ANDY SCHICK (2023 Inductee)

Andy Schick (1968 February 23), originally from Trenton, Ontario, started his musical journey at the impressionable age of seven. He began taking Spanish guitar lessons with a local musician, Phil Forsythe. It did not take long for Andy to notice his steel guitar set up and to start rapidly firing questions about it (despite his shy nature). This led Phil to introduce the instrument to young Andy, playing "Sleepwalk" and "Green Sleeves". The sounds of steel guitar stayed in the back of Andy’s mind, even after he stopped guitar lessons. He knew that this instrument is what he truly wanted to pursue.

In 1983, Andy and his father, Arthur, attended a local auction barn and spotted a pedal steel guitar for sale. It was a modified eight string guitar containing a six string Fender pickup and a cut hacksaw blade used to catch the two remaining strings. Arthur purchased the steel guitar for his son that day for only $27.50. Little did he know how much of an impact he would have, commencing the next stage in Andy’s adventure.

Naturally, upon obtaining the steel guitar, Andy returned to Phil Forsythe. Phil offered to fix up the guitar and give practical instruction, free of charge under one condition: if anyone asks for lessons, never charge to keep the steel guitar alive. After 3 months of private lessons, Andy began preforming in front of live audiences and after a few years, Andy began being known in the inner musical circle and started getting calls to work at various recording studios for session work.

After 11 years of establishing his craft, in 1994, Andy was offered an audition with Universal recording artist Jason McCoy, through the recommendation of Bob Taillefer. This paved the path for Andy over the next seven years, as he had the privilege of being Jason McCoy’s Pedal Steel Guitar Player, touring across Canada, coast to coast.

Andy was nominated by the Canadian Country Music Association five times: CCMA Pedal Steel Player of the Year, three times, and for CCMA Back Up Band of the Year, two times. In 2000, Andy was presented with a Gold Album from Jason McCoy and Universal Records. In 2001, he was voted and awarded Back Up Band of the Year for his 3rd nomination. In 2002 and 2004, Andy was awarded Pedal Steel Guitar Player of the Year by the CCMA.

After coming off the road, Andy rooted himself in Kingston, Ontario with his loving wife, Colleen and his two gorgeous and talented daughters, Megan and Alison. Andy continues to work as a Fire Alarm and Security Systems Coordinator at the Kingston Health Sciences Center, but he has never stopped doing what he loves.

Andy frequently freelances, performs at jamborees, fairs, festivals, theatre productions, studio sessions, and private functions throughout Ontario. Occasionally, Andy will teach when asked, but he lives by the promise he made to Phil back when he was 15 years old.

Andy has been very fortunate to have had numerous opportunities to meet and play with great Canadian and American steel guitar players, artists, and bands. The following are a few artists he has had the privilege to perform with: Jason McCoy, Harold McIntyre, Dan Paul Rogers, Don Cochrane, Marie Bottrell, JoAnne Post, Tony Booth, Tommy Cash, Steve Piticco, Unwound, Bob Taillefer, Gary "Spike" Spicer, Al Brisco, Neville Wells, Outskirts Band (Blue Rodeo), Dusty King Jr., James Ryce, *Stonewall Jackson, *Joe Saunders, *Tom Keates, *Terry Sumsion and *Johnny Burke.

The music community is very special, and Andy is very grateful to call the above mentioned and so many others his friends and musical family. He would also like to thank his family for their continuous and on-going support, knowing that he could not be where he is today without them.

"Keep Steelin’!" - Andy Schick

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