature two-handed technique.

McKee’s crossover success has helped him to achieve millions upon millions of YouTube viewers, underscoring his emergence as one of today’s most unique and influential artists. He has been featured as a cover story in both Acoustic Guitar Magazine in the U.S. and Acoustic Magazine in the UK, and is also the figurehead of the unique Guitar Masters tours. McKee’s tour dates have taken him through Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, including tours with legendary acts including Prince and Dream Theater.

Live performances of Andy’s have become a point of fascination with his loyal followers. So, in late 2015, Andy decided it was time to release a live album. Featuring tracks from his entire catalog, Live Book was recorded live in December 2015 at The Melting Point in Athens, GA, the Red Clay Music Foundry in Duluth, GA, and Workplay in Birmingham, AL. McKee went through the recordings from all three shows and selected the finest takes of each set. Reflecting on the song choices, he looks to provide current fans the chance to relive their favorite shows, and hopes that he can showcase the energy he creates for those who haven’t been able to attend a show and new fans alike.

“I’ve always wanted to do a live album; for quite a few years I’ve felt it’s something that has been missing from my collection of releases,” says McKee. “This album will feature some of my YouTube hits like ‘Drifting’ and ‘Rylynn’, some songs from my 2014 EP Mythmaker, and a cover of a Michael Hedges song called ‘Because It’s There’ played on harp guitar that I haven’t released yet.”

McKee is the first artist to be signed CGP Sounds, the record label founded by fellow guitarist Tommy Emmanuel.

“I’m honored to be a part of his label. I heard Tommy 15 years ago at a festival in Kansas and was blown away by his playing and performing, and I still am,” Mckee stated. “To be the first person on his label is surreal, and I’m excited and proud to be a part of it.”

Live Book released worldwide on April 22. The album, McKee’s first live record, was released through CGP Sounds. In support of the new album, McKee is now embarking on “The Next Chapter Tour” throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States.

For more information on Andy McKee please visit www.andymckee.com
Michael Gulezian
Michael Gulezian
Michael Gulezian (gu-LAY-ze-in) celebrates his first twenty five years as composer / recording / performing artist with his first ever live concert release, CONCERT AT ST. OLAF COLLEGE. For more than two decades, Michael has unpretentiously walked onstage and delivered one riveting performance after another. CONCERT AT ST. OLAF COLLEGE fully displays the intensity, nuance, energy, and emotion of a master musician lovingly engaged with his audience in the mystery of self-revelation, creating music of understated virtuosity, atmospheric power, ecstatic joy, and haunting beauty.

For those who follow solo acoustic instrumental guitar, Michael Gulezian is firmly established in the genre as one of the most significant artists of our time. And what a time it is – contemporary instrumental music is under unprecedented commercial pressure; hype and marketing dollars supercede talent, and image and personality are often mistaken for the message. By contrast, Michael Gulezian personifies a higher standard, where extraordinary talent and unadulterated artistry are the only meaningful measures of relevance.

CONCERT AT ST. OLAF COLLEGE is reminiscent of the groundbreaking tone, tenor, and timbre of Michael’s critically acclaimed Takoma Records debut, Unspoken Intentions. All nine songs are performed in open tunings; five are performed on 12-string guitar, and four with bottleneck slide. In addition to his original pieces, Michael includes an overdriven cover of Leo Kottke’s “Watermelon,” and an other-worldly rendition of J.S. Bach’s “Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring.”


Michael was exposed as a child to a wide palette of musical forms, from diverse cultures, spanning many centuries. His mother sang Armenian folk songs, and his father (a renowned ethnomusicologist) played ancient Middle Eastern music on the oud. Michael began playing guitar at the age of six, assimilating everything from the Hindustani raga improvisations of Ravi Shankar, to Gregorian Chant, to the rock of Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones. Early on, the foundation was laid for the duality that informs his music to this day: rock attitude, imbued with a mystical, spiritual essence – all tempered and disciplined by a rigorous program of classical guitar training.

Michael soon discovered the early fingerstyle guitarists of the Mississippi Delta: John Hurt, Bukka White, Blind Blake, Son House, Reverend Gary Davis, and Robert Johnson. The entirely different rhythmic and harmonic modalities of that idiom exploded Michael’s conception of musical possibility. But the crystallizing moment occurred upon hearing the music of the immortal John Fahey – godfather of American solo acoustic guitar, and founder of the hugely influential Takoma Records label. Michael found many of his own influences distilled into Fahey’s idiosyncratic voice, and locked onto Fahey’s then-radical concept of acoustic instrumental guitar as lifelong medium for composition and creative self-expression.

While at Colorado’s Holy Cross Abbey, Michael studied Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung, and James Joyce. Their ideas and conception of freedom from linguistic convention had a profound impact on Michael’s music. Fascinated by the terrifying flow of unbridled language, Michael began writing his own songs. His influences at this point ranged from Leo Kottke to Keith Jarrett, from Mahavishnu John McLaughlin to Sun Ra. At every opportunity Gulezian took his guitar out to the fields, rivers, and mountains, lit a campfire, and played deep into the night. In Michael’s own words, the goal was “to write transcendent music, in the way that James Joyce wrote verse that transcended language.”

While still in high school, Michael met Takoma Records artist Robbie Basho at a concert in Pueblo, Colorado. Michael played Robbie an original composition, stunning Basho to the point where he not only spoke to the audience about the young Gulezian, but also contacted John Fahey. It wasn’t long before Michael Gulezian and John Fahey were in correspondence – Gulezian sending homemade tapes, and Fahey responding to the high school senior with detailed criticism, as he had done with Basho and Kottke. Fahey thus became Michael’s musical mentor.

Michael began playing concerts and released his first recording, SNOW, on his own Aardvark Records label. It received great reviews, sold out the initial pressing, and generated considerable industry attention. Meanwhile, Takoma Records had just merged with Chrysalis, acquiring international distribution. John Fahey signed Michael to a recording contract with Takoma/ Chrysalis Records, which subsequently reissued the original masters to a worldwide audience as UNSPOKEN INTENTIONS.

The disc was released to international critical acclaim. High Fidelity said it "may well be the best solo guitar album since Leo Kottke's justly renowned first effort." Guitar giant Michael Hedges acknowledged Unspoken Intentions as a major influence, and renegade artist Henry Kaiser called it "a masterwork … a white hot nova of acoustic guitar." In Guitar Player magazine, John Fahey wrote, "This record goes further and far beyond anything that has hitherto been accomplished. It is a strikingly original record. It is an epoch breaking record. Gulezian takes the previously existing ... and destroys it in order to get at the truth, or emotional reality. His songs have the ability to penetrate the already-known nature of reality and approach essence more closely. As a result Gulezian and the listener get caught up in the truth and lose themselves in it. Thus the listener to this record identifies himself, and to some extent becomes one with something greater and more powerful than oneself ... one finds oneself in a truer contemplation of the nature of vastness and emptiness. Dreamlike and amorphous sounding on first listening, we soon discover the core of beauty and truth in this music and discover its subtle integrity and essential musicality. For that which we thought was a dream, is indeed the heart of reality, that for which we have been searching."