aka “BJ Steel”
Andy Gordon, also known as “Banjovi” and “BJ Steel” is one of the best musicians in The Berkshires. He would never say that himself, he is modest, but we will say it for him! He has been playing music since he was 4 years old, mastering the banjo and creating music with all sorts of friends in all sorts of bands. With the Spurs USA he plays pedal steel and banjo, in that order.
Says Andy, ” I started on the recorder in 4th grade, but the teacher took it away when I used it to dig in the sandbox. Then I switched to the trumpet, and the teacher took it away when I put dish soap in it and tried to blow bubbles. Around 12 I tried the banjo and stuck with it cause I loved fast bluegrass picking, specially when a kid told me that musicians get paid by the note. Later I started playing pedal steel cause I love corny old country tunes too, and ever since I’ve been playing banjo & steel all over the place. I never gave up my day job, so I’m a hardcore weekend warrior.”
And a warrior he is. Andy will drive or fly just about anywhere for a gig. Why? Because he loves music and playing music and being with so many of the people he loves. He also plays regularly with Dick Solberg, the Sun Mountain Fiddler, all around the area and beyond, and he has his own band, Housatonic Philharmonic, specializing in old-time traditional, Celtic, and American Folk music, with Tim Gray on hammered dulcimer, piano and pennywhistle, and The Spurs USA, Paul Rice, on fiddle, banjo, and vocals. They play special occasions and locally for them, at the Lion’s Den in Stockbridge, MA. He has also played for years with one of the most popular square dance callers around, Cliff Brodeur!
Andy is a native of Bennington, Vermont. He holds a masters degree in education from Antioch New England Graduate School. Andy worked as a mental health case worker for the Massachusetts Dept. of Mental Health for years, but now a days can be found with his kitty in a hammock in his backyard, working outdoors, chopping wood for the fire in the winter, and yes, playing music with his friends. He was also a member of the popular local band Swing Shift for many years. Andy has also shared the stage with Pete Seeger in the past. He lives in Lenox, MA with his wife, Diane. They have a beautiful, talented and very interesting daughter, who now lives and works on the west coast. Ask about her and watch Andy light right up!
Andy’s favorite song on our set list? On The Road Again….like a band of gypsies we go down the highway. We’re the best of friends…” and yes, we are.