It Takes a Lot to Laugh
Since a chance meeting at the University of Denver, Andy Hill and his singing partner Renee Safier have carved out a unique musical niche for themselves in the Los Angeles club scene (and beyond). Their performances - more than two-hundred a year - are as much social gathering as musical event. Part fan family reunion, part rock & roll tent revival, their incomparable live shows attract a large, enthusiastic, and fiercely loyal group of fans. As a songwriter, Andy Hill is a student of the folk and rock classics - Van Morrison, The Band, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, and Bob Dylan - and it shows. Boundary-pushing use of the language, sweeping vocal harmonies, unforgettable melodic content, and tightly crafted arrangements are all hallmarks of his writing and producing style. Andy & Renee, along with their band Hard Rain, have taken their unique sound and multi-instrumental skills (as well as being riveting vocalists, they both play guitars and keyboards) to venues large and small all over the world. Local Southern California highlights include House of Blues and the El Rey Theatre in Hollywood, and the Hermosa Beach Civic Theatre. They have also played at Telluride Blues Festival, Kerrville Folk Festival, Napa Valley Folk Festival, Sierra Songwriter's Festival, Winery Music Awards and the Bob Dylan Festival in Italy. Their nine independent CD releases have won them countless awards, including: 2007 LA Music Awards "Americana Group of the Year", "Best Duo/Group" for the 2005 International Acoustic Music Awards, Kweevak.com "Top-40 CDs of the Year, runner-up for Best Folk Act at the 1999 Crossroads Music Awards, and a two year run in the Musician Magazine "Best Unsigned Band" Semifinals. In 2005, Renee Safier, showcasing her prodigious blues and jazz vocal chops, won the Telluride Blues Festival Acoustic Blues Competition, receiving a rousing response from the 8,000-plus festival crowd. She returned again in 2006 & 2007 for 2 successful performances during the 3-day festival. In addition to all this, Andy Hill and Renee Safier are about to celebrate their sixteenth year hosting their own Bob Dylan Festival. What started out as a small once-a-year backyard party where a loose conglomerate of close friends would take turns performing Dylan classics all day and well into the night (or until the cops came), has evolved into a full blown music festival attended by hundreds of fans and featuring many of L.A.'s top musicians. Andy Hill and Renee Safier both live in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. AWARDS: *2007 Los Angeles Music Awards 'Americana Group of the Year' *2007 We Are Listening Singer Songwriter Awards: Honorable Mention *2007 West Coast Songwriters International Song Contest: Honorable Mention *2006 IAMA Finalists, Best Duo /Group and Best Female Vocal *2005 Renee Safier - 2005 Solo Acoustic Blues Competition Winner *2005 International Acoustic Music Awards: Best Duo/Group *2004 Kweevak.com 'Top 40' CDs of the Year: A River is Gone *2001 & 1993 Kerrville New Folk Finalist *1999 Crossroads Music Awards Finalist - Folk *1999 Napa Valley Music Festival Finalist * 1999 Sierra Songwriters Festival Finalist * 1997 Musician Magazine: Best Unsigned Band Semifinalist * 1996 Musician Magazine Best Unsigned Band Semifinalist.