Camera and Flask
The Photography of Steven Gray


Camera and Flask // Steven Gray: Photographer. Storyteller. Artistic journalism and storytelling around the globe. Based in Pensacola, Florida.

Andrew McGee: You Can't Sell a Song in Nashville

Sometimes, I really don't know the reason that I blog at all.  Originally, it was to promote my photography, but at this point it is simply a constructive outlet for me to flesh out ideas and communicate the things which keep me awake at night.  I probably do myself a disservice by writing so much about health and culture instead of specializing in marketable photographic content.  But, it's my blog and I'll do what I want.

Tonight, as I continue to work obsessively over my upcoming ebook (unofficially announced several times now, the "official" word is forthcoming), I want to take a break and highlight the work of my friend and colleague, Andrew McGee.  Andrew has a pretty remarkable story.  After a brush with death that should have sent him on to the great hereafter, Andrew decided to quite stalling and do what he really wanted to do with his life.  He moved to Nashville and has created a new life for himself as a singer and songwriter.

Andrew and I met under interesting circumstances.  My creative specialty is photography, but I also moonlight as a videographer from time to time. I was most heavily involved in this line of work a few of years ago, and I was introduced to Andrew on a “friend of a friend" basis.  Our association was originally pretty simple; another fellow was engaged to write and direct the video for a wonderful song Andrew wrote about the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  My job was to operate the camera.

Long story short, the other guy flaked on the project and I took up the slack from start to finish.  As a result, my video and my name were incorporated into the marketing for Andrew's debut album, These Beautiful Hideous Things.  That was 2009, and since that fateful day we met on Pensacola Beach, with BP oil cleanup equipment rumbling about us on all sides, Andrew and I have continued to collaborate on videos for his songs.  Our greatest accomplishment so far is the weekend last year when I (along with a group of other creative and reliable people who would go on to found The Dream Factory) traveled to Nashville and shot four music videos for Andrew in four days.  I don't know about the rest of the team, but that weekend still ranks as my personal best.

Most performers have a blog or social feed of some sort, but Andrew's stands out.  Prior to moving to Nashville, he wasn't a stereotypical neighborhood busker; He didn't and doesn’t pass off blurry iPhone photos of random drunks as his "awesome fans" to build up a web presence.  Andrew is an FSU graduate with an MBA in marketing, and his blog has some serious substance.  His latest entry, You Can't Sell a Song in Nashville, is stellar.  Seriously, if more people recognized the realities of whichever industries they attempted to be part of, instead of delaying their own steps toward action in hopes of “getting discovered,” more dreams would see the light of day.

Read Andrew's blog.  And listen to his music.  Listening to his album is like listening to a good story, and he has another one coming soon.

You Can't Sell a Song in Nashville