McKee played his first guitar, an Aria nylon string bought by his father, at age 13. Initially underwhelmed by his guitar lessons, McKee began teaching himself how to play guitar. He began learning shred guitar music, including songs by Metallica, Eric Johnson, and Joe Satriani. McKee's electric guitar-playing cousin inspired him to continue learning, taking him out for his 16th birthday to see a guitarist named Preston Reed perform live at a clinic. McKee later bought an instructional videotape from Reed and began to learn many of his acoustic guitar techniques from it. Later that year, with his mother's permission, he obtained his GED in order to quit attending high school and play more guitar. He began to draw influence from guitarists such as Michael Hedges, Billy McLaughlin, Pat Kirtley, and from Passion Session by Don Ross, as he continued studying the instrument on his own.
In 2001, McKee independently released his first album, Nocturne. That same year, he was placed third at the National Fingerstyle Guitar Competition in Winfield, Kansas. In 2003, McKee toured in Taiwan with Jacques Stotzem, Isato Nakagawa, and Masaaki Kishibe, and earned first place in the Miscellaneous Acoustic Instrument contest of the New Jersey State Fiddling and Picking Championships with a Ron Spillers harpguitar he purchased from Stephen Bennett in 2002., The instrument can be heard in a number of his songs on later albums, such as "Into The Ocean" and "Gates of Gnomeria". Only 1,000 copies of Nocturne were ever produced and the album is now out of circulation.
Andy McKee (born in 1979 in Topeka, Kansas, United States) is an American fingerstyle guitarist currently signed to the American record label Candyrat Records. His style of playing and his compositions have earned him a considerable international fanbase; in late 2006, a live performance of his flagship song "Drifting" became a Featured Video on YouTube and MySpace, achieving over 23,000,000 views on the former to date and remaining one of its highest rated music clips. A handful of McKee's other songs have experienced lesser success on YouTube, such as "Rylynn" with over 10,000,000 views. Similarly, McKee's cover of "Africa" reached over 9,000,000 views before suddenly being removed by Candyrat Records
Art of Motion
Art of Motion, released in 2005, is Andy McKee's third studio album. This album features four tracks from Nocturne, McKee's debut CD, as well as most of the YouTubetracks such as "Drifting", "For My Father", "Rylynn" and "Into the Ocean".