7 p.m., November 9, 2018
The Hammond Street Congregational Church, UCC, is privileged to present singer/song writer, Andrew McKnight on Friday, November 9th, in our Fellowship Hall.
Andrew’s one-man shows are entertaining and reflect the down-home comfort and warmth of his native Virginia Blue Ridge home. He mixes flat picking and well-crafted songs with humorous stories and poetic drama. His influences range from Appalachia to jazz, anthems to folk. For a preview of his performance, check out his YouTube videos:
“The skillful songwriter’s interest in history is revealed in songs such as the Civil War ballad “The Road to Appomattox” and the soldier’s elegy “Wind Whispers Your Name.” … He also works in true folkie tradition, updating lyrics to classic material such as “Worried Man Blues” or reworking Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads” to place himself mano-a-devil.” (The Washington Post). McKnight shares folk lineage with Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger and fans of contemporary singer/songwriters like Darrell Scott, John McCutcheon, and Richard Shindell will also find much to like.
2018 finds McKnight hitting full stride as a musician, storyteller and entertainer. He shares spellbinding stories recently uncovered in his family history with the help of his “cast of characters” – four guitars, a Native American flute and a djembe. The resulting performance is a delightful welcome into the diverse aspects of his unique life, ranging from family DNA tests, time spent with Appalachian miners, guitars made of local native wood, and much more. As McKnight says, “I couldn’t make these stories up, and it would be a shame not to share them!”
Since leaving his corporate environmental engineering career in 1996, McKnight has logged nearly a million miles touring across America. In addition to his solo career, he fronts Andrew McKnight & Beyond Borders along with founding Nitty Gritty Dirt Band member Les Thompson. Their 2012 live CD/DVD One Virginia Night and Andrew’s five solo CDs have earned much critical acclaim and airplay around the world as well as a wealth of NPR stations and several XM/Sirius satellite shows. The band is part of the prestigious Virginia Commission for the Arts Touring Artist Program.
While no stranger to elite stages like the Kennedy Center, Rocky Mountain Folks Festival or the Katharine Hepburn Theater, McKnight’s music seems to spread most rapidly through the diverse causes that have embraced his music. “I suppose if you designed the ‘anti-traditional’ approach to the music business, I’ve taken it,” he chuckles. Whether helping people living on the margins with food drives at concerts, singing for and about workers and communities displaced by mountaintop removal coal mining, or introducing children to music and creativity, he has seen the power of music to help others up close. In turn his musical journey, spanning more than two decades and “several hundred guest rooms”, is completely dependent on those personal grassroots.
A free will offering will be taken. Come join the fun!