Andy Wood is generation Y's emerging guitar rock phenom. You may be saying to yourself, "Then why have I never heard of him?" That's because up until the age of eighteen he was busy mastering the mandolin and bluegrass.
Andy spent most of his childhood playing and competing in bluegrass festivals. Touring the bluegrass circuit with his cousin and grandfather provided Andy with the necessary exposure that helped refine and sharpen his skills. Andy and his cousin held various state championship titles. At the young age of sixteen Andy finished second in the world championship mandolin contest in Winfield, Kansas.
Fast forward a few years. Andy's curiosity and appreciation for music drew him into the world of electric guitars. The new instrument was familiar due to his experience with acoustic instruments, but at the same time, allowed him to manipulate his sound in ways never before possible. He began studying the styles of Nashville session players such as Brent Mason and Albert Lee.
It was not long before Andy had immersed himself in new styles such as jazz, swing, fusion, and rock. Andy began to study other guitar greats such as The Dixie Dregs, Eric Johnson, Eddie Van Halen, Joe Satriani, and Steve Vai. Shortly after, the young guitarist began incorporating their influences into his own style.
At the age of 22, Andy was drawn back to competition in the form of Guitarmagedon, a guitar contest sponsored by guitar center. Andy was a face in the crowd of 3,400 other contestants, but he quickly made his presence known as he began to rip through complex notes that had top level musicians dropping their jaws. Four years after picking up the electric guitar, Andy was crowned the champion of the prominent tournament.
Not long after winning Guitarmagedon, Andy became a founding member of the rock group Down from Up. They have toured with Seven Dust, Drowning Pool and 10 Years. Looking for an outlet for styles other than hard rock, Andy also released his debut solo album A Disconcerting Amalgam. This instrumental record covers a broad range of genres including fusion, rock, metal, and acoustic bluegrass.
Today, you can find Andy in the recording studio (a.k.a. his second home), at clinics around the country teaching hosts of up and coming guitar prodigies, or live onstage in front of his rapidly growing fan base. No matter where you catch this emerging musician, if you get the opportunity to hear him play, he will blur the lines of preconceived genres.