where we've been...what we've done...
ANDY HILL & RENEE SAFIER & Hard Rain
Since a chance meeting at the University of Denver, Andy Hill and Renee Safier have carved out a unique niche for themselves in the Los Angeles music scene and beyond. Their performances – more than two hundred a year – are as much social gathering as musical event. Part fan family reunion, part rock & roll tent revival, their incomparable live shows attract a large, enthusiastic, and fiercely loyal group of fans. Andy and Renee provide a much-needed connection with live music to their audiences, whether in an intimate House Concert setting or at a large festival. Their music never fails to move you, your feet, your heart, and most often, all three.
As a songwriter, Andy Hill is a student of the folk and rock classics – Van Morrison, The Band, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, and Bob Dylan – and it shows. Both Andy & Renee have received numerous awards for their songwriting. Boundary-pushing use of language, sweeping vocal harmonies, unforgettable melodic content, and tightly crafted arrangements are hallmarks of their writing and producing style.
Renee Safier, showcasing her prodigious blues and jazz vocal chops, was named “Best Solo Blues Artist” at the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival,receiving a rousing response from the 12,000-plus festival crowd. Since then, she and Andy have returned for many years giving successful performances during the 3-day festival. Andy & Renee have also performed New Zealand, Ireland, Italy Thailand, The Philippines, China, and across North America to approving crowds.
As well as being riveting vocalists, Andy & Renee both play guitars and keyboard, Andy additionally showcasing his harmonica skills while performing Dylan and others. Along with their band Hard Rain, they have taken their unique sound and multi-instrumental skills to venues large and small all over the world. Local Southern California highlights include playing the House of Blues, The Wiltern, The Troubadour, The Roxy and theEl Rey Theatre in Hollywood, and The Warner Grand, The Grand Annex, the Torrance and Hermosa Beach Civic Cultural Centers and theHermosa Beach Summer Concert Series. They have also played at the Telluride Blues & Brews, Kerrville Folk, Napa Valley Folk, and High Sierra Songwriter’s Festivals. Their PBS Concert Special, “Black Box Opens-Andy & Renee”, filmed at the ATLAS Black Box Theatre at the University of Colorado, Boulder, recently won a Heartland Emmy.
Their sixteen independent CD releases have won them countless awards, including: Los Angeles Music Awards “Americana Group of the Year”, “Best Duo/Group” at the International Acoustic Music Awards, Qweevak.com “Top-40 CDs of the Year, Runner-Up for Best Folk Act at the Crossroads Music Awards, and a two year run in the Musician Magazine “Best Unsigned Band” Semifinals. Since 1998, they have teamed up with country music legendary sideman, multi-instrumentalist, and producer/engineer Marty Rifkin, and together they recorded their next 12 CDs, including "It Takes a Lot to Laugh", a highly acclaimed collection of 14 Bob Dylan songs. When he isn't traveling the world with Bruce Springsteen or recording the soundtrack to “Man of Steel”, Marty often performs and travels with Andy & Renee in Southern California and beyond.
In addition to all this, Andy Hill and Renee Safier will be celebrating their 31st year hosting their own Bob Dylan music festival, “Dylanfest”. What initially started out as a small once-a-year backyard party where a loose conglomerate of close friends took turns performing Dylan classics all day and well into the night (or until the cops came), has now evolved into a full-blown music festival attended by hundreds of fans and featuring over 70 of L.A.’s top musicians. The 8-hour event is held at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center.
Andy Hill and Renee Safier both live in the South Bay area of Los Angeles.
Some words about Andy & Renee:
“America’s best kept secret….”
B. Noel Barr, Random Lengths;
"...Safier's voice oft drips with an aching sensitivity filtered through delicate beauty and a fragility that would break and disappear in less capable hands...Hill's cuts, drenched in prairie sod, speak of the workingman's lament and a salt-of-the-earth Sprechstimme….”
Mark S. Tucker, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange; and
"Anytime that Andy Hill and Renee Safier make music together, it sounds great – whether it’s on one of their originals, or in one of a thousand Bob Dylan songs they do so beautifully in their annual Dylan festivals.”
Paul Zollo, American Songwriter
2017 International Acoustic Music Awards Finalist- Quit Playing Hard To Get
2016 International Acoustic Music Awards Finalist- "Waiting On A Train"
2016 Dallas Songwriters Assoc. 1st Place, Americana, "Two Trains"
2016 Dallas Songwriters Assoc. 1st Place, Pop, "Insignificant Other"
2014 International Acoustic Music Awards Finalist- "Way Back Home"
2013 West Coast Songwriters Assn. Honorable Mention "Stay Another Day"
2013 International Acoustic Music Awards Finalist for "Dream It All Away"
2012 Dallas Songwriters Assoc. 2nd Place, "Kids These Days"
2012 ISC "Unsigned Only" Semifinalist, "Kids These Days"
2012 Song Universe "Best Song" Finalist
2011 Singer Universe "Best Vocalist" Finalist - Renee Safier
2011 First & Third place, Dallas Songwriter's Assn.
2010 International Acoustic Music Awards Finalist for "When You Remember Me"
Our CD, "Midnight Tea" was nominated for "Best Traditional Folk" album, 2009 JPF Music Awards! www.jpfolks.com
2009 International Acoustic Music Awards Finalists for "Telescope" and "Stay Another Day"
2009 UK Songwriting Contest Semi-Finalist
2009 Unisong International Songwriting Contest 3rd Place Winner: "Another Man's War & "Kids These Days" -Top 20 winner
2009 Singer Universe "Best Vocalist" Finalist - Renee Safier
2009 JPF "Best Traditional Folk Album: nominee, "Midnight Tea"
2009 Billboard Song Contest Honorable Mention, "Kids These Days"
2008 International Acoustic Music Awards Finalist for "Salvation in Your Arms" and "Way Back Home"
2008 Independent Singer-Songwriter Association, Honorable Mention, "Kids These Days"
2008 Billboard World Music Awards, Honorable Mention, "New Orleans (I'll be Coming Home)" and "Waiting On A Train"
2008 Malibu Music Awards, Honorable Mention, "Kids These Days"
2007 International Acoustic Music Awards 1st Runner-Up, Best Duo/Group for "Away"
2007 Los Angeles Music Awards "Americana Group of the Year"
2007 We Are Listening Singer Songwriter Awards: Honorable Mention
2007 West Coast Songwriters International Song Contest: Honorable Mention
2006 International Acoustic Music Awards Finalists, Best Duo /Group and Best Female Vocal
2005 Renee Safier, Winner, 2005 Telluride Blues Festival, Solo Acoustic Blues Competitionwww.tellurideblues.com
2005 International Acoustic Music Awards: Best Duo/Group www.inacoustic.com/winners.html
2004 Kweevak.com "Top 40" CDs of the Year: A River is Gone
2001 & 1993 Kerrville New Folk Finalist
1999 Crossroads Music Awards Finalist - Folk
1999 Napa Valley Music Festival Finalist
1999 Sierra Songwriters Festival Finalist
1996 & 1997 Musician Magazine: Best Unsigned Band Semifinalist