The Andy Rau Band performs Americana music, an eclectic blend of folk, rock and bluegrass. The band was formed in 1986 with the intent of showcasing new material, illustrating the versatility of the 5-string banjo and breaking with the conventions of folk and bluegrass. The group borrows from a wide variety of musical styles which enables each song to shape its own identity without borrowing from old tried-and-true formulas.
The core of the group consists of lead vocalist, songwriter, banjoist, and rhythm guitarist Andy Rau, Les Johnson on harmony vocals, lead, rhythm and slide guitars and George Boravich on harmony vocals and bass. The band is often joined by Craig Bunch on drums, Chad Edwards on keyboards and Katie Oberthaler on harmony vocals and banjo. Inventive instrumentals and thoughtful songwriting are at the heart of the band’s musical project. From the very beginning and through its continuing evolution, the Andy Rau Band’s roots in the diverse musical backdrop of Southern California have colored and characterized their unique sound and the topics of their songs.
Andy Rau, the creative force behind the band, was born and raised in Southern California and has been performing professionally since 1975. He began his career as the in-house banjo player at Knott's Berry Farm amusement park in his home town of Buena Park. During that ten-year period he performed in a host of musical situations including bluegrass bands, country rock bands, and variety stage productions.
Along with concert halls, fairs and music festivals, Andy and the band continued to perform at venues such as Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, Six Flags, Sea World, Paramount Studios, Disney Studios and Burbank Studios. In the mid 90's their first CD On The Horizon was released followed through the years by Different Man, Penny Moon and Higher Ground. With the success of these albums the band began to receive airplay and reviews from around the world. They began touring the United States and Canada and received endorsements with The Deering Banjo Company, GHS Strings, Kavanjo Banjo Pickups and ProPik Finger Picks. Feature articles have appeared in magazines such as in Acoustic Musician, Frets, Bluegrass Unlimited, Bass Player and Banjo Gazette (Great Britain).
The Andy Rau Band has now re-emerged from the studio on Anchovy Artists Records with the release of eighteen original Americana / folk - rock compositions on the CD Simple Man. This recording, along with their live performances, continue to introduce inventive new material to the world of Americana music.
This path on which the band finds itself has inevitably resulted in a wide audience appeal wherever they perform, which persists to this day.