Nine Questions with Andy Dunnigan


Name: Andy Dunnigan

Birthplace: Whitefish, MT

Currently residing: Missoula, MT


Musical past and present in one rambling run-on sentence: Like so many others, I was beckoned into the bohemian musical world by Jimi Hendrix’s distorted guitar tones when I was in high school and soon thereafter I traded my baseball glove for a stratocaster… after Jimi I was enthralled with the fingerpicking of Chet Atkins and the lyrical stories of Bob Dylan… I met bluegrass in college and acquired a Dobro, which I haven’t really set down since… I started a band, “The Lil’ Smokies”, with some of my best musician friends, which I’m currently still playing and touring around with…

1. Who are some of your favourite composers, musicians and bands from the past and present?

As far as past influence goes, I will always have an infatuation with the Beatles; No one can touch the melodies they wrote. The same goes for Dylan, Neil Young, Paul Simon, in regard to lyrics and the images they were able to paint in my mind. I love the technical side of music too, I love the savant virtuosos. Bela Fleck, Chet Atkins, Phil Keaggy, Jerry Douglas, Tommy Emmanuel, Pierre Bensusan, Eric Johnson, Tony Rice, Rob Ickes, and Chris Thile. Thile has had the biggest influence on me, especially recently. He’s a space alien, man. He can glide through Radiohead, Bach, The Beach Boys and Fiona Apple without blinking. He also is an absolute genius composer and songwriter.

2. Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?

“Shelter From the Storm” by Bob Dylan is written so well is baffles me… every lyric in that song was crafted to perfection… The opening line always gives me goosebumps,

’”Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood

When blackness was a virtue and the road was full of mud

I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form

“Come in,” she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”

3. How would you describe your perfect day?

Waking up with a smile and going to bed with the same smile.

4. What would your friends say they appreciate the most about you?

I think my friends probably appreciate my sense of humor the most… I really try not to take anything to seriously. Could be my downfall as well. I guess only time will tell.

5. What is your most valued material possession?

My guitar

6. Who were you, or would you be nervous to meet?

I’d be nervous to meet Bob Dylan because he wouldn’t give a shit, and I totally would.

7. If you could blink your eyes and be in a favourite place right now, where would that place be?

The fire lookout tower on Numa Ridge in the North fork of Glacier National Park.

8. Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?


9. Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?

buried and smiling in some sort of grandiose musical endeavor.

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