In many ways he personifies the man who had it all – yet still wanted more. Along with his brother Jim, Andy Creeggan was first invited to join The Barenaked Ladies when Ed Robertson and Steven Page were performing as a duo. Particularly impressed with Andy’s percussion work, the brothers were asked to join full-time following the success of the band’s Christmas show in Toronto in 1989.
Only six months later, the band had just released BARENAKED LUNCH, an ambitious demo tape. Andy went on a student exchange trip to Ecuador while studying at McGill University. He would later earn a degree in composition and become a member of the Faculty of Music at McGill. He returned early the next year to find Tyler Stewart had replaced him on percussion, so he switched over to keyboards. But his musical dexterity came in handy, taking on the roles of many other percussion instruments as well. Following the release of the band’s second self-titled demo, affectionately known as THE YELLOW TAPE, they scored a record deal and he remained with the band for 1992’s GORDON and 1994’s MAYBE YOU SHOULD DRIVE albums.
But unsatisfied with the musical direction they were going, despite BNL being on the verge of international success, the brothers formed a side project called, oddly enough, Brothers Creeggan. They released their first album as a duo in ’95, fusing light rock and the brothers’ jazz influences.
As Jim remained with BNL, Andy sought out new adventures, and landed a deal with Bongo Beat Records in ’95, and released his first solo album ANDIWORK the next summer. Melding contemporary classical with jazz and rock, the album featured eight mostly instrumental self-penned tracks that made the album a hit with the critics.
He and Jim would team up for three sequels and the occasional string of shows before he released ANDIWORK II in 2004. Considered another hidden musical gem by the critics, the complexity of the 14 tracks strayed occasionally from the classical roots to more pop-oriented numbers, along with jazz, new age and even some throwbacks to the ’50s. Along with the Toronto Symphony, the album features Ian McLauchlan (drummer for Brothers Creeggan) and Mark McLean of the Jane Bunnett Jazz Ensemble.