Originally from Kentucky, Andrea migrated north to Buffalo from the Southern states and is heavily influenced by the raw power of Southern music: R&B, gospel, blues, country, and bluegrass. She is partial to the sounds of Memphis, from early Sun Records rockabilly, to Stax/Volt soul. However, she is also a self-proclaimed ‘prisoner of rock ‘n’ roll’: Equally present in her own work is the influence of rock from various periods...
Karan also has a passion for vintage motorcycles and owns several. She spends the warm months traveling cross country on motorcycles - most likely you can find her astride her 1974 Harley-Davidson FLH "Shovelhead" she affectionately calls her Atomic Shovel.
Karan recorded Desolation Hero in 2004, to excellent reviews in Maverick Magazine and other music publications. There are still a few copies of the CD available for purchase - contact Karan via email to purchase a copy.
The songs on Desolation Hero, as well as acoustic arrangements of her songs, recorded in 2009 and released under the title Acoustic Soul, are available for digital download from Spotify, iTunes, or wherever you do such things.
Having struggled to get a handle on her own voice, particularly intonation gremlins, Karan went in depth with her own vocal instructor. In so doing, she developed a series of exercises that depart from the traditional approach. She also learned more about the anatomy of the voice, which clarified a few of the big mysteries surrounding enunciation and intonation. The results of her quest became a vocal instruction DVD/CD package called Guitar Player Wanted: Vocals a Plus which can be purchased on Truefire.com.
Click the photo to email Karan Andrea
photo by Eric Bass/Bass Cycles
From the liner notes...
Ever since I was a young kid, when I would buy a record, the liner notes were the first thing I would go for, just as it began to play. Often before. I don't remember not doing it that way. It seemed that at the same time, those notes offered both the skeleton and the life force of the record, if you only knew how to read them properly.
The names in fine print - often only names without faces - songwriters, producers and arrangers, session musicians, band members, back-up singers... An entire layer of humanity resting in secrecy beneath the music, only partially visible (if at all) in fine print. Magicians, all, who bared their souls before microphones and at the controls, to create an avenue of escape for runners like me.
When I finally quit running long enough to put down my own stories, of course I thought about all those records that possessed me. Those songs that promised love, longing, lust, strength, loyalty, freedom, escape. The ones that spoke of pain so sharp it hurt to listen, but you had to - again and again.
Seems I was always drawn to the anti-heroes. The prisoners, the outlaws, the ones turned mean by mean lives. "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die." How I miss Johnny Cash...
And the loner hurtling through the night, pleading urgently with the darkness. "Mr. State Trooper, please don't stop me."
And then there's soul. Ah! Deep Soul... Detroit, Memphis, Muscle Shoals. There is no other music that marries joy and pain quite so passionately.
It's a high standard, and you never believe you could ever live up to your heroes. The songs found me out there - all I did was drive out to meet them and haul 'em home.
"...arguably the smartest woman musician in all of upstate New York."
- Elliott Randall, guitarist (Steely Dan, and many others), producer, composer
"Andrea instantly displays a deep understanding of the dark underbelly of country music. In her world, the sequins have fallen off and the cowboy boots have all got mud on them...
"Andrea is blessed with an inky black voice, when she launches into 'She Falls So Hard' [sic] and 'Jukebox' you find yourself reaching for the bottle to drown someone else's sorrows...
"The gospel classic 'Will the Circle Be Unbroken' is given a 21st century cynicism, while the distinctly un-country 'Liberation Radio' merely confirms that [she] is looking ahead rather than over [her] shoulder. But it's the bottomless chasm of Andrea's voice on 'Steel Cowboy' or the malevolent blues of 'His Name is John' that is the band's real power..."
Michael Mee, Maverick Magazine (UK)
"With a soulful and reserved style...Andrea's vocals wrap around you like a favorite blanket and feels warm and comfortable..."
Bob Silvestri, Night-Life Magazine