Rock/fusion virtuoso Andy Wood started out on the mandolin at the very tender age of 5. Coming from a very musically oriented family in east Tennessee. His first musical love was bluegrass and he initially learned how to play the mandolin and become a proficient musician from his grandfather (Paul Birchfield) and his cousin Brian Arrowood.
This early exposure to bluegrass allowed Andy to develop his phenomenal technique and superb all-around musicianship. Constant musical activity soon had Andy participating in various bluegrass and country music competitions and winning the top prize wherever he went. At the age of 16, Andy finished second at the world championship mandolin contest in Winfield, Kansas.
Two years later, Andy took up the electric guitar. Although having played the acoustic guitar in addition to the mandolin, the electric guitar was a whole new instrument and soon he was playing along to songs that featured studio legends like Mike Landau, Dan Huff, Brent Mason, and John Jorgenson.
It wasn't until Andy was 20 that he started becoming aware of rock virtuosos such as Eddie Van Halen, Joe Satriani and Steve Vai,John Petrucci,Paul Gilbert etc. Musically curious and open-minded, Andy took in the music and playing of these great players and started to incorporate these influences into his own developing style and sound.
At the age of 22, a mere 4 years after taking up the electric guitar, Andy entered the Guitarmeggadon national guitar competition that was sponsored by Guitar Center. Needless to say, Andy won the competition amongst a field of some 3400 contestants. Shortly after winning the contest, Andy became a founding member of the band Down From Up - a modern heavy rock outfit based in Knoxville, Tennessee . The band recently released its first album titled 'From Ashes To Empire" and immediately went on tour to support the album opening up for 10 Years (Universal/Republic). Other credits in Andy's career include touring with various acts ranging from country artist Billy Dean to the Christian metal band Disciple. Andy has just released his debut solo instrumental record (A Disconcerting Amalgam) that features renowned guest artists such as Jeff Sipe, Stu Hamm, Adam Nitti, and Lester Estelle. The broad range of genres covered include fusion, rock, metal, and acoustic bluegrass.
Andy's style encompasses various modern guitar techniques. From blistering alternate picking, smooth and swift legato, clean sweep picking and bends, Andy's lead technique and proficiency is second to none. In addition to his lead playing skills Andy has tight and catchy rhythm/riffing abilities which make him a complete and versatile guitar player. To cover the myriad of techniques and sounds that Andy needs, he uses the Diezel Herbert, Diezel Einstein and two Diezel front loaded G12K100 4x12 speaker cabinets.
Andy also is currently using his own signature line of Suhr Guitars. The man's diversity and totally humble personality will get him extremely far. Welcome to the Facebook page of Andy Wood.
- Pinnacle Standard