Thursday, August 30, 2007

"Songwriting in his soul..."

I read and enjoyed the following article about a singer/songwriter's slow & steady career... very inspirational...

Vail resident has songwriting in his soul
Thelma Grimes

San Pedro Valley News-Sun

When it comes to his albums, concerts and music being played on various radio stations throughout the country, Andy Hersey said it's not about notoriety; it's about staying true to the art that is songwriting. Hersey, who grew up in Vail and graduated from Benson High School in 1985, continues to work on his music and travel from state to state and country bar to country bar, singing what he calls true poetry.

"To be in this business, it takes tenacity, it takes endurance, especially if you are going to be singing your own stuff," he said. "It's very heartening knowing there are still audiences that love the poetry of a song. They love the songs about real life."

Hersey, who got into the music business after spending a short time after high school at a trade school in Oklahoma, said when he is in front of an audience singing the songs he wrote, it feels good even if the words meant something to only one person in the audience.

"You have to believe in the music, especially when you are 1,000 miles away from home and no one is really listening," said the nearly 40-year-old singer. "At that point all you have is your art."

With his album 'God and Country,' which was recently released, Hersey continues to gain attention, recently making an appearance on Good Morning Arizona."It was a great experience for me. It's not like the bars where you hear beer bottles clinking. Television is a much more sterile environment," he said. "I just wanted to get on there and sing my music and really represent Arizona."Hersey says many of the songs on his new albums are his own reflections on life, noting that one of his favorites is about an old horseshoe that knew a lot about life.

That song is just one of many hits on his new albums, where Hersey displays a little of bit of old country with a Merle Haggard feel. Throughout the interview in Vail last Wednesday, Hersey, whose voice was low and hoarse from the show the night before in Chandler, talked about his idols and how most of them are songwriters. One of Hershey heroes is Kris Kristofferson, he said, noting that he tries to avoid the direction today's country music has gone. He said most of his music is played on community and college radio stations. Hersey said he's glad his music is played by radio stations that specialize in playing performers and instrumentalists like Vince Gill and Alison Krauss.

"When it comes to my music, I never want it to lose its soul," Hersey said. "I never want to lose the art that goes into songwriting. I'm not saying my goal is to hear my voice on mainstream radio, but I really wouldn't mind hearing someone like George Strait singing one of my songs."

In talking about a career Hersey is obviously passionate about, he said there are so many angles to the music industry. He explained that he has the concerts and a Web site that sells merchandise, but the goal is selling his songs to some of the better country singers in the industry. Hersey said he could have never made it alone, noting that when the budget allows, he travels with a great band.

Hersey said he also has to thank his supportive family, including high school sweetheart Danielle and two sons. "I have a great wife and great kids," he said. "That's one of the most important things to have when you are a struggling artist. When a singer has something he can go home to, it makes it so much easier."

Hersey said he has to thank everyone who worked on his latest album from the photography to the music, noting that he's already thinking about his next CD. But the next group of songs will have to be written while he is busy with shows during the coming months. He performed locally at Montgomery's Grill and Saloon on Friday and on Sept. 1 will perform at the Steakout in Sonoita and on Sept. 2 at the House of Blues in Las Vegas. He also has several shows booked throughout Texas in September. Log onto his Web site at
Copyright © 2007 Vail Sun


pinball king said...

Hey, wait a minute!...
"I'm up on stage alone
A thousand miles from home,
And no one in the crowd is really listening..."
I have a new song, thanks!

Renz said...

glad to help... I may just take that lyric too (it's a nice one!)

Songwriting contest said...

It's really nice to see that you have no problem sharing your ideas.
Way to go!

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