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Feb 10 Andy Wood Knoxville, TN ANDY WOOD is recognized as part of the forefront of this generation's top influential guitarists. Currently touring as the guitarist and mandolinist for country super group, RASCAL FLATTS, Andy is also performing live with his own band promoting CAUGHT BETWEEN THE TRUTH AND A LIE, the new double album which showcases Andy's vast musical influences and abilities. 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. Andy Wood is known for blurring the lines of preconceived genres. Andy has toured as a guitarist for various acts, including Rascal Flatts (current) Sebastian Bach, Disciple, and Scott Stapp. 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. All of this was accomplished before Andy discovered the world of electric guitar at the age of eighteen. 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 after 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. The young guitarist began incorporating their influences into his own style. learn more
Feb 12 Erick Baker Knoxville, TN If you had told me when I graduated from the University of Tennessee in the summer of 2001 that I would end up making a living as a singer-songwriter and a television show host, I wouldn't have believed you. My degree was in public relations; I didn't have a background in music, unless you count singing in the congregation on Sundays. Amazingly though, as it turns out, you would've been right. I didn’t grow up singing or playing music. I’ve never had voice lessons, and I taught myself how to play guitar. With my music, I’ve always relied on passion instead of skill. The first song I learned to play was “Straight to Hell” by Drivin' 'N' Cryin.' (My Mom and Dad were so proud.) My performing career began on an apartment balcony in South Knoxville, playing for friends and random people passing by, which soon led to playing cover shows at local bars and restaurants. I was 23 when I wrote my first song, in the summer of 2002. The first time I seriously considered pursuing a career in music was on May 9, 2007, after opening up for John Legend at Knoxville's Tennessee Theatre. At the time, I was in graduate school, working on a master’s degree in English. A local promoter heard me perform at a songwriter showcase a few weeks earlier and, remarkably, offered me the gig. I went from performing in a noisy bar for 15 people who could care less to a sold-out theatre of 1,500 who intently listened to every word I sang. The guy that walked on stage that night wasn’t the same guy that walked off. One set, six songs in just thirty minutes, changed my life forever. Music has been one of the greatest blessings in my life. It’s taken me to parts of the world I would have never seen and connected me with people I would have never met. It’s given my life purpose. Without music, I may have never met the two greatest loves of my life, my wife, Mandy, and my daughter, Annabelle Rose Baker. My songs belong to every right turn and wrong turn that has led me here. They reflect the pieces of poetry hidden in the experiences that lie within each of our everyday lives. Currently, along with continuing my career in music, I'm pursuing a new adventure, one that's led me back home. I’m proud to say I’ve lived in Tennessee my entire life. However, touring out on the road with my music for the last decade, I’ve only seen it passing by through a windshield. Finally, after all that time away, Tennessee is calling me back where I belong. As the host of the new PBS outdoor television show Tennessee Uncharted, I’m getting the opportunity to rediscover how great my home state is, one adventure at a time. Our lives are full of uncharted places, and this show is all about getting out and exploring them because you never know where they may lead you.There is always something new to be learned or gained, and every day I uncover a little more about myself. I am so grateful for what I’ve been able to do with just my voice, my words and a wood box with strings. Surprisingly, music has given me so much in my life. It’s allowed me to see the world and, along the way, find the beauty and blessing of home. learn more
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