By MICHAEL FORTUNA
DAILY SUN STAFF WRITER
THE VILLAGES — Some 15 years ago, Andrew and Terri Dean took a leap of faith, and they haven’t landed just yet.
Andrew had been working as a forklift operator and auctioneer, while Terri worked as an accountant and tax preparer. But their love of music couldn’t be contained.
The duo decided to make music their full-time focus.
“We said, ‘Let’s do this,’” Terri said.
“I’ve really been blessed to do what we love to do,” Andrew said. “Working with my wife is such a blessing.”
The Port Charlotte residents will be making their Villages debut 5-9 p.m. Monday at Lake Sumter Landing Market Square.
If, for some reason, you can’t make it to that performance, you’re in luck. The duo will be playing the following night at Spanish Springs Town Square.
The Deans — Andrew on lead vocals, guitar and keyboards; Terri on keyboards, percussion and backup vocals — will perform everything from country to patriotic to oldies to light rock.
“I enjoy seeing the smiles on people’s faces and their toes tapping,” Andrew said.
They especially like it when people head out to line dance to the music.
“I’ve been in awe of the country couples and the groups dancing,” Andrew said. “It’s really cool to watch.”
When he’s not singing in a duo, Andrew can be seen with his band, the Farm Machine.
Andrew and Terri couldn’t escape the pull of music in their lives. They both were exposed to it at a young age.
Andrew grew up hearing gospel sounds at church while his mother played the organ and led the choir. Terri’s father played trumpet in a big band.
When he was in the third grade, Andrew liked to go over to the baby grand piano in their home and fiddle with the keys, which led to his mother securing him some lessons.
“The piano was challenging,” Andrew said. “You have 88 keys, and there’s an awful lot to learn.”
The guitar came into his life while in the sixth grade, mainly thanks to the sounds of the Beatles.
“You see people you like and you want to emulate them,” Andrew said. “When I was young, I’d grab a yardstick and act like I’m playing the guitar.”
During high school, Andrew was in some rock ’n’ roll bands that traveled around Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Pennsylvania.
Terri first learned the ways of the piano at age 7.
“I was forced into music by my mom and dad,” she said. “They gave (me and my siblings) the basic music education, how to read and write music. It stuck with me.”
Andrew and Terri were brought together through a blind date at a country-and-western establishment with a hardwood dance floor.
“Right when we met, we had so much in common,” Terri said.
The duo has been married since 1998, right around the time they jumped into music full time.
Since devoting his time to music, Andrew has opened for such country artists as Terri Clark and George Jones.
“(With Jones) that was ‘go out there and do your job,’” Andrew said. “It was pretty awesome. When you’re looking at a wall of people to sing to, it was just incredible.”
Andrew had the opportunity to chat with Clark before and after the show.
“She was really nice,” he said. “Down-to-earth.”
The Deans have started their own record label, Nite*Sky, where they’ve established acts from 23 different countries, including Great Britain, New Zealand and Australia.
As for his own songs, Andrew has as many as six notebooks filled with lyrics, with many of those songs ending up on four albums so far. Sometimes the music comes first, other times the words arrive first.
Andrew had sent one song, “Tear-Stained Paper,” to George Jones’ people as a possible tune to record.
“I wrote it with him in mind,” he said.
Unfortunately, Jones didn’t record the song, but Andrew wasn’t too disappointed.
“It was quite an honor to have them consider it,” Andrew said.
Michael Fortuna is a staff writer with The Villages Daily Sun. He can be reached at 753-1119, ext. 9299
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