Twenty-one-year-old singer/songwriter/guitarist Andrew Hoover brings to the table a pot full of home cooked acoustic soul, R&B, and blues, stirred together with some tasty flamenco and colorful pop sprinkles. Which isn’t surprising, really, since he originally trained to be a chef.
At age 14, Hoover apprenticed for two years with chefs at four-star restaurants in Connecticut in an effort to build his cooking knowledge base and really learn his way around a kitchen. He catered parties on the side to earn some money and even considered attending culinary school, but a comment from his sister about learning to play the guitar sparked something inside of him that would decide his future. Once Andrew picked up his first guitar he was hooked, and he started learning how to play the songs of his musical heroes. Visions of Michelin stars faded a bit and were put on the back burner, and Hoover sought to learn the instrument inside and out, watching YouTube videos and concert DVD’s in an attempt to pick up guitar-playing techniques. He started writing songs his senior year in high school, and started singing in college. “Around the end of my freshman year,” Hoover explains, “it really started to hit me that this was something I wanted to do. I wanted to write songs and be a musician and make a living at it.” By the time his sophomore year in college rolled around, he was spending all of his free time in the music practice rooms when he wasn’t doing homework. At the end of that year, with his parents’ blessing, he quit school to follow his dream of making music full time.
He recorded his first EP in his garage, and self-released it in 2007. Andrew mapped out and booked his own tour, which took him from Maine down to Florida and west to Chicago, hitting all of the points in between. “I just wanted to play,” Hoover remembers. “Anywhere I could find an audience, I was there. It was not just what I had to do to build a name for myself, but it was also what I wanted to do.” A second solo acoustic EP soon followed to stoke his growing fan base.
Andrew caught the attention of Rock Ridge Music through the new “old fashioned way” of MySpace outreach, sending messages to fans of comparable artists. Rock Ridge staffer Carly Kent received one of Andrew’s messages, and liked what she heard enough to catch a show in New York. Blown away by what she saw, Kent passed along Andrew’s demo to label President Jason Spiewak. Skeptical as always, Spiewak listened and was impressed. It was one of Hoover’s YouTube videos that cemented Spiewak’s interest. “Andrew Hoover is a show-stopping entertainer. He draws people in with his percussive, unique style of guitar playing and makes them fall in love with his unbelievable voice.”
Hoover signed with Rock Ridge Music in 2008, and hit the studio with Spiewak in New York City to record his full-length debut. In addition to the NYC sessions, Andrew traveled South to work with Chris Henderson of 3 Doors Down fame at his Rivergate Studios in Hendersonville, Tennessee. The result is Hoover’s full-band debut album, “Chances, Stances & Romances,” which will be released on September 22, 2009.
Andrew is a solo musician, though he voices several instruments in his live shows. His unique slap guitar style carries inspirations from the bass and percussion instruments, giving his songs a groove and rhythm not often associated with singer-songwriters. His vocal style is raw and original, colorful, and dynamic. Andrew takes his cues from a variety of his heroes including but not limited to Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding, Marc Broussard, Ray LaMontagne, Raul Midon, James Morrison, and Martin Sexton.
Andrew will be touring throughout 2009 and 2010 in support of his debut release. He will be building on a touring history that already includes previous performances in support of Sister Hazel, Elliott Yamin, Tim Reynolds, Dave Barnes, Ernie Halter, Ari Hest, the Alternate Routes, and Kate Voegele.