Greetings friends! Justin Hodge here, content creator and photographer/videographer for Hook + Gaff. Today I wanted to share a recent experience with all of you. I had the chance to sit down with country music artist Andrew Beam. At this point you might ask, “Who is this Andrew Beam and why should I continue reading this email...?"
Well, if you’re someone who enjoys real country music, you’ll soon discover Andrew Beam is a dude who brings 90’s country back to life. And if you’re like me, I think some of the greatest country tunes came out of that era.
Andrew is a rising country music star hailing from Cashiers, NC. Although he might have been born north of the border, he has since found a home in the lowcountry and he’s been officially adopted by SC. With a guy putting out music like this, we’re gonna claim him. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Andrew over the last few years, and his story is a cool one worth hearing about. He was formerly a SCDNR officer, and he left that job with steady pay and benefits to take a shot at a country music career. As a self-employed dude myself, going out on a limb and using my talent to try to start a new career, I just have a healthy appreciation for what he’s doing and I think that’s why I value our friendship so much. We are both out here going after it with the same mentality to hone our skills and perfect our craft.
The first time I heard Andrew’s music, I was pretty sure they incorrectly called out the artist’s name on the radio. Surely this was Eric Church, and not this fella named Andrew Beam? To my dismay it was in fact Beam, and I got that sweet rush of discovering a new artist and a new song and needing to hear more—his voice, the lyrics, everything had that 90’s nostalgia about it. Very cool! Andrew’s style just takes you back. He’s a good ole boy that loves to hunt and fish, with a reputation for drawing a crowd anywhere when he’s got a guitar in his hands. So I had the chance to sit down and chat with him, and here is that Q&A:
How did you get your start?
Dad taught me to play guitar at age 11, and I played bluegrass in church for my early performances. From there, I discovered classic rock, learned to play electric guitar, and joined a few bands in middle/high school. Senior year of high school I began to write original songs, but honestly never had any intention of pursuing music as a career. I attended Clemson University, majored in Wildlife Biology, and was hired on as a game warden by SCDNR. I continued writing/playing during this time, and eventually received enough encouragement from peers to walk away from one dream job to the next. I left the state in May 2018, and the rest is still being written…
Who were your favorite bands growing up?
Alan Jackson, Eric Church, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Nelly. I honestly listened a wide range of music from bluegrass to rap, and still do.
Who are your influencers now?
I have found that the older I get, the farther back I look to find influence. I grew up on 90’s country, and that no doubt has influenced my sound. But, the last few years I have really looked back to the Outlaws, Waylon, Johnny Paycheck, Haggard.
What are some of your favorite songs you’ve written?
My favorite song on the album is actually one I did not write. Joe Taylor, my producer and lead guitarist, wrote the title track “Selma by Sundown” years before we met, but he has been a huge benefactor in my writing since. “Farmall ’53”, “Semalee”, and “The Billie B” are probably the top three I’ve had a pen in.
What do you do when you’re not playing music?
Any free time is spent on the water or in the woods.
Favorite type of fishing?
Bass fishing was my first love from the time I could walk, followed by fly fishing in my mountain stomping grounds by age 5. Today, I use the same tactics for redfish and trout as I did for bass and I can read the water similar to a looking at a mountain stream. Honestly, I just plain love it all.
What do you like to hunt?
Ducks, turkey, deer. I am a big bowhunter, especially for the latter. But, really whatever is in season. Ready for those spring gobblers here directly. Which, as my Hook + Gaff reminds me, is not too far off…
What can we see from Andrew Beam coming up?
We are releasing an EP titled "Lowcountry" April 29th, 2022. These five tracks were written and recorded in Bennetts Point, SC with producer Joe Taylor. The first single off the project, "The Billie B", drops February 18th and "Findin' the Line" will follow on March 25th. These tracks are some of the best we’ve worked on, and I also look forward to hitting the road more this year on bigger stages.
I want to thank Andrew for sitting down with us for a couple minutes to share his story and talk about what he has on the agenda. Be sure to check out his music on iTunes or Spotify. Whatever your flavor is, I promise you, you just need to check him out, and you’ll definitely want to catch his new EP coming out in April as well!
In closing, those of you who will be attending SEWE in Charleston this weekend can check out Andrew live on Friday night at the Ducks Unlimited Oyster roast as well as Saturday afternoon down at Brittlebank Park. Grab your pup and significant other and head down to SEWE to hear him play. Oh, yeah! One last thing. Don’t forget to stop by and see us while you’re there as well—we’ll be set up at the Gaillard Auditorium in our usual spot. See y’all soon!