Andy McKee Releases Six-Song EP 'Symbol,' Pays Tribute to Prince

Article Contributed by Milestone Publicity | Published on Sunday, September 19, 2021

Acclaimed guitarist Andy McKee has released Symbol, his first new collection of studio recordings in nearly a decade, via Mythmaker Records in conjunction with Cruzen Street Records. In addition to the album, McKee is releasing his cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain” complete with a music video.
In 2012, McKee played alongside Prince in his band on the “Welcome 2 Australia” tour with the song being one of the setlist highlights. This release of “Purple Rain” will celebrate the 37th anniversary of the song’s September 1984 original street date.
“I had originally come up with the ‘Purple Rain’ arrangement to open the shows while I was on tour with Prince in Australia,” recalls McKee. “I have played it occasionally since then while touring and figured I should finally get a recording of it down. One thing that I learned from Prince while we were on the road is that we both really admire Joni Mitchell. I used that as a reference when trying to describe what I do. Although some of what I do on the guitar is technically demanding, I don’t ever really want that to overshadow the music.”

While Symbol is a collection of inspired renditions, they are important song choices; artists that deeply influence McKee and songs that connect to his musical past. He pulls from the catalogues of greats like Michael Hedges, Preston Reed, Billy McLaughlin and others.
“These are my interpretations of tunes that really inspired me,” says McKee. “I wanted to give listeners a chance to hear what I hear when I listen to this music. I also wanted to branch out a bit and include music that isn’t originally for acoustic guitar.”

Other standouts from Symbol are Mckee’s take on “Chattanooga” by acclaimed guitarist Preston Reed and “Rocky IV Medley.” McKee, like many, was infatuated with the Rocky IV soundtrack, specifically the Vince DiCola compositions “War” and “Training Montage.” For Symbol, McKee and DiCola joined forces to craft “Rocky IV Medley.”
Symbol Tracklisting:
“Ragamuffin” originally by Michael Hedges
“Chattanooga” originally by Preston Reed
“Clockshop” originally by Billy McLaughlin
“Purple Rain” originally by Prince
“Streets of Whiterun” originally by Jeremy Soule
“Rocky IV Medley” written by and featuring Vince DiCola