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Andy McKee

with Joel Tipke / Hidden Pictures

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"Overnight YouTube phenom" may be the most common description of this Topeka-based guitar wiz—the more telling summation would be "freak of nature who makes Eric Clapton look like Gavin Rossdale." McKee's percussive tapping technique has drawn comparisons to Michael Hedges and John Fahey, but his flailing-arms presentation looks completely different—perhaps the reason that his YouTube clips spread so fast. Beneath the virtuoso veneer, McKee is a reformed metalhead who isn't immune to a goofy-yet lovely-cover of Toto's "Africa."McKee's performance of his song "Drifting" recently passed 20 million views on YouTube, and last year he released two new albums: "Gates of Gnomeria" and "The Thing That Came From Somewhere" (a collaboration with his mentor Don Ross). Andy McKee, "Drifting"

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