Andrew McKinney and The Telemarines
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Andrew McKinney and The Telemarines


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"Alumnus releases first album"

Woodland alumnus Andrew McKinney has gone from singing in his church choir to recording his own CD.
From a young age, McKinney was exposed to music. Both his parents received voice degrees and moved to Austria for a year to sing at the Salzburg Opera House when he was 1 year old.
"I sang because my parents made me," McKinney said. "I really wanted to be a basketball star when I was younger."
McKinney said his mom made him take piano lessons and sing in the church choir. In eighth grade, he started playing the bass.
"I was in sub-par junior high and high school rock bands," McKinney said. "Which were a lot of fun, but then I got an opportunity to play for Todd Agnew who is big in the Christian music industry. I played with him for two and a half years and started singing more seriously."
During McKinney's senior year of high school, he made the all-state choir and contemplated moving to New York.
"I was thinking about moving to New York to do musicals," McKinney said. "I did tap dance and was pretty serious about acting, but I loved doing music with a band. That's what brought me to North Texas was the jazz program, and the great music that's all over Denton really enticed me to go here."
It wasn't until the beginning of his senior year at NT that some changes started occurring.
"I was always the number two guy," McKinney said. "I had always sung back up or played bass. Beginning of my senior year, I started fronting a lot of stuff."
McKinney fronted the Axcess band for Denton Bible Church and decided to record a CD in 2005.
"I was like, I've written all this music, and I know all these great musicians, but I'm never going to be able to make a CD with all these type of players on it as cheap as I can right now," McKinney said. "That was the summer going into 2005, and we started recording December of 2005."
McKinney said that he had saved up some money and financed his project independently and had his parents' full support throughout the entire process."My parents had done an album when they first started singing together," McKinney said. "They knew how important it was as a musician to have something with your name on it to represent who you are musically. They were excited more than anything and were really supportive."
After finally recording his CD, McKinney and the members of the band - Chris McQueen (guitar), Mike League (bass), Jacob Schrodt (drums), Phil Aelony (guitar) and Kyle Stallons (keyboard) - held CD release parties in Houston and Denton.
"Working with Andrew is neat because you never know what he's going to do," said Stallons, Aledo senior. "You can expect surprises and you can expect to be entertained."
McKinney said he is looking at Nashville agencies and right now is trying to create a local buzz around Texas, and also book some shows around Denton, Dallas and Austin.
He said he doesn't want to jump at just any deal and just wants to play.
"Andrew McKinney is extremely talented," said Paris Rutherford of the music faculty. "He is one of the best singers we have had come through Jazz Singers.�He is also an excellent human, very supportive of all with whom he works, and a joy to be around. I am sure that his CD will be well received, and am proud of the project." - NT Daily


Andrew McKinney-Self titled 2007



Hailing from Houston, Texas, Andrew McKinney attended the nation’s top music school, performed in the school’s top vocal groups, and left the entire music department singing his praises in 2007 when he left to pursue his own musical endeavors. Only a matter of months from the release of his debut CD, he has played the Cynthia Wood’s Pavilion in Houston, and he has been featured on a FOX news artist spotlight.

Paris Rutherford, the beez-kneez of the UNT Vocal Jazz department, said in an interview that Andrew McKinney is “extremely talented…one of the best singers we have had…”

Andrew may be an accomplished singer, but in his time at UNT, he has accrued a band of legendary proportion. With drummer Jacob Schrodt, bassist Mike League, guitarists Chris (lightning) McQueen and Phil (the ax) Aelony, along with Kyle Stallons and Josh Smith on keys, Andrew McKinney and the Telemarines is a musical force to receive with fear and trembling. The clout of this band in the Denton music scene has earned them the unofficial title of “The Godfathers” because every top band, ensemble, and singing group on campus pays respects to this musical mob. The future is bright for this relatively new group, and the past is littered with a trail of obstacles met and conquered, which leaves only one conclusion to be made—Denton is only the beginning.

-Dustin Aguilar