Award-winning singer/songwriter Andrew McKnight’s music traverses influences from Appalachia, tasteful slide and jazzy blues, feisty anthems, rustic folk, and guitar-driven rock. Featuring founding Nitty Gritty Dirt Band member Les Thompson, Les’ wife Stephanie Thompson, and Lisa Taylor, Andrew McKnight & Beyond Borders blends his charming tenor voice and acoustic and electric guitars with banjo, upright bass, drums, and percussion. The band has delighted concert and festival audiences since their collective debut at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington (March 2008). Their eclectic arrangements of Andrew's award-winning songs fuse oldtime influences, roots rock sounds, rich vocal harmonies, and an assimilation of many stylistic elements that truly stretch "beyond Appalachian, beyond blues, beyond folk".
One Virginia Night marks Les Thompson’s first full return to the stage since leaving NGDB after their double platinum classic Will the Circle Be Unbroken. OVN includes “Made by Hand”, written by McKnight and Thompson with Chance McCoy (Old Crow Medicine Show), and covered by jam band faves Great American Taxi. Other highlights are the swingy “Surveillance” (also co-written with Thompson), their smoldering bluesy rework of the traditional “Worried Man Blues”, the world-beat tinged “Beyond Borders” complete with Taylor’s drum solo, and Stephanie Thompson’s “What Kind of Person,” recorded by Rani Arbo & Salamander Crossing. OVN also includes their take on Taylor’s jazzy “It Means a Lot” from her True North CD, named Best in Contemporary Folk by the Washington Area Music Association.
Valuing the artistry of taut arrangements over flashy instrumental jams, they have earned acclaim for their exquisite 3 and 4-part vocal harmonies as well as the unusual and constantly changing combinations of instruments. The warmth and chemistry between these seasoned musicians has clearly caught the attention of music fans and presenters alike at some of the highest-quality venues around the mid-Atlantic region, including the State Theater, Herndon Festival, Black Rock Center for the Arts, Shepherdstown Opera House, the Barns at Rose Hill, and the Mountain Aid concert at Shakori Hills NC in addition to their collective debut at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington DC.
They have been honored by the Virginia Commission for the Arts with inclusion in the Touring Artists Directory, alongside top talents like Robin & Linda Williams, the Virginia Symphony, and luthier/master guitarist Wayne Henderson. They were selected for prestigious juried showcases at the Folk Alliance International conference in Memphis, and the 2011 Southeast Regional and 2009 Northeast Regional Folk Alliance conferences.
"harmony so tight you'd swear they were all related. Andrew's songs really shine, as does his amazing guitar work, from delicate fingerpicking on an acoustic, to hot swing on an electric. Arrangements go from bluegrass to country rock to jazz/blues.... 'Surveillance,' a little poke at the Patriot Act, featuring Andrew's right-on Jimmie Vaughan-style playing....Four very talented people. Very highly recommended." - Jamie Anderson, Minor 7th
"a deep sound and strong vocal backup from Beyond Borders… His words pull from the tension of complimentary and opposing forces such as rock and folk, tradition and innovation, the individual and society, nature and progress….McKnight's skillful blend of old and new truly shines on his updated version of the traditional 'Worried Man Blues'. With a heavy rhythm contrasting with Thompson's soulful banjo...you could rock out to this at a big festival or get personal with it through headphones - either way this is a standout..."
- Mike Ward, No Depression
Eligible Virginia presenters can apply for fee reimbursement of up to 50% through the Virginia Commission for the Arts Touring Artist program - click here for details and forms.
* partially funded by Virginia Commission for the Arts