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Podcast: The Many (Professional) Lives of Commander Cody’s Andy Stein

andy steinI became aware of Andy Stein when I did a post last month on Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen, of which he was a founding member. It turns out that his stint with the much-loved group was just the starting point–and that the sax is only one of the instruments in which he excels. Stein also is a highly sought after violinist.

The cliché is that people know you best by the company you keep. The list of people in whose company Stein has kept – at least from a professional point of view – is telling. It includes Itzhak Perlman, Pladico Domingo, Wynton Marsalis, Jon Faddis, Bucky and John Pizzarelli, Dick Hyman, Bob Dylan, Dr. John, Madonna, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Paul McCartney, Ray Charles and on and on.

Stein was both a violinist and saxophonist for “Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band,” A Prairie Home Companion’s house band, for 22 years. He wrote an opera with Garrison Keillor and has extensive classical arranging and composing credits. Stein has been featured on many television shows, on Broadway and in the soundtracks of several movies, including “The Red Violin.”

Andy Stein on Commander Cody, Chamber Music and Much More…

The song at the start of the podcast is “Kentucky Hills of Tennessee” by Commander Cody. The end music is “Pretty Trix” by Joe Venuti. Photo: Jonathunder