The whole time McKee's arms, hands, and fingers are creating his aural and visual wizardry, the Topeka-born musician is wearing an open, aw-shucks look on his face. As if he's musing, "Andy, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
But don't get the wrong idea; McKee is not simply a lots-of-tricks pony. His compositions, while highly guitaristic, are no sleight-of-hand, prestidigitation shell games designed to merely manipulate or impress. They have substance, bear repeated listening, and are genuinely musically moving.
McKee comes to the Ark on November 16. He's played the Ark before, in 2010 and 2011, each time as one of a trio of guitarists with the Guitar Masters tours. No disrespect intended to the guitarists who shared those tours with him, but McKee alone is more than enough for a spectacular evening of music.
[Originally published in November, 2013.]