Andy J. Forest was born in Washington State in 1955. His family moved to Southern California when he was just a few weeks old. It was during his time in California where he was first introduced to the blues. He cites his first influences as the players on the L.A. scene in the 60’s & 70’s, such as George Smith, Rod Piazza and Charlie Musselwhite.
In 1975 at the age of 19, Andy went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras but wound up staying, growing as a musician and sitting in with Earl King, James Booker, Dave Malone and many other local greats. His journey as a professional musician began in 1977 and he quickly established himself as a harmonica player and singer.
Taking a trip to Europe to see the sights, Andy’s vacation became a challenge when he ran out of money. He quickly learned that he could get by playing harmonica as a street performer in Paris and Barcelona, teaming up with African guitarist Tao Ravao. He later did some sound tracks for films, and played in clubs, festivals and theaters. He wound up in Italy in 1979, where his planned ten day trip turned into ten years.
Between 1985 – 1990, Andy expanded his skills and became an actor, appearing in a dozen films, some in lead roles, that were shot in Italy, Morocco, Brazil, Venezuela and Croatia.
He returned to his home in New Orleans in 1991, where to this day he can be found playing in local clubs in Crescent City. He continues to perform tours in Europe and Canada.
Andy has played on stage with B.B. King, Bobby Blue Bland, James Cotton, Luther Allison, Johnny Shines, Champion Jack DuPree, James Booker and many other greats of the blues.
Andy has written scores of songs and has recorded 22 albums and two 45s, mainly featuring his original songs. His CD, “Real Stories: of Love Labor and Other Man-Made Catastrophes” for Slang Records, won “Best Blues Album” of 2007 in the Best of The Beat Awards of New Orleans. His 2011 CD, “NOtown Story: The Triumph of Turmoil” was nominated for another Best of The Beat Award for 2010. His latest releases are “Other Rooms” and “Word Shadows & Ghost Notes”.
A true artist, Andy has also written a novel, Letter From Hell, which was published in 3 languages. He is also a fine art painter, his work mainly “outside” art featuring portraits of blues and jazz singers.