Andy Budd - Songwriter / Recording Artist
Warrenton, Virginia-based Chevrolet Dealer and songwriter and recording artist Andy Budd grew up as the youngest of five kids of a military man. Budd, whose father, Tim, was a career Marine officer, lived in more U.S. states before graduating high school than most people ever visit in a lifetime. Andy was given his first guitar for Christmas when he was 16. Later in high school, Andy’s mom worked for a dentist who played guitar and sang at a local dive, and often invited Andy to fill-in for him during breaks at the bar. Andy says his fill-in slot soon led to other performing gigs at local bars that lasted until he was 20. Andy probably could have very easily pursued a career in music, but life took him in another direction at 21. Marriage and family responsibility became a priority in his young life, and he says he “pretty much quit playing music” so he could devote his attention to supporting his family. Andy worked in fast food joints, bussed tables at restaurants, worked as a bartender, cab driver, and even that old clichéd job where he toiled as a ditch digger. He finally landed a job at a car dealership as the night clean up boy, where he got noticed and was promoted to service advisor and parts counterman. Within that company and a dozen different dealerships over the next 20 years, Andy worked his way up to car salesman and eventually through the management ranks. Oddly enough, it was his work in the automobile business that led Andy back into a life of music. He bought a Chevrolet dealership in 1997 and also owns four used car dealerships and a software company that provides programs for other automobile dealers. Andy’s dealership did so well that he won a corporate contest in 2004 that came with a high-end list of prizes from which he could select. “I chose a Martin guitar – a Brazilian rosewood Eric Clapton limited edition – and when it arrived, I ran my fingers over it and fell in love,” Andy says, speaking of the moment when his early love of music came rushing back into him. With an amazing new guitar in hand, Andy set aside one hour before and after work to start practicing and to fulfill his renewed obsession. Within a year, Andy was writing songs that would end up on the country-flavored Americana folk rock cd Saints & Scoundrels, his debut album released in 2007. Andy followed up Saints & Scoundrels with Too Proud To Whitewash - Too Poor To Paint, an album that furthered his growth as a songwriter and Recording Artist. Andy Budd may be an artist of some obscurity but he shouldn’t be. Andy is firing on all cylinders on his third studio album, Ragtop Monterey. Great songs and great musicianship abound on this CD. There are no blistering or moaning solos, and this lets the authenticity of the lyrics shine through. Andy may not be a professionally trained vocalist but his vocals fit perfectly with the folk driven style of Americana that he writes. Budd exhibits a maturity and a depth of style far beyond most of what you hear in the Alt. Country/Americana genre today. Veteran Producer Chip Hardy (Waylon Jennings, Reba McIntyre, George Strait) gives us a real taste of that Nashville Sound, the likes of which hasn't come off of Music Row in decades. Chip’s experience really shines through in the mix and thoughtful arrangements. Ragtop Monterey was recorded at Nashville’s Studio 515 where Chip put together a wonderful assemblage of some of Nashville’s best studio and touring players backing Andy, including Smith Curry on dobro, banjo, mandolin ,and steel. Coleman Murphy is spectacular on electric guitar. Andy Most and Mike Waldren provide the exceptional acoustic guitar work. Mike Kelly provides subtle harmonies and legendary Hank Singer provides a haunting fiddle.