Profile of Andy M. Stewart

Andy in concert, Vancouver, 1990
July, 1990, Vancouver
Photo: G.M. Rosson, San Jose, CA

Called one of Celtic music's most gifted singers and arguably the best songwriter in the entire folk tradition, Andy M. Stewart has been delighting audiences with his music and humour for more than three decades.

Born in Perthshire, Scotland, Andy grew up in a family noted for its fine traditional singing. He first drew the attention of the music world with his work as lead singer and instrumentalist for Silly Wizard, with whom he toured until their break-up in 1988. It was while Andy was in the Wizards that he gained much recognition for his beautiful interpretations of the traditional songs of Scotland and Ireland and also became known as a master of songwriting in the traditional style. Self-penned gems such as "The Ramblin' Rover", "Golden, Golden", "The Queen of Argyll", and "Where are You Tonight, I Wonder" have become almost instant classics, and have been recorded by June Tabor, The Dubliners and Deanta, to name a few. As an accomplished banjo player, his ear for a good tune has been displayed in his arranging and composing abilities; a style that set the precedent for many an up-and-coming band in the ever-expanding world of Celtic music.

Known for his wicked wit and sterling live performances, Andy M. Stewart is among the finest singers in the Scots/Irish traditional genre, with a voice that "conveys more emotion in one line than most singers do in a lifetime." (Beacon Herald)

Andy has recorded four solo albums, By the Hush, named Folk Album of the Year by Melody Maker Magazine, Songs of Robert Burns, Man in the Moon, and Donegal Rain, which was named Mojo's Folk Album of the Month. He has also recorded three albums with Manus Lunny: Fire in the Glen (also featuring Phil Cunningham of Silly Wizard), Dublin Lady, and At It Again. He recorded eight albums with Silly Wizard and tracks from almost every one of his recordings appear on numerous compilations of Celtic music.

What the Press say about Andy M. Stewart:

Dirty Linen magazine
"One (Un)Silly Wizard" an article by Laurie Devine, August 1991

Barton Evening News
"Stewart has the knack of writing direct, effective and memorable songs as well as singing them with taste and style."

Photo: Andy sings in Vancouver
July, 1990, Vancouver
Photo: G.M. Rosson, San Jose, CA

The Scotsman Magazine
 "…his (Andy M. Stewart's) songs and his singing have deep Celtic roots and touch sensitive emotional chords."

Hot Press Dublin
(about the album, Dublin Lady) "…standouts include "Freedom is like Gold", a fierce attack, both musical and lyrical, on the power that money can buy, and "Take Her in Your Arms," a very funny love song based on an old Bothy Band reel. The finest moment, though, comes on "Heart of the Home," which is both beautifully simple and simply beautiful."

The Living Tradition, Hector Christie
(About Man in the Moon album) "Seriously this is an absolute stonker of an album that kicks off well with "The Echo Mocks the Corncrake" and progressively gets better and better as it winds its way through the tracks…. Outstanding plus."

The Columbus Dispatch
"As a member of Silly Wizard, he (Andy) wrote stunning originals such as "The Queen of Argyll", "The Valley of Strathmore", and "The Ramblin' Rover." His is as much at ease with a heart-rending ballad such as "My Heart Belongs to She" or "If I Never Spend a Morning Without You" as he is with lighter fare such as "Take Her in Your Arms."

The Scotsman, Alastair Clark
(About Man in the Moon) Andy's songs, "gentle, poignant, poetic, as if much time had been spent on mountain-tops eyeing the deserted glens beneath him…. But no one listening to "MacGregor's Gathering," based on lines by Scott, could doubt there's fire in the belly, too."

The Boston Globe
"Andy M. Stewart is among the finest interpreters of Scottish Folk songs and a wonderful songwriter."

Selected Past Performance Venues

  • Royal Concert Hall (Celtic Connections) Glasgow, Scotland

  • Cambridge Folk Festival, Cambridge, England

  • Edinburgh Folk Festival, Scotland

  • Stonehaven Folk Festival, Scotland

  • The Irish Folk Festival, Germany

  • Nyon Festival, Switzerland

  • Port Fairy Folk Festival, Australia

  • Tours of Austria, Belgium, Holland, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark,

  • Norway, Spain, Ireland, UK, Canada, USA and Australia

 

  • Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” on NPR

  • Potomac Celtic Festival, Washington DC

  • Chicago Celtic Festival, Chicago, IL

  • The Celtic Music Association, Des Moines IA

  • Charlotte’s Web Acoustic Music, Rockford IL

  • Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, GA

  • Wolf Trap Festival, Vienna, VA

  • Blackstone River Theatre, Pawtucket, RI

  • Appel Farm, Upper Pittsgrove, NJ

  • Stache’s, Columbus, OH

  • Iron Horse, Northampton, MA

  • Harvard University, Boston, MA

  • Roaring Brook Nature Center, Canton, CT

  • The Bottom Line, New York, NY

  • Old Songs Festival, NY

  • The Irish Festival, Boston, MA

  • Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis, MN

  • Irish Heritage Center, Milwaukee, WI

  • Focal Point, St. Louis, MO

  • Missouri Valley Folklore Society, Kansas City, MO

  • Sabastopol Celtic Festival, Sabastopol, CA

  • Freight and Salvage, Berkeley, CA

  • McCabe’s, Santa Monica, CA

  • San Diego Folk Festival, San Diego, CA

  • The Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA

  • UCLA Music Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA

  • International House, Philidelphia, PA

  • Texas Highland Games, Houston TX

  • Atlanta Folk Festival, Atlanta, GA

  • Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs, CO

  • Scottish and Celtic Festivals, FL

  • Reno Celtic Festival, Reno, NV

  • Winnipeg Folk Festival, Canada

  • Vancouver Folk Festival, Canada

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