“And where this Carnival will lead, I don’t know - but I still want to go...”
As an air force brat, singer/songwriter Andi Rae Healy found herself traveling all around the world before settling in New York City and, as a musician, she has covered many genres before settling into her version of bluesy alternative country, which you can hear on the brand new LP, I Guess I Am a Sinner, produced by Sammy Merendino.
This is the second CD for Andi Rae, although the first fully produced and accompanied. Also for the first time, it explores the country side of Andi’s music, resulting in an alternative county LP with a song to fit every mood. Whether you are feeling the need to wander, bemoaning a love gone wrong, or deciding to stand up for yourself, I Guess I Am a Sinner has something for you to relate to.
Andi Rae fell in love with singing in front of a crowd while dabbling in classical, jazz and musical theater. When she first moved to New York, she went to some auditions, some callbacks for Rent, and became the new front person for the high-energy, funky rock band, Dolores Slim. But it was alone her room with her acoustic guitar that Andi finally discovered what she really wanted to be doing: writing and performing her own songs.
Left to her own devices, Andi was able to really pour her heart out into her music. She doesn’t hold back, but really lets you know exactly how she feels. But, while the songs are intensely personal, they also cover such universal issues that you can hear her singing about your own life as well. And the addictive melodies keep you singing them well after Andi has stopped.
Andi Rae and her guitar started frequenting the intimate acoustic settings of places like CBGBs Gallery, Rockwood Music Hall and the Sidewalk Cafe. Seasoned from years on the stage in various other genres, Andi Rae gives an honest and intoxicating performance. She has been invited to do showcases in the West Village, with the ‘Songwriters for Songwriters and Friends Showcase’, and in Boston, by CNC Music Productions, at the All Asia's Sunday Night Songwriter Series. She aroused the interest of hip-hop mixers and producers Rich Keller and Adam Gazzola (who could be found working on projects for Sean “Puffy” Combs, 3rd Bass and Jay Z, among others) and spent time writing and recording at Sony Studios. Last year, she completed her first full length acoustic CD, something she’d been wanting to do for a long time. But almost as soon as that was finished, the search was back on for the right producer to complement her sound.
The right producer was found in a drummer named Sammy Merendino. An extremely in-demand session drummer, Sammy is also currently part of Cyndi Lauper’s recording and touring band. He has produced or played with a diverse group of artists including Chubby Checker,Cameo, Pat Metheny, Ziggy Marley, Sophie B. Hawkins, Anita Baker, Joan Osborne, Goat,Darden Smith, and Shawn Colvin. Sammy brought in many other member of Cyndi’s band (William Wittman, Allison Cornell, Steve Gaboury, and of course himself on drums) and other wonderful musicians such as Jeff Golub, Knox Chandler and Conrad Korsch (currently touring with Rod Stewart) to play on the CD. His direction combined with their remarkable skills results in a sometimes gorgeous, sometimes gritty, always lush accompaniment to Andi’s songs. And Cyndi herself came to lend a hand, providing her amazing voice and dulcimer skills to the old-mountain music style song “Had to Go”. Jill Sobule and Darden Smith can also be heard lending their vocal abilities on 'I’m the Devil' and 'Return to Me'.
Andi Rae is often asked how such a big voice comes out of such a little girl. Katie Agresta, her voice teacher and (coincidentally Ms. Lauper’s teacher as well), has been helpful in that department. Katie is also the teacher to the likes of Jon Bon Jovi and Annie Lenox . But also, Andi says, “Just because I’m small doesn’t mean I don’t have a whole lot to say, and a lot of passion to say it with.” Take a listen to one of her newest songs, 'Ooh Ah', and you will know this is true.
You can find ‘Ooh Ah’, a mixture of other gut-wrenching and inspiring songs, and Andi’s powerful, sultry voice on I Guess I Am a Sinner. No matter what you are looking for, Andi Rae is sure to satisfy.