Our Top Seven Phillip Phillips Songs So Far – Number Six – Tell Me a Story

“Tell Me a Story,” number six on our top seven Phillip Phillips‘ songs so far, is a song about wonder, hope and love.

Placed half-way through The World from the Side of The Moon, “Tell Me a Story” boldly introduces a genre of experimental, less traditional songs within Phillip’s catalogue, a category he has continued to cultivate in all his subsequent work. “Tell Me a Story,” “Thicket,” “Sand Castles,” these are all songs where Phillip moves far away from the traditional pop song structure to create unique, hard to define pieces that demand our attention and fully-open minds and ears.

“Tell Me a Story” was the first collaboration between Phillip and David Ryan Harris, a song-writer, singer and guitarist of exquisite sensibility and depth. After “Tell Me a Story,” this collaboration extended into Phillip’s next two albums, with Harris co-writing in both “Alive Again” on Behind the Light and “I Dare You” on Collateral.

Structurally, the song plays with our expectations of the traditional verse-chorus-verse-chorus structure, not so much in breaking this pattern as in each element of the song seeming to be slightly off: verses are long, stretched out, creating from the very first lyrics a sense of wonder and mystery, first grabbing our attention (“Tell you a story and it starts with time”) and then pulling us along its own, unique ride. And then when the chorus comes (“Hope is just a ray of what everyone should see”) it is unusual in its length and the irregular number of syllables within each line of the lyrics themselves. Together, they create a loose, circular feeling that requires us to let go, first, of the musical expectation created by a traditional song structure, and second, of the sense of familiarity that would allow us to predict where this song and this melody will take us.

Further, by letting go, we are asked to put our trust on Phillip and let ourselves be told a story where he alone beholds the narrative, the twists and turns that it will take. And as a listener, once we let all our expectations go and let the magic of “Tell Me a Story” unfold, the aesthetic and emotional rewards are huge-is the pleasure of being vulnerable and letting ourselves be surprised by the beauty of others, the wonder of others, the wonders of this world.

“Tell Me a Story” is an important song in Phillip’s catalogue because it demonstrated the ambition in the writing, the willingness to push in different directions, the desire to tell a story as it needed to be told and not be forced into the confines of any particular genre of song. It is also important in that it introduced many of the themes that Phillip would touch in many of his later songs: a love that is universal (no age, no gender, no particular relationship); an uplifting message of courage and hope; the constant search for meaning in our lives. It is also, most poignantly, immersed in the natural world as so many of Phillip’s song are: The moon, the sun, the light all are metaphors for this pure declaration of love (“You are the sun that leads me, you are the moon that pulls me”). Not only are these some of Phillip’s most sweet, poetic lyrics, they evoke a world full of awe and beauty: it’s the stars shining brilliantly on a cold winter sky, the sweet scent of grass on a spring dawn, the warmth we feel when being told a story, a fire burning brightly on a cool summer night.

If you are missing any of Phillip Phillip’s three albums, visit his official site to listen/purchase.
And stay tuned on @PhillPhillcom to find out our next five top Phillip Phillips songs!

Our Top Seven Phillip Phillips Songs – So Far

It’s been seven amazing years since Phillip Phillips first appeared on our TV screens on American Idol. In the time after his win, Phillip has toured tirelessly, given us one incredible cover after another, performed at unforgettable shows such as Rock in Rio and the Capitol Fourth, all the while also admirably fighting for his integrity as a musician and artist. Best of all, Phillip has also released three albums that have clearly shown his ability to move with ease from the memorable, radio-friendly singles to the more experimental, darker, but equally effective deep cuts. The challenge: pick seven songs that speak the most to us from the last seven years. This is no easy task, but we will try nonetheless.

We’ll start with our pick for number seven, the second single from Phillip’s first album, The World From the Side of the Moon, and the song that had the difficult job of following on the footsteps of the hugely successful “Home”: “Gone Gone Gone.”

Co-written by Derek Fuhrmann, Todd Clark, and Gregg Wattenberg (who also produced it), “Gone Gone Gone” featured a warm, rousing melody that was further propelled by sweet and sincere lyrics about a deep, unconditional love. Similar to “Home,” “Gone Gone Gone” resonated with fans because of these lyrics, their universal message applicable to anybody who has ever loved someone, essentially all of us. “Gone Gone Gone” was officially released as a single on February 11, 2013; a video for the song was released only a few days later, on February 15, 2013.

In addition to many live recordings made during radio and TV appearances in early 2013 (including on Ellen and American Idol), at least three official versions of the song exist: the original studio version, the live recording on Phillip’s Live album, and the version on the iTunes Session compilation. Out of all of these however, our favourite is still probably an unofficial, very early performance of the song which happened just a couple of days before the release of The World From the Side of the Moon on November 19, 2012.

That October, after causing major destruction across the Caribbean, Hurricane Sandy devastated huge areas of the eastern coast of United States, including across New York state. While in New York that fall, Phillip joined forces with the elementary school PS22 Chorus to raise funds for the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

In the video of this performance, in fact a recorded rehearsal, a beaming Phillip sings “Gone Gone Gone” accompanied by the chorus, made of the most incredibly talented 10 and 11-year-olds. The magic starts the minute Phillip starts to play the gentle opening melody on his guitar, and then blossoms into a musical moment so joyful and pure that transcends the simplicity of the event and the setting. It gave us chills then, and still does today.

It would be an understatement to say that this was an exciting time for Phillip Phillips’ fans–specially those who had faithfully followed his career for the last eleven months: We were only days away before The World From the Side of the Moon, an album full of Phillip Phillips’ written or co-written songs, would be in our hands for the first time. Hearing “Gone Gone Gone” during that performance was not only beautiful and moving, it was also a great indication of the spirit of the music that was to come.

If you are missing any of Phillip Phillip’s three albums, visit his official site to listen/purchase.
And stay tuned on @PhillPhillcom to find out our next six top Phillip Phillips songs!

Featured photo by Rachel R.

Phillip Phillips’ Promotional Showcase in Japan

Phillip Phillips traveled to Japan earlier this week to promote his debut album The World from the Side of the Moon, to be released there on August 19th.

As part of his promotional visit, Phillip played a small showcase for a few lucky fans at the popular Astro Hall in Tokyo. Phillip later appeared on the morning TV show Sukkiri to perform “Gone Gone Gone,” the single chosen to promote the album. The amazing Dave Eggar joined Phillip during both of these performances.

Take a look at Phillip and Dave playing at the Astro Hall showcase!

Astro Hall Showