Andy Hill & Renee Safier & Hard Rain
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Andy Hill & Renee Safier & Hard Rain

Redondo Beach, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1995 | SELF

Redondo Beach, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 1995
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter




"Many Miles To Go"

Many Miles To Go
“I came to you like a parachute/And landed all around your world,” sings Renee Safier on the lovely “Kids These Days,” written by Andy Hill. Produced by Hill & Safier with the great Marty Rifkin, this is an album of tremendous power and passion. Both Andy & Renee are strong songwriters, but with styles vastly different, so marrying their songs brings a great range to their music. Even when he writes one, he sometimes has Renee sing it, as on the wonderful “Kids,” a sad and beautiful reflection of life’s brisk passage. Multi-instrumentalist Rifkin brings the great pedal-steel he’s played with Springsteen to these tracks, as well as beautiful layers of lap steel, slide, dobro and bass. But Andy Hill is no slouch in the instrumental world, playing inspired piano, organ, and acoustic and electric guitars. The album comprises all their originals, except one exceptional exception, Robbie Robertson’s glorious “It Makes No Difference,” which they deliver together with much purity and passion, and fidelity to the Band’s great earthy vocal sound and even Garth Hudson’s big church organ (played by Hill) and celebratory sax (by Nelson Rangell). John Hoke delivers crisp drums on most songs, though Tim Fillman is on “It Makes No Difference.” “The Fallen Man” is a remarkable contemplation of suicide and mortality set to a great Peter Gabriel-like groove layered lovingly by Hill’s heartfelt keyboard work. Long beloved for their great annual tributes to the songs and spirit of Bob Dylan, Andy & Renee remind us that to connect with a genius as intimately as they have with Bob requires a lot of emotional depth, which glows in all these tracks. If you’ve enjoyed their shows over the years but haven’t had the chance to absorb their own songs, here’s your chance. This is a beautiful collection of songs by musicians who knows a lot about what makes songs great. – Paul Zollo - Paul Zollo-

"Music Is Love"

...I think my personal favorite on this one was a version of a song I’ve always liked called “Thrasher,” from Neil’s Rust Never Sleeps Album. I was surprised to see it on a tribute CD since it has some odd connotations that only the true fans know about, but it was incredibly cool, performed by Andy Hill and Renee Safier with a little rockabilly flair and a 12 string guitar just as on the original. - Steve Levine, The Shrewsbury Lantern

"Music and Laughs with Andy & Renée – The Dylanfest Duo Celebrates the Release of their New Album Thursday Night"

Andy Hill and Renée Safier have made a name for themselves as masters of the Bob Dylan cover. The are the founding pair of Dylanfest in El Segundo, a full day of 50 or more musicians playing the beloved folk singer’s catalog. Those who know Dylan’s music well know that the artist can be as funny as he is prolific; for every “Blowin’ in the Wind” there is a “Talking Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues.”

Andy and Renée, as they label themselves musically, share Dylan’s mix of gravity and levity. The two are very serious musicians with an impressive body of original work and a band, Hard Rain, that includes Marty Rifkin, who has played with Bruce Springsteen and Elton John. But they have a silly side, too, and it is on full display on their newest album, “Kelp!”

The album name and cover art parodies the Beatles’ iconic “Help!” with Hill and Safier in the roles of John, Paul, George and Ringo positioned in flag semaphore. The title track opens the album and it begins with a rocking minute and 20 seconds of nothing but electric guitar before drums kick in creating a sound reminiscent of George Thorogood. When Hill’s raspy rock voice enters the song, the opening lines are about as unexpected as any could be: She’s teasing her hair at the mirror/ She winks at herself once or twice/ Her reflection gets so much attention/ I’m a trout at the market on ice, followed by the chorus

I’m nothing but a big piece of kelp on the beach.

In the album’s description on Andy and Renée’s website, the duo explains that this collection of songs have been fan favorites over the years at live performances but “we have had a difficult time finding the courage (some would say ‘had better judgement than’) to include them on collections in the past. We thought it best to make you suffer through them all at once.” Thus the nine-song joke album “Kelp!”

