It's Here - Treasures in My Chest Album and Book
March 17, 2020
We are thrilled to offer you Andrew's most adventurous and ambitious creative project in his 25-year career. Treasures in My Chest is a full-length music album and companion book drawn from his experiences researching his family history over the last six years. The books arrived several days early - on St. Patrick's Day no less! The 15-song, 50-minute album is finished and the download is available now through the link below. The download includes the 10-page lyrics and liner notes (letter size in readable font!).
You can simply download the album for $10, or get the download AND the book directly from the artist:
- $12 for the album on CD, plus $4 U.S. shipping
- $18 for the e-reader or Kindle version and album download
- $20 for the paperback and album download, plus $7 U.S. shipping
- $25 for the paperback and CD, plus $7 U.S. shipping
If you want to help with the marketing, set the amount at whatever you'd like to donate - you'll get my huge gratitude as well as the book when it's done! There are now a limited number of CDs available at shows, and books beginning in April. If you prefer the old fashioned send-a-check method, you can do so payable to Andrew McKnight, PO Box 81, Lincoln VA 20160.
Treasures is a defiant throwback to the days before song streaming, carefully sequenced to produce a stunning aural journey of discovery. The core band includes longtime Beyond Borders drummer Lisa Taylor along with Andrew on acoustic, slide and electric guitars. They are ably joined by Michael Rohrer on both upright and electric bass, who brings both his Americana sensibilities together with years of experience as the principal bassist for the Loudoun Symphony. Lisa's daughter Rachel Taylor adds her brilliant cello lines on several tracks. In addition to guest appearances by past bandmate Jeff Arey (Dang Varmints!) on mandolin, Jon Carroll (Mary Chapin Carpenter) on accordion and organ, and Tony Denikos on harmony vocals, Andrew's father Warren (keyboards), sister Alyson (piano) and daughter Madeleine (fiddle) all contribute a track. Coupled with a piece written and published in 1906 by his Scottish great-grandfather Andrew McKnight, the album spans five generations of his family.
Using the powerful tools of modern genealogy led him to some extraordinary discoveries about music in his heritage; how his great-grandfather's American descendants had endured difficult childhoods and pursued music in many forms, largely unaware of each other. And as he explored the connections and stories in each of his parents heritage, he encountered fascinating discoveries about fortunes lost on the Titanic, ancestors falling on the battlefields of the Civil War, and impoverished immigrants braving weeks on the stormy Atlantic in the hope of a new life and a better start. Along the way he has been constantly attended by the spirit of his grandmother Madeleine Warner McKnight, who imbued him with a fascination of history as a child and was the keeper of many of the family's letters and photos.
Why a book? It started as an outgrowth of a new reality; how to convey the liner notes and context of a recording with no "container" in the era of streaming and downloads. The freedom to not have to fit artwork and information in a booklet for a CD jewel box first encouraged Andrew to plan an easy to read pamphlet. It was only a handful of days after sharing that plan before the "I've always hoped you would write a book" voices grew to a chorus. So 300 pages later, here it is in paperback and ebook, and eventually audiobook versions too.
Andrew says, "It's the culmination and coalescing of things I love doing - music, history, science, geography - all coming together to help shine light and shadow on human stories. It feels like I am meant to do this now, and that this is an opportunity to bring my work to a far larger audience than I've enjoyed for any of my previous work."
The album will be mainly available in digital download form with the book in softcover print or in Kindle/e-reader version. Treasures will be delivered to folk/acoustic radio through Hudson Harding Music beginning in January. The album was released in February 2020. In addition to intimate concert performances, we are developing an inspirational and entertaining Treasures keynote presentation for professional conferences.
The recording was engineered and co-produced with Dustin Delage at Cabin Studios near Leesburg VA, and mastered by Bill Wolf. The beautiful cover design and artwork by Stilson Greene. The book will be published through Spirit Ninja Publications.