Westside Andy Linderman - Harmonica & Vocals

Westside Andy is one of the premier harp players to come out of Wisconsin along with Jim Liban, Steve Cohen, Madison Slim, Matthew Skoller and Cadillac Pete Rahn.  A long time member of Paul Black's Flip Kings and his own band, The Westside Andy/Mel Ford Band, he's played just about everywhere and with anyone of note in the blues world.

More modern facts include that Hohner, Inc. lists him as an endorser alongside Rod Piazza, Toots Thielemans, & Corky Siegel, among many other great players. Those who know who these folks are, nothing further need be said. Turn the page.

For those who haven't had that good fortune, know that these are giants on Planet Harmonica. Actually, Corky was one of Andy's most enthusiastic early mentors. In fact, the night they met during a Siegel/Schwall Blues Band set break, Corky asked him to sit in for the entire next set. Andy was 15.

That may have been the galvanizing moment when the "Westside" story really started. Meaning thousands of gigs. Probably a million miles with a trunk full of gear, and how many late nights driving home in ice and snow in the groovy winters of Wisconsin where this blues bird resides. In the process, Andy has shared the stage with James Cotton, Luther Allison, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Charlie Musselwhite, Doobie Brothers, Richie Havens, Muddy Waters, Gary Primich, Jimmy Johnson, Tab Benoit, Hubert Sumlin. Ok, you get the idea. Not to mention his current long-time collaboration with Mel Ford, a blues guitarist/vocalist/songwriter of wide acclaim.  

 

Westside Andy Press / Reviews

"Andy Linderman is one of my very favorite harp players. His tone and phrasing are tops in my book."

Gary Primich, premier harp player

 

 "I remain a fan and supporter of your work as one of the most dynamic electric harmonica players of your generation."

Dan Aykroyd, actor, musician

“Andy Linderman is a great player, a great heart, a great musicality and energy, and a great friend.”

Corky Siegel, musician/producer

“(Andy) offers lively renditions of old rhythm and blues standards featuring exciting solo work and highly inventive harp technique.”

Jim Bessman, Variety Magazine

“Andy Linderman’s harmonica sounds like Little Walter sitting in with Slim Harpo.”

Dave Ranney, Blues Access magazine

Alley Cat (False Dog Records) marks the overdue return of the Westside Andy/Mel Ford Band, a Madison, Wisconsin-based combo that deserves wider recognition. Featuring a rock-solid rhythm section and the triple-threat vocal frontline of Ford (guitar), harmonica wizard Andy Linderman, and key-board ace Jimmy Voegeli, this varied set hits on all cylinders. The swinging "Around the Next Corner" includes a killer chromatic harp workout and a great chorus on organ, while "That Girl's All Woman" cannily updates the classic "Double-Eyed Whammy/San-Ho-Zay" groove. The band takes on Gulf Coast roots-rock in "Party Girl," soul-blues in the sweet confection "Back Roads," and blistering, Albert Collins-inspired organ blues in "Can't Be True." Highly recommended.

Tom Hyslop, Blues Revue - Jan 2009

Blues On Stage At least 5 years ago, my sister (who always has the best taste in music) drove me over 400 miles to hear West Side Andy and the Mel Ford Band. Since then, I have been privileged to see the band a number of times when they've come to Minneapolis. West Side Andy/Mel Ford Band has been together for more than 14 years playing throughout the Midwest and attracting hundreds in their home state of Wisconsin. This incredible talented group of musicians display a real love for what they are doing at every performance. Alley Cat, their most recent CD, is the best of the best and packed full of some of the bands favorite recordings from their live performances. The first cut Alley Cat was written by Mel Ford and starts the CD off with dancing blues. You gotta get up and join in the fun. If you have never heard Westside play his harp, your in for a treat as he is truly one of the best players there is. He wrote "Shes Hot" and "Back Roads" on the CD. Mel Ford wrote 6 of the tracks and as always, his strong rich voice and sweet guitar carry the cuts thru a blues journey to the end of the CD. All five of the musicians in the West Side Andy band blend their sounds beautifully and I guess that is what has helped them endure and develop and large loyal following over the years.

Diana Olson, Blues On Stage November 14, 2008

 

Though Chicago isn't far away, Wisconsin isn't often thought of as a home to great blues. Think again: The Westside Andy/Mel Ford Band is thoroughly pro. Andy blows harmonica on the virtuoso level, with great tone and an apparently endless stock of ideas, and beats the odds by doing it gracefully. Ford, likewise, is terrific and toneful. Both men sing well, and the band (featuring keyboardist Jimmy Voegeli) is downright tight, carrying off long running times without filler. Live on the Westside (False Dog), packed with fresh arrangements and steamy grooves, comes very much recommended.

Tom Hyslop, Blues Revue - May 2000

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