Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Andy Stochansky spent seven years playing drums for indie rock artist Ani DiFranco before striking out on his own, and many music aficionados identified his name only in relation to that position in the music world. By 2000, however, the pair of solo albums he had to his credit, While You Were Sleeping and Radio Fusebox, helped separate his name from DiFranco's and launch his own career. Stochansky worked on While You Were Sleeping, an independent release in 1995, while he was still affiliated with DiFranco, and the debut earned critics' approval. He again won acclaim in 1999 with Radio Fusebox, with some critics ranking it among the year's finest. One went so far as to dub it the decade's best. A few compared him to Jeff Buckley and Brian Eno and likened his vocals to Bono. Among the instruments Stochansky plays are the piano, saxophone, and guitar. His songs also sometimes feature bouzoukis, an accordion, and uilleann pipes. In addition to DiFranco, he has recorded or appeared in performance with Jonathan Richman, the Indigo Girls, Janis Ian, Jane Siberry, and John Gorka. He discovered his love of music, and percussion in particular, at the age of four. At a relative's wedding reception, he hopped onstage and muscled his way over to the band's bongos, where he took over for the remainder of the evening. He joined Di Franco's troupe during his twenties. For his own compositions he is influenced by many musical styles, among them folk, free jazz, and electronica. In summer 2002, Stochansky made his major label debut with Five Star Hotel on RCA Victor. ~ Linda Seida
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