“A Habit That’s Goin’ Around” is a jazzy, finger-snappin’ piano tune with Safier’s sultry, smoky voice lamenting the puns of a comedian. In an affected Southern twang, Safier delivers a hilarious tale of a bar musician’s frustration at requests for Leonard Skynyrd songs in “Free Bird.” So finally Andy yells out in his Canadian drawl/ Now I know what you want but it’ll cost y’all…So they filled up that jar and our beer mugs, too/ And that tension kind of puckered like a bubblin’ stew.

“Kelp!” delivers nine original songs as expert in sound as they are ridiculous in conception. Musicians this talented that don’t take themselves too seriously are a refreshing find. As the liner notes reveal, some of the songs “were written under the influence of Gentleman Jack, and you may find that they sound better that way as well.” Sober or otherwise, “Kelp!” is a pleasure of a listen, and not just a guilty one. - Easy Reader- Alyssa Morin


It Takes A Lot To Laugh

“…Their selection of material is impeccable and impressive, frequently departing from the obvious in order to include the excellent. Their ten years as a performing duo, and five previous albums largely devoted to Hill's songwriting, contribute to a fine intuitive sense of arrangement, with their voices weaving and blending in just the right ways in all the right spots.” - Shaun Dale

"Here, There and Everywhere E-Zine"

Jan 10, 2004
Michael Sullivan“A River Is Gone”
“…It's an excellently written album as Andy Hill is rapidly becoming a songwriter to watch… Another wonderful effort... Renee has never sounded better vocally. Highly recommended!”
- Michael Sullivan

"It Takes A Lot To Laugh"

"...Safier's voice oft drips with an aching sensitivity filtered through delicate beauty and a fragility that would break and disappear in less capable hands...Hill's cuts drenched in prairie sod, the workingman's lament, and a salt-of-the-earth sprechestimme..So what about Marty Rifkin? Jesus, but this guy knows the depths of his art and instruments dead cold, nailing colorative and side-lead aspects in witheringly arresting lines, fills, and incidentals. His dobro playing is heavenly and that pedal steel's highly reminiscent of Red Rhodes."
- Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange

"They All Laughed"

They All Laughed
"…Safier has a vocal gift from heaven, with her sensual smooth (yet delightfully rough at times) tone and artistic line direction in her performances… her own sultry.. sexy.. voice - the type of voice that could not only melt a heart, but perhaps the entire polar ice cap… the ample instrumental talents of Bob Malone, who's comping and touch on the pearlies is a compliment to Renee's interpretations…"
Reviewer: -

"Fourteenth Of February"

Fourteenth Of February
"…absolutely stunning vocal work." -

"Midnight Tea"

"Midnight Tea is a unique piece of modern Americana with few equals, nor is it likely any will arise soon." - Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange

"Rock-n-Roll Truth-Catching up on 2019 with impressive returns, special sets"

Artist: Andy Hill & Renee Safier
Title: Fuse32 (Andy Hill & Renee Safier)
You might like if you enjoy: Fleetwood Mac
Tell me more: Fixtures on the Southern California music scene, Andy Hill & Renee Safier, have just issued their 16th audio CD title, Fuse32. The talented duo's wide-ranging sonic spirit extends from uptempo classic rock-styled material to affecting ballads. It is the diversity of material, their wonderful voices (whether solo and or when harmonizing together) and their ability to tap into compelling songwriting traditions that make the album such a great listen. The riff rocker "Jack (Get Me Out of the Hole)," electronic-draped "It's Fine," Bob Dylan-worthy "Blood On The Tracks," the country tearjerker "I Fall Apart" (showcasing Safier's lovely soprano), opulent "Great Big Light" and ambitious roots rocker "Fuse32" are among the excellent songs on the album. Information: - Robert Kinsler


Fixtures on the Southern California music scene, Andy Hill & Renee Safier, have just issued their 16th audio CD title, Fuse32. The talented duo's wide-ranging sonic spirit extends from uptempo classic rock-styled material to affecting ballads. It is the diversity of material, their wonderful voices (whether solo and or when harmonizing together) and their ability to tap into compelling songwriting traditions that make the album such a great listen. The riff rocker "Jack (Get Me Out of the Hole)," electronic-draped "It's Fine," Bob Dylan-worthy "Blood On The Tracks," the country tearjerker "I Fall Apart" (showcasing Safier's lovely soprano), opulent "Great Big Light" and ambitious roots rocker "Fuse32" are among the excellent songs on the album. Information: Robert Kinsler - Robert Kinsler

