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"What you´re seeing is the real me. I can´t even put into words how much joy I feel playing music"

Posted: December 10, 2023
Andrea Benz - Guitar Thrills Magazine
Her” Felicific” character trait is as unique and authentic as her style of guitar playing. I have known Andrea Benz, and both remain consistent. T

Photo provided by: Andrea Benz

Felicific - causing or intended to cause happiness.

Guitar Thrills Magazine doesn’t make a habit of talking about the way someone looks. We never would consider that to be a topic of conversation. Unless it was spoken about in a general sense. For instance, the way a person dresses or expresses themselves on stage or before their fans can create thoughts of disinterest. Which is a poor message to send.

In this article the term used for this article is quite accurate, when applied to the right individual. I don’t think anyone can use facial expressions like Andrea Benz. In fact, it’s a selling point of her character. Frankly, there isn’t a person that thinks Andrea Benz is without guitar talent. In many of our interviews, we focus on the achievements of rock and blues artists. However, Andrea Benz is a country music artist that knows everything about playing the guitar. Which lends itself to the expressions that she makes. It is contagious. You can’t watch Andrea play the guitar without feeling a sense of joy. Which is something that we need in the time that we live.

Her” Felicific” character trait is as unique and authentic as her style of guitar playing. I have known Andrea Benz, and both remain consistent. This is not an article to fill her with compliments and praise over her mannerisms. It is an opportunity to teach performers, how to get the best responses from your audience. Fans love Andrea. I can post a simple message about Andrea and get hundreds of responses. It is a social media phenomenon. 😊

Seriously, she is an example of how you should present yourself wherever you are performing.

ABOUT ANDREA BENZ

Andrea Benz is unlike any other artists. With captivating guitar skills, a beautiful clear country voice, and genius songwriting, Andrea’s fans call her a “triple threat.” Hailing from the small country of Switzerland, the rising singer/songwriter’s roots are seated deeply in country music, her voice reminiscent of the 90ies country stars. Already known in musicians’ circles as a studio perfectionist, Andrea´s guitar craftsmanship can be heard and seen on countless country performances and recordings around the world. Whether it´s with Grammy winner Paul Overstreet in Germany, Country Music Hall of Fame member Charlie McCoy in Spain or with Lonestar Troubadour Dale Watson in Texas, Andrea has amassed millions of travel miles and performed for thousands of country music fans around the world. She won several awards, such as the Swiss Country Music Award in 2016 or the Rising Star Award at the Texas International Country Music Award in 2018. Her playing style is a unique blend of 90ies country chicken picking style and the earlier jazzy western swing style.

RELATED ARTICLE: https://www.guitarthrills.com/andrea-benz-interview/

Born and raised out in the country in Switzerland, she started playing guitar at the age of 8 and got hooked to the instrument quickly, playing for hours daily. She grew up listening to country music and has always been fascinated by the traditional and authentic country sound. With two college degrees in her pocket, one of them being a BA of Arts in Jazz & Popular Music, Andrea soon started touring all over Europe, always striving for more.

The 2019 move to Nashville pushed Andrea to home in on her songwriting and performing skills. “I’ve always wanted to be a professional musician, but never saw myself being a solo artist. Nashville pushed me to explore that side of me,” says Andrea, “and I love it. “She has managed to establish her own niche in country music. Culled from experiences gathered along her journey to Nashville; Andrea´s music is authentic. “My heart has been and always will be firmly planted in country music”, muses the Nashville based artist. It´s a bold statement and surprisingly refreshing in a time where country music seems to be struggling with its identity. With her debut album, Andrea proves that it´s possible to go with time without losing the roots of country music. The collection stands out with its pure sound, void of synths or electronic elements, dominated by the traditional instruments and harmonies of classic country. “Who I am” is the title of her 2022 debut album featuring 13 tracks and collaborations with Country Music Hall of Fame Member Charlie McCoy and Buddy Jewell. “It’s taken me a while to get to where I am, but I just had to connect all the dots.”

Besides playing solo shows and writer´s rounds, Andrea is also a regular artist at the world-famous Tootsie´s Orchid Lounge, Superstar Alan Jackson´s “AJ´s Good Time Bar” and "The Stage" on Broadway in Nashville. She's been touring with Karen Waldrup for the past years and has opened shows for Darryl Worley, Buddy Jewell, Chris Janson, Craig Morgan, Paul Overstreet and Joe Nichols, among many others. She's currently playing weekly resident shows at Music City Bar & Grill and Layla's in Nashville as well as out of state. Andrea´s undeniable charm and her clear, bright voice always leave you wanting more.

INTERVIEW WITH ANDREA BENZ AND GUITAR THRILLS MAGAZINE

Guitar Thrills: Hello Andrea. It has been a year or more since we last had a chance to talk about the music side of your career. You continue moving forward, and everything about your guitar playing and singing only continues to improve.

Guitar Thrills: I referred to your character in this interview because it is unique and genuine. I have seen many gestures in the music industry, and none of them are worth writing home about. I often wonder how their fans feel about it. What motivates you to express yourself the way you do? You look like you are always enjoying performing before your audience.

Andrea: What motivates me is the music. The power of music, how it sparks my emotions and can move people amazes me every day. You know, I even sometimes catch myself practicing with a smile on my face.

