Car trips to school with dad and the radio blaring introduced Andrew to some of his enduring musical influences: John Hiatt, Steve Earl, Van Morrison, Los Lobos, Bob Dylan, Ry Cooder, Leo Kotke, Greg Brown and Little Feat.
"For most people, college is a logical choice. But academic life only got in the way of young Andrew Merzi’s true calling, music. Born and raised in Wilmot, he tried a Vermont liberal arts education after high school, only to be waylaid by the burgeoning folk scene. “I spent a lot of money up there, but I didn’t know what I wanted,” he said recently by phone from his home in Portsmouth. “I always knew I wanted to play and perform ... that was my dream. I’d turn on some John Hiatt and pretend it was me up on stage singing” Michael Witthaus, Hippo Press.
Merzi's sound is a mix of country-blues and americana. His high energy guitar playing, heart felt lyrics and soulful vocals are conveyed sincerely in his performance style and caught the attention of the Timberland apparel company, who featured him as the Timberland artist for January 2011.
Merzi tours New England playing taverns, small venues and private functions as he continues to hone his sound, which can be heard in his soon to be released EP, recorded with LYNNT Productions in Nashville.
"His voice is soothing…his playing is crisp…his songwriting is poetic…This is the kind of music that makes you feel Better." Arthor: Struckbell, CD Baby.
Now living in Portsmouth, NH Andrew tours New England bars, restaurants and festivals as he continues to write and create new music.
Andrew Merzi-Guitar & Vocals
Tracks off Country Sun have been featured on radio stations around the country Via CD Baby.
Country Sun reflected in easygoing style
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For most people, college is a logical choice. But academic life only got in the way of young Andrew ...For most people, college is a logical choice. But academic life only got in the way of young Andrew Merzi’s true calling, music. Born and raised in Wilmot, he tried a Vermont liberal arts education after high school, only to be waylaid by the burgeoning folk scene. “I spent a lot of money up there, but I didn’t know what I wanted,” he said recently by phone from his home in Portsmouth. “I always knew I wanted to play and perform ... that was my dream. I’d turn on some John Hiatt and pretend it was me up on stage singing.” After one false start, Merzi enrolled at Full Sail, a Florida school focused on entertainment technology. “I went down there thinking if I got into engineering part of it that somehow I would find connections,” he says. A first-day seminar threw cold water on that idea. “They said, ‘you songwriters and wannabe performers out there, don’t think that this is where it’s bringing you’ ... I withdrew and drove back to New Hampshire.” Once back home, he hit the open-mike circuit in earnest and hooked up with a publicist who helped him polish his self-promotion skills. It’s been a steady climb since. Last October, Merzi released Country Sun, his second album of original songs. Much of the record draws from his experience growing up on a farm. “I had an easy laid-back childhood, naked and covered in mud most of the time,” he says. “I was a hillbilly kid.” He made Country Sun with help from Mike Moran, a guitarist and producer he met when both were playing the weekly open jam at Lago Restaurant in Meredith. Moran had an easygoing demeanor that suited Merzi. “It was nice because it wasn’t so official,” Merzi recalls. “It was in the back den in his house, we were drinking beers. It was a good relaxed way to get the music out. I knew I wasn’t being charged 100 dollars an hour — that helped a lot.” The result is an engaging blend of Merzi’s songwriter role model, John Hiatt, and the shaggy surf-folk of guys like Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson. With songs about missing his home (“Black Road”) and the simple charms of small-town life (“Country Sun”), it caught the attention of Timberland. The Strathambased apparel company selected Merzi as a featured artist for their Earth Keeper line ofeco-friendly shoes. A Timberland Community web page has a video of Merzi playing, singing and explaining how he strives to “do little things to be eco-conscious and responsible.” He talks about performing at the sustainable energythemed Sun Festival, and his time working with the Charlestown- based Student Conservation Association repairing trails in California. “They also gave me $500 worth of Timberland gear,” he says with a smile. After he performs a local show at Manchester’s Piccola Italia Upstairs Lounge this weekend, Merzi will travel to Nashville at the end of the month. Late last year, he did a showcase there with a company called Band With A Mission that led to an offer to make an EP with an artist development company run by former A&M producer Lyn Peter. “We’re going to work on what my strongest points are and try and capture them,” says Merzi. Merzi has some new songs written for the effort. “That’s what I love about songwriting,” he says. “I feel I’m not sure I’ve found my exact sound yet, because I always stumble upon cool new riffs and rhythms and melodies. So I want to pitch a bunch of different ideas to him, maybe some more folk/rock stuff and some faster-sounding high-beat strumminglike songs. I’m excited to see what he thinks.” Beyond that, Merzi is focusing on the education that he left school to pursue — playing, singing, writing and networking. “I love to play out, I love to perform, and that is probably 80 percent of where I get the gigs and connections that I have, just from being out and doing it,” he says. “I don’t spend as much time as I should on the telephone, but I’m getting better at the whole promotional and business side ... it’s a work in progress.” He’d like to assemble a band at some point, but there’s no rush. “I do like to jam with people on open mikes, but to be honest I like to be solo,” he says. “There’s less organizing that needs to happen [and] it’s just easier to be by yourself and be able to make a little money at it. It’s very cool, especially these days.”
I either play three 45 minute sets or two 1:15 minute sets. The songs in my set list consist of 70% original to 30% cover songs, although I have enough good original material to play a full 3 hours. The cover songs consist of songs like Van Morrison’s Domino, Bob Dylan’s Meet Me In The Morning and Tom Petty's You Don’t Know How It Feels.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.