Last night I came home to an email from my friend Stuart with the subject line This is special.

The email simply contained 2 links to some videos on YouTube, which turned out to be (the cryptic YouTube URLs don’t reveal the contents beforehand) two videos of guitarist Andy McKee.

The first video, Drifting, is absolutely fantastic, some of the best finger style guitar playing I’ve ever seen — I had to watch it about 10 times last night.

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of seeing Tommy Emmanuel and his ‘support act’ Richard Smith, both of whom are amazing guitar players and I’ve also been dying to see Newton Faulkner live since I first saw his “I need something” video (this isn’t the original video, which I can’t find, but is just as good). But as far as originality and versatility on the guitar goes (Newton Faulkner has the edge as being a singer/songwriter as well as an amazing guitar player) I have to say that Andy McKee is now my new favourite.

After just a couple of videos I had to buy Andy’s album, Art of Motion, I’m not sure it will have quite the same impact as the videos (and definitely wouldn’t compare to seeing him live) but nonetheless I’m sure it will be fantastic. My only problem is now I’ll be tempted (like most albums I own) to try and learn a song or two myself and these are beyond my skill level.

As well as the fantastic Drifting video are Keys to the Hovercar and two great examples of Harp Guitar playing: Gates to Numeria and Into the Ocean.

Something special indeed.