Guitar Thrills: Many artists have a stoic look to them. As if they are experiencing intense pain, and do not want others to know about it. It’s interesting. I will leave a concert wondering “what was his / her problem”. My wife will say “What do you mean, didn’t you enjoy the concert”? Usually the singing is good, but I never feel compelled to react, or engage the performer.

How important is it to you, to ensure your expressions are consistent with the vibe you are sending?

Andrea: Wow, I mean, while I recognize the importance of stage presence and expression, honestly, I hardly think about it while I´m playing. What you´re seeing is the real me. I can´t even put into words how much joy I feel playing music – And it makes me happy if I can pass on that joy to the audience through my expression.  

Guitar Thrills: When did you realize how important this was during a performance?

Andrea: I will say, I´ve had a few shows where external factors (sound, weather, health etc.) were making it rough. It´s exactly then, when I become self-conscious about the vibe I´m sending and how important it is to still put on a smile, even if I´m fighting something. I remember a show a couple years ago where we opened for Craig Morgan in Ohio. It was late afternoon; the sun was burning with temperatures on stage going over 100 degrees. I felt like I was dying but in that moment I told myself “Andrea keep smiling.. You got this.” lol.



Guitar Thrills: I guarantee that your genuine expressions have a huge impact on your fans. Though, expressions alone are not enough. You must be talented as well. Which you are. There is nothing lacking in you as a guitarist. Is there anything about the way you perform, that you would like to improve? Please explain.

Andrea: I think in the end it´s all about the music, and what´s important to me, is, that the performance and style of music are in sync. I think it would be weird if I was playing a George Jones song but acted like I was the guitar player for the Ramones. So, I like to keep it traditional. However, I´m constantly improving my performance and if you ask me – I still have a long way to go. On bigger stages especially I think I could move more. Somebody I really look up to when it comes to stage moves is my Canadian friend Brandi Sidoryk, bass player for “Nice Horse”, she´s so awesome.

Guitar Thrills: Regarding your talent as a guitar player. How much “more” do you think you need to learn? I wish you would have been my guitar teacher. 😊

Andrea: Oh thank you! I do teach online lessons by the way;-) I´m still learning something new every single day. I feel like the better I get, the more I realize how much there is out there to learn. Normally I practice several hours every day. I never feel like I “have to” practice, I truly enjoy it. Other people watch TV to rewind, and while I hardly know how to turn on a TV or what Netflix is, I play guitar

Guitar Thrills: You have released many songs since the first hit 3 years ago. How has it changed you? You have worked with some of the best artists in the country music genre.

Andrea: When I released my first single, I really had no idea what I was doing. It was all learning by doing. I feel like now that I´ve streamlined the process from pen and paper to the point where a song is radio ready, I have way more time to be creative. Working with some of the best in the country music industry is a dream come true.

Guitar Thrills: Have you thought about transitioning over to the Blues genre? You know, you would be awesome. An instant hit, and highly competitive.



Andrea: As much as I love blues and admire the craft of playing blues guitar, chances are that I would still sound like a country guitarist trying to play Blues. Even at Jazz school they told me my Jazz playing sounds country. It´s clear that all these genres are very much connected – so much in country guitar is directly coming from Blues and Jazz, but I do believe with Blues – either you truly “feel” it, or you don’t. I´m not sure I could feel the Blues as much as I do Country Music. But never say never, right?

Guitar Thrills: What do you have planned for your 2024? Are you going back into the studio, or is it a long tour to promote a new release?

Andrea: I will be out on the road again with a few bands. Also, this year I´ve worked a lot with Beth Garner, another amazing guitar player. We´re having so much fun playing twin guitar that we´re planning to put this on the road next year. While I love playing on big stages, some of my most enjoyable gigs are right here at home, like my regular gig with the Mysterious Cowboys at the Troubadour Theatre. 

Guitar Thrills: I noticed that you received some press from Guitar World Magazine. While they are not as good as Guitar Thrills, it must have been a nice surprise.

Andrea: Of course it was. I´m always very happy when people are interested in my work and current projects.

Guitar Thrills: Are you still working out of Nashville, TN? Have you found it to be conducive to what you are wanting to achieve? Especially at your performance level?

Andrea: Yes, Nashville is my home and I love it. The number of talented musicians here is amazing and inspires me to work on my own skills even more day to day. There´s live music all day long every day, which gives me not only a lot of work opportunities but also the chance to watch and learn from some of the best players in the world. I couldn´t think of a better place to live at this point.

Guitar Thrills: Are there venues, or destinations that you want to perform at?

Andrea: The list is long, but here´s my top three: 1. The Grand Ole Opry, 2. Billy Bobs, 3. Red Rocks. Oh and Buck Owens´ Crystal Palace in Bakersfield – Told you the list is long

Guitar Thrills: I think you will be able to accomplish anything you set your mind too. It isn’t every day that you come across an artist as talented as you. I really look forward to having you as a guest. Please keep in mind, we are always willing to chat with you. Anything you need, we are here. Thank you.

Andrea: Thank you so much for having me and your continued support. It means the world to me, and I couldn’t be more honored to be featured in Guitar Thrills Magazine.




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