"Andy & Renee at 100"

In dreadful times, a musical milestone
Andy and Renee? They never went away

by Bondo Wyszpolski

The South Bay’s preeminent musical folk-rock duo, Andy and Renee, have been performing week after week after week, yes, even during the time of the coronavirus. Furthermore, no one’s had to leave home in order to enjoy their music. This Sunday is a special occasion for them, and for us, and here’s why:

Easy Reader: The last time we conversed was in May and we discussed the imminent Dylanfest, which ended up being livestreamed over three days. You’d already begun to livestream local concerts on a regular basis, which brings us to March 14, this coming Sunday, and it’s a milestone event for you. So, would you like to describe it?

Andy and Renee: “Our last in-person gig was March 14, 2020, a St. Patrick’s Day party in Manhattan Beach. The seriousness of the COVID-19 virus was becoming painfully evident, and we knew life was going to take a serious turn for everyone. When the lockdown happened a few days later, Andy and I were too naïve to know that Livestreaming was a more complicated endeavor than we had thought, and we dived right in, with our first Livestream on March 19. We had a lot of missteps those first shows… bad sound, bad picture, bad streaming… you name it. But as we navigated the steep learning curve of dialing in the technical aspects, our audience was very patient and forgiving. I think they knew we were in uncharted waters and appreciated that we were trying.

“Everyone was so afraid and missing their friends, that our Livestreams provided connection with the amazing community that has built up around our music. They are a generous bunch as well, and though we don’t charge a set ticket price to watch the shows, our audience has kept us afloat. We also donate a portion of the proceeds of every show to charity, mostly the Midnight Mission, but also to Feeding America and some Fire Relief organizations. Show #100 will be a new jumping-off point and a look back at what we’ve done over the past year. We’ve had special shows — Canada Day, Halloween, Festivus, Holiday Concert, New Year’s Eve, Neil Young Tribute, and remote shows from the road. We have also played every song on our song list, 506 different songs. It’s been a journey of dusting off and relearning many songs on our list, so that’s been really fun.”

ER: You’ve managed to have small audiences for your live shows, at least the more recent ones, all socially-distanced, of course. I’m guessing that performing in front of even a few people is more stimulating than no audience at all. Am I correct in this assumption?

A&R: “Yes, definitely. The first few months of Livestreaming were surprisingly difficult because playing to a camera is a one-way experience. We had to generate the energy you have when you’re playing in front of people so the performance isn’t flat. Normally, you get that energy back from the crowd, but when you don’t, it’s really draining. We got better at it, but adding just one person who would monitor the Chat Room, helped a lot. When we could have 10 people in the driveway watching the shows, we felt like we were at Staples Center!”

Andy and Renee. Photo courtesy of the artists
ER: Concert 100 is a milestone. What have you perfected with livestreaming that you weren’t so good at before?
A&R: “Not to bore everyone with tech-talk (that’s always riveting conversation!), we found hardware and software solutions for better sound and picture. We upgraded our internet speed and hard-wired into the router to assure a smooth stream. With all that said, every once in a while we encounter some mind-bending glitch that defies logic, but somehow we seem to almost always figure it out just in the nick of time!”

ER: When COVID-19 recedes into the background, do you hope to shelve livestreaming as well or do you see it as a likely supplement to your live shows?

A&R: “I think we’ll continue to do the Livestreams along with in-person shows. We have viewers from all over the world who tune in, and we love connecting with them. Continuing the online shows will also give our local viewers an additional way to enjoy the music.”

ER: Dylanfest tends to occur in May, and of course May isn’t far off. Have you been planning for this year’s rendition, and if so how may it differ from last year’s event?

A&R: “We are still in limbo regarding the possibility of Dylanfest31 happening on May 8 at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center. We are looking into rescheduling to the Fall, but everything is just theoretical for now. Dylanfest31 will happen, online or in person… Stay tuned. In the meantime Dylanfest30 is viewable on our Youtube Channel,, as are almost all of our Livestreams.”

ER: What about other Andy and Renee projects? Are there more original recordings in the works? How does the future look to you from where we’re standing today?

