Born and raised in Launceston Northern Tasmania, young Andy started making a career out of doing everything very differently. From working on a dairy farm, to a stint in the military, A number of years playing with a nationaly recognised aussie folk band ( until the groove died), droving cattle in the Northern Territory on horse back, owning businesses and working with trucks and machinery, until he could no longer resist the urge. Then, in 1999, he decided to blow the dust and cobwebs from the old knocked around road case, and open the lid. As if to start another chapter, in his slightly 'Left of centre' life.
A love and passion for music set in from an early age, although originally taught piano & keyboards, Andy swung over to guitar at the age of about 15, (from memory, I think it was a classical Wayne W-10) Self taught, and transposing every note from the keyboard to the fretboard, progress was slow, but the desire to play was always there.
Unlike conventional guitarists, Andy learned to play a right handed guitar upside-down, ( Albert King Style ) and continues to play in this stlye. ( regular right handed guitar turned over so it's played as a 'lefty' but with the strings still in a right handed configuration, hence the nickname 'Southpaw'.)
The sounds that the guitar & musician produces while played in this manner are truly astonishing, not to mention the full on picking style that Andy has developed and perfected through the years, it really has to be seen to be believed, rich, full, gutsy, bright, aggressive, haunting, and all with that certain ellusive sound, that you can't quite put your finger on.
Playing Professionally and live, was always the way to go, but, after a number of years playing with another popular contemporary / folk band, and getting sick and tired of the constantly changing 'inter band politics, not to mention, being continually 'screwed over' by management, record labels and agents, Andy quit, put the guitar into it's road case, said " no more", and left it there, opting for a real job and a quiet normal life........."yeah right !"
This self imposed exile lasted for over 10 years.
Accepting an invitation to a BBQ with good friend and sound engineer 'Eric the Viking', Andy once again, found himself in a sound booth, laying down some session tracks for another friend,and that was all it took to re-ignite the fires. He looked across the mixing desk and said " Might have another crack at it, & do it right this time !.
Playing soulful original ballads, inspired from life experience, and Country Rock, to driving Delta and Chicago Blues, his style and ability seem limitless and without boundry.
Simply put, Andrew ( Southpaw ) Mahoney is a true pioneer of his style, music and instrument.
Sometimes, I think that you really have to push yourself, and keep pushing. The music industry will never change, and I'd be foolish to consider that it ever would, I guess that's why I deceided to pour a heap of money into a dream, trust my instinct and my craft, and become an independant. To market, produce and promote the music is a very hard road to hoe, and quite honestly, sometimes I feel like giving up, 'cause it's just a hassle. To quote another great muzo, " these overheads are killing me, and half the time I sing for free, but when the crowds into it, yeah it makes this thing I'm doing seem right........So just show me to the stage..".............
I think that most people see the last 4 hours of a life time of preperation, ( at the gig ), and say things like, you make it look so easy, if I get a guitar, can I play at your next show.......I think it has to be an obsession, a passion, it's gotta be the driving force in your life, I'd never change it, not ever !
But, if your thinking of getting into the music industry, as a player, or singer, Do It !. Follow your dreams, and in the end when you stare into the sea of faces and see pure enjoyment, passion and grunt rising up to greet you, you'll know you were right.
Andew ( Southpaw ) Mahoney.