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When the movie of Andy Gunn’s life is made as I believe it surely will, it should open with the words "Andy Gunn is The Blues"
It is impossible to talk about Inverness based guitarist songwriter Gunn's life and music without telling the back story of his health issues. Here is the story board - Born a haemophiliac, Andy was under doctor’s orders from the onset and like all kids his life was full of scrapes & bumps, unlike other kids every graze on the football park and fall from a tree brought with it life threatening problems.
A guitar brought into the house by his parents at an early age would prove to be, not for the last time, a saviour to Andy. His wayward energy effectively and productively channelled. Soon he'd back tracked through his mother’s rock’n’roll collection and alighted on the Blues masters like Lightning Hopkins and Muddy Waters, with the music of his native Highlands all around him, his musical road was opening up before him.
A precocious then prodigious talent blossomed, even by the time he was ready to leave School he had signed a worldwide recording contract with Pointblank, Virgin's blues label, with his school band Jumpin' The Gunn.
Travelling to Memphis, he rubbed shoulders and exchanged riffs with Al Green’s rhythm section and Pops Staples to name a few... a high soon to be followed by an inevitable low (it’s The Blues and its Andy Gunn remember!). Point Blank refused point blank to follow up the critical appeal and acclaim of the CD, Andy returned home.
After decompressing from that disappointment, back in Scotland more high times gradually ensued, he then released an album with Provogue and played alongside many acts including The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, with members of Gary Moore's Midnight Blues Band, with Martin Stephenson (who remains a pivotal supporter and will enter the story again) and toured with 4 time British Blues best harp player Errol Linton.
He then went off in search of America on a trail of discovery where he met and jammed with many great musicians in the big music centers such as New York, Chicago, Memphis, Nashville and New Orleans... sparking the comment "Damn, I didn't know they picked cotton in Scotland!".. all the time, soaking up the inspiration and walking the avenues of his musical heroes.
It was during his childhood that Andy fell foul of the Factor 8 blood debacle & fiasco and became infected by blood bought from the States by the National Health Service in turn infected with Hep C and HIV Aids and other impurities.
I said to Andy in a recent Radio interview "Is this about the time you have your first bout of cancer or your first heart attack"? to which he answered in typically accepting and downplaying fashion " Yes I’ve had cancer twice but I've only had one heart attack, and I don't count it, that was just a particularly bad day"
Andy subsequently became the leading voice of protest for justice for his fellow Factor 8 sufferers and his music energies for the next 5 years or so would go hand in had with this struggle, 3 self produced albums entitled “Flip Flop Kinetics”, “Bonar Bridge Sessions”, "Regional Variations" and constant gigging between specialist treatments here and in London fuelled his blues, rock and folk music and infused a sound brimming with soul, struggle and syncopation.
However just when success on all fronts was looking inevitable for Andy!! You guessed it, that unwanted bed fellow "disaster" struck again, in the guise of a violent breakdown, which saw his well documented incarceration at her majesties pleasure and to his doctor’s recommendation.
Enter the afore mentioned Martin Stephenson who sought Andy out, brought him recording equipment and valuable expertise in producing great albums, they set about producing a CD remotely with support of their fraternity of musicians around the country, and the experience of these lost years manifested in his current record "Miracle Of Healing" and stands testament to that fact and the eminent power of Andy Gunn’s spirit and his spirited playing.
Quite apart from all of that Andy has supported Buddy Guy at the Queen's Hall in Edinburgh, jammed with Albert Collins in London and backed up Geno Washington at the first Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival.
I am delighted to announce and he has a band of fellow Highlanders and they are out and about gigging, recently pulling a huge crowd and knocking them dead at Belladrum Festival.
His new album ‘Miracle Of Healing’ has now been released and is available from www.andygunn.net
Andy is a true guitar great of the old school and a living blues legend of the modern age, working title for the movie "Miracle Of Healing"