Ahead of their gig at the Eden Court in November, Andy Gunn and Fraser McLean of The Andy Gunn Band chats to Chris Lemon of IGigs.
You can pick your plaudits for Andy Gunn who has in his time drawn comparison to Stevie Ray Vaughan and even Hendrix. His last album ‘The Miracle of Healing’ helped cement his reputation as one of Scotland’s leading blues musicians. He takes his band to the Eden Court in November for one of his most high profile gigs in the area
We start off with an “easy” question, one that Andy gives due consideration, what does ‘The Blues’ mean to you?. “That’s a big question, like what’s the meaning of life ! BB King said ‘the blues is whatever ails you’ and I agree with that. We all have struggles in life and blues music to me, is a healer that I have always felt a strong connection to even as a youngster, something about it spoke to me, I could relate to the honest expression of emotion in it.. it’s a vibrant, alive form of music to me, there’s some structure in it, but a lot of it is totally open to how we feel on the night.”
it’s great to be playing in a blues band right now
It is perhaps a sign of the times that Blues is clearly so popular at the moment, Andy comments; “There are bands like Ron Sayer and Joe Bonamassa playing sell out gigs around the world so yeah it’s great to be playing in a blues band right now. We played Edinburgh Blues club this year and I was blown away by the amount of interest in that place. We played to a sold out crowd. Awesome”
The band’s last album ‘Miracle of Healing’ , a great example of blues ailing, was described by Blues Matters as “a very original and soulful release hitting all the right notes” although the circumstances behind the LP, Andy explains, were far from ideal; “[it] was put together with the help of my friend Martin Stephenson, the acclaimed songwriter, partly when I was in hospital. It wasn’t exactly ideal, me not being able to get out and meet and rehearse with all the musicians but I’m really pleased with the way it came out nonetheless!”
I think it’s gonna be a great album!
The followup, and fifth album , ‘Blessed’, is on it’s way “it was written by Vikki and myself and recorded at home” which has obviously helped significant, Andy adds “we’ve had more time to work on things and explore arrangements, sounds and production. I’m really looking forward to having it finished, I think it’s gonna be a great album!”.
The album’s art work by Heidi Soos Creaney has already been revealed (and features in the poster for the Eden Court gig). Andy described the choice of artwork “Vikki (current band member, who was also in former band Jumpin’ the Gunn ) was immediately drawn to the artwork on first sight & after speaking with Heidi. Heidi told Vikki that she thought it would be perfect for her. It signifies unity, character & strength & also reminds Vikki of her daughter who she has written about on one of the songs on this album. The album is about Vikki’s experiences with life & the image is of a strong young woman (eve) & how the two of them have battled through lots of different endeavours together.”
On speaking about the popularity and success of the band Fraser is clear “Andy is well known as he has been playing gigs since he was a boy so I guess a lot of people have watched him over the years and when they hear we are playing in the area they don’t wanna miss out on a night of Rockin Blues!”
We have to be note perfect
All eyes turn to the forthcoming gig, Andy explaining; “The big difference between preparing for Eden Court and most other gigs are that the acoustics in Eden court are perfect.” He adds “Basically you can hear a pin drop. So we have to be note perfect, especially with the new songs we haven’t played live before”. No pressure ahead of the gig, then!