By Lawrence Powell
Andrew White was spending a rare week off the last few days, soaking up the sun on the beach with his daughter near his home in Cape Breton. The downtime gives him a chance to work on a song that’s been forming – and he might just premier it Saturday at King’s Theatre. “I’ve got a feeling this one’s going to be an easy birth,” Andrew said, “Without too many complications.”
But some things haven’t been easy. While he’s now considered one of the world’s great guitar players, and is tops in the folk music genre, when Andrew was a boy of 13 he had to steal his brother’s guitar to practice and got the odd punch in the shoulder as punishment. “I think that was the reason I had to progress rather quickly,” he laughed.
When he was older, he saved every penny to buy his first guitar – a Gibson J45. “I remember coming out of the music store feeling like a million bucks,” he said. But it was short lived. He was young and in love and when his girlfriend of the day pulled a Dear John, he sold the guitar to buy an airplane ticket to follow her. Now he’d give just about anything to get that guitar back. “I’d love to catch up with it some day.”
But he doesn’t need it. He’s endorsed by Yamaha and in the guitar and folk worlds the New Zealand-born singer-songwriter can pretty much write his own ticket.
Andrew started his career busking on the streets of Auckland, and began his meteoric rise. In 1984, he released his first album, Conversations, and was immediately signed by the new-age label Narada Records in the US. Narada then released Islands, an instrumental collaboration with Grammy-nominated artist David Arkenstone, which reached the top 30 on the US Billboard Charts.
Following a live broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland, he was signed by UK label Linn Records and recorded Guitarra Celtica, a stunning instrumental album featuring 16 hauntingly beautiful original tracks. This was quickly followed with Pray For Rain, Andrew's first vocal album released on the independent Scottish label Vertical Records.
In 2001 he met Cape Breton fiddler and future wife Gillian Boucher at a Celtic festival in Glasgow, Scotland and made his first visit to Nova Scotia in 2002.
In January of 2005, he released Andrew White - Live, recorded by CBC Radio Canada, broadcast to over two-million people, and was nominated for an ECMA.
Over one million albums comprised of Andrew's compositions have been sold worldwide.
Critics call Andrew's finger-style guitar work as being technically brilliant yet possessing a highly melodic structure. He is one of the few who combines international class guitar playing with skillfully crafted and beautiful songs. A humble and gifted musician, Andrew's music will take you on a spiritual journey over the mountains of his soul and rivers through it.
King’s Theatre manager Geoff Keymer was thrilled to nab Andrew for Saturday evening’s concert, having followed his career through guitar summits, recordings, and most recently Andrew’s latest CD Walk in Light in Chicago. The recording Andrew’s 12th and most ambitious album to date. Featuring a full band comprised of Chicago’s finest session musicians; it introduces dynamic new songs from a broad spectrum of styles. From reggae beats to blues to folk, it displays Andrew's versatility as a guitarist, songwriter and arranger.
Saturday’s concert starts at 8 p.m. For tickets call 532-7704 or go to www.kingstheatre.ca.
Andrew White at King’s Theatre Saturday evening
A 'must-see' concert for folk and guitar lovers
By Lawrence Powell
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