Andrew Kelley Simons, winner of the American Songwriter Coffee House Tour presented by Fishman, just completed a series of successful engagements in Raleigh, NC; Richmond, Charlottesville and Vienna, VA: Ardmore, PA; New York, NY; Boston, MA; Hamden CT; Pittsburgh, PA, and Columbus, OH.
In addition to the shows, Simons, the tall (6’ 7”) singer/songwriter/guitarist won a $2000 tour budget, an SA220 Performance System and the opportunity to appear in a Fishman print advertising campaign. The contest featured hundreds of entrants and was judged by music professionals including artists such as John Oates and Glen Phillips from Toad the Wet Sprocket.
Simons was born in North Andover, MA and learned what great rock and roll music was about from his father who took him to a James Brown concert when he was 11 years old that “changed his life.” Andrew matured musically playing guitar, drums and background vocals in a variety of bands and studied English at Fordham University in New York. He recently moved to Nashville to focus on music and songwriting more seriously.
Describing his songwriting process, he explained, “I almost always write chords and melodies first. I usually record a version of the song on my phone with gibberish lyrics and then listen back to see if I let any subconscious nuggets slip. Then I'll build upon those pieces.
Asked about winning the Coffee House Tour, he added, "I was beside myself when I received the news that I had won. I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunity and for everything American Songwriter, American Songspace and Fishman do for the songwriting community."
Summing up the tour Andrew concluded, “Touring 11 cities in 12 days has been the most exciting and gratifying experience of my life. I found the juxtaposition of crowd sizes most revelatory; playing your heart out to a room of two people is as important as playing to a sell-out crowd. Actually, it might be more important playing in front of those two people."
For more information about Fishman, go to www.fishman.com.