‘Tis the season to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas in song, and master musician, Andy Leftwich, and 11 of his family and friends, are in the midst of a holiday-themed tour doing just that. The musical ensemble is comprised of top-shelf performers: Rachel Leftwich (Andy’s wife)-lead vocal; Cody Kilby-guitar; Geoff Saunders-bass; Hannah Byrnes-piano; Jim Britton-banjo/guitar/vocal; Rachelle Britton (Jim’s wife)-vocal; Chloe (17), Lindsay (15), Emily (14), and Bailey Britton (10) (Jim’s daughters)-vocals; featuring its mastermind, Andy Leftwich-fiddle/mandolin.
Andy stated prior to Thursday night’s performance, “We’re excited to have Rachel’s mom, Cheryl White, with us. She will guest appear and sing with us on a few songs.”
Strong faith, powerful musicianship, and rich harmonies are on full display throughout the holiday concert that features both sacred and secular songs that are sure to not only entertain, but inspire, motivate, and center listeners.
A four-time Grammy winning instrumentalist, Andy Leftwich, explained his Christmas show’s evolution.
“We’ve been playing for the past four years. My father passed away in 2018. He was diagnosed with cancer. We wanted to do something close to where my mom and dad lived because we knew he wasn’t going to be able to travel anymore. I called the church where I grew up in, which is right across the street from Mom and Dad’s house, and talked to the pastor. I said I’ve got an idea for putting together a Christmas show. He loved the idea. So we did that one show that year, but Dad didn’t make it. He passed away about two weeks before the show. We went ahead with the show and it was awesome. The Brittons [Jim is Andy’s associate pastor], Cody [Andy’s former Kentucky Thunder band mate], and some other friends helped us with it. The next year another church asked us to come play. The following year we had eight churches reach out. It’s just kept growing.”
This year Leftwich & Friends are performing multiple concerts in six states throughout December.
“The Lord has just blessed it. I can’t say anything other than it was just the Lord, and having the opportunity to play for folks this time of year, it is a great blessing,” the fiddler/mandolinist humbly stated following his performance at Friendship Baptist Church in Salisbury, NC, on December 8.
The performance featured intricate melodies, seamless key changes, complicated chord progressions, and interwoven familiar tunes.
“The arrangements are 95 percent Andy,” shared Jim Britton. “We all had charts and music. He was just up there playing it out of his head.”
Leftwich was quick to point out, “It’s a culmination of other artists that I have played with in the past, being inspired by some of my favorite Christmas CDs, sitting down with the guitar in my studio, and trying to the figure out the arrangements and creating them. Praise the Lord, we came up with some fun ones.”
His latest musical creation is American Fiddler. Mountain Home Records released the album in October.
Andy Leftwich & Friends Christmas tour continues tonight at McGregor Hall in Henderson, NC, followed by shows in Indiana, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Visit Andy online to view his full tour schedule, and order his projects that include a collection of Christmas carols, one of hymns, and a collaboration with his wife of sixteen years.