A&R: “We are looking at starting our 17th CD in a month or so. Our producer, Marty Rifkin, hasn’t opened up his studio yet, so we have learned a lot about recording ourselves and sending tracks to him for mixing. We really miss playing with our band, Hard Rain, so this has been a way for us to keep working with them during the last year. We did six Hard Rain videos for Dylanfest, with everyone recording their part from home, and we are currently working on a video project with a wonderful organization, Childnet. Andy and I have been playing together for a long time, so we have seen the music market change time and time again. Of course, no one has seen something like this before, but as long as we love playing music and someone wants to hear it, we’ll find a way to get it to them. So, the future is bright.”

Livestreams are 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays and 4 to 6 p.m. on Sundays. In April the times on Sundays will switch to 5 to 7 p.m. All info on Andy and Renee’s website, ER - Easy Reader


Fuse32- 2019
Dylanfest LIVE- 2017
The Mystical Prism Of Being- 2016
25th Annual Dylanfest DVD- 2015
Back To Georgia- 2015
Andy & Renee: Live at the Boulder Black Box DVD- 2014
KELP!- 2013
Many Miles To Go- 2011
19th Annual Dylanfest DVD- 2010
Blackbird Ballads- 2009
Hurricane Of The Heart- 2007
Midnight Tea- 2007
A River Is Gone- 2004
Everything Disappears- 2003
It Takes A Lot To Laugh- 2001
Something Unbroken- 1999
They All Laughed- 1998
The 14th of February- 1996
Now That The Future's Behind Us- 1995
Dancing On One Leg- 1991
I Don't Remember- 1990




Since a chance meeting at the University of Denver, Canadian Andy Hill and his singing partner Renee Safier have carved out a unique musical niche for themselves in the Los Angeles music scene (and beyond). Their performances more than two-hundred a year are as much social gathering as musical event. Part fan family reunion, part rock & roll tent revival, their incomparable live shows attract a large, enthusiastic, and fiercely loyal group of fans.
As a songwriter, Andy Hill is a student of the folk and rock classics Van Morrison, The Band, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and it shows. Boundary-pushing use of the language, sweeping vocal harmonies, unforgettable melodic content, and tightly crafted arrangements are all hallmarks of his writing and producing style. As one reviewer said of Renee, "...Safier's voice oft drips with an aching sensitivity filtered through delicate beauty and a fragility that would break and disappear in less capable hands....
Andy & Renee, along with their band Hard Rain, have taken their unique sound and multi-instrumental skills (as well as being riveting vocalists, they both play guitars and keyboards) to venues large and small all over the world. Local Southern California highlights include House of Blues and the El Rey Theatre in Hollywood, and the Hermosa Beach Civic Center. They have also played at the Telluride Blues Festival, Kerrville Folk Festival, Napa Valley Folk Festival, Sierra Songwriters Festival, and the Winery Music Awards in the US. Internationally they have played at the Bob Dylan Festival in Alba, Italy, The Fronge at the cork Jazz Festival in Ireland and at China's largest music festival in Nanning, China. In July 2013, their PBS Concert Special, filmed at the ATLAS Black Box Theatre at the University of Colorado, Boulder won an Emmy on Rocky Mountain PBS.

Their sixteen independent CD releases have won them countless awards, including: Los Angeles Music Awards Americana Group of the Year, Best Duo/Group at the International Acoustic Music Awards, Top-40 CDs of the year, runner-up for best folk act at the Crossroads Music Awards, and a two year run in the Musician Magazine Best Unsigned Band Semifinals.
Renee Safier, showcasing her prodigious blues and jazz vocal chops, won the Telluride Blues Festival Acoustic Blues Competition, receiving a rousing response from the 12,000-plus festival crowd. She and Andy have returned again and again for successful performances during the 3-day festival. Andy & Renee have also performed New Zealand, Ireland, Italy Thailand, The Philippines, China and across North America to approving crowds.
In addition to all this, Andy Hill and Renee Safier just celebrated their 30th year hosting their own Bob Dylan Festival. What started out as a small once-a-year backyard party where a loose conglomerate of close friends would take turns performing Dylan classics all day and well I nto the night (or until the cops came), has evolved into a full-blown music festival attended by hundreds of fans and featuring many of L.A.s top musicians.
Andy Hill and Renee Safier both live in the South Bay area of Los Angeles.

Band Members