Cameron Mee

Without question, the world is different from the past of even a decade ago. This is particularly true for musicians. There was a clear path for those who aspired to greatness and fame; attend the most respected learning institutions and then present your unique “voice” to audiences who might embrace it. Somewhere along the way, musicians became their own gatekeepers and carved out new paths to success. Guitarist Cameron Mee is a perfect example of this.

The Australian native spent time studying with the greatest guitar teachers in the US and then made a pivot to end up as the guitarist for last year’s American Idol winner country music artist Chayce Beckham. From Berklee to Broadway, Beckham’s journey to playing stadiums is a product of his ability to seek out the authenticity and sincerity of his own playing. At the core of his style is what is essential to so many great artists; his performances always hint that there is far more depth than he offers up overtly, leaving audiences to crave even more of Cameron’s intriguing musicality.

 Cameron points to his time studying with famed guitar teacher Mick Goodrick who also taught such luminaries as Grammy Award Winners Pat Metheny, John Scofield, Bill Frisell, and Julian Lage, as vital to his evolution as a player. He states, “During my studies, I became invested in many styles, and in some ways frustrated by this, which ultimately lead to me finding what I truly wanted to do.

Now, when faced with a complex or new genre of music, I can apply my knowledge to that and make my way through to adapt on the spot. I was actually the last in the lineage of Mick Goodrick’s students, and have become lucky to become a somewhat keeper of his legacy. I can’t share what we’re doing in this regard but some exciting things are in the works.”

Proving his willingness and eagerness to explore all possibilities, Cameron took the unexpected turn of relocating to Nashville where his musicianship was more in demand than blazing technique. Nashville is the home of country music and nowhere is the thriving nature of it more alive than on Broadway Street. Hundreds of bands play this music center on a daily basis to tourists and music lovers from all over the world. Cameron imparts, “Broadway is what I call a beautiful mess.

I can have regular gigs, lose them, gain them, get calls five minutes before a gig starts, after it starts, and play with people I’ve never heard of. Depending on the bar, we’ll play different music ranging from classic country to modern pop. It’s all dependent on the patrons. I meet new people there every day and I love making new friends.” Of course, Broadway is also the place where talent is recognized and discovered. It’s no mistake that Mee’s constant performances on Broadway would lead to his touring work with artists like New Lost City Records Recording Artists Whelan Stone, the aforementioned Chayce Beckham (whose #1 single “23” topped multiple iTunes charts), and others.

Broadway has been good to Cameron’s career aspirations and he’s happy to throw praise back on the community for helping him continue his musical evolution. He notes, “The biggest change was learning and adapting to new styles. I expected to move to Nashville, play western swing and old country only but quickly learnt I had better get my wits about me, dig into the style, and really learn to play the new stuff, pop music, modern country, and every genre I can.

I quickly learnt that flashy guitar isn’t enough, you have to play in the band, with the band, and be a musician, not a soloist. You have to have all parts down – and each day I work on these. I learnt how to perform on stage while here, how to be a good hang, how to be attentive to what needs fixing, and how to truly interact with other musicians.”

 When not on the stadium stage with Chayce Beckham, darting into one of the many clubs on Broadway for a gig, or in a recording session, you’ll likely find Cameron Mee merging his two worlds when one of his peers comes through town on tour. He confirms, “I met so many wonderful guitarists during my studies; people like George Collins, Jesus Molina (Latin Grammy Award Winner), and Pete Jonas. Those friendships last. I recently saw Pete when he was in Nashville on tour with Alina Baraz and I think we’ll be crossing paths soon when he plays the same date as us (with Chayce Beckham) with Marc E. Bassy. It’s exciting to see everyone thriving and working.”

Writer: Luigi Paglia

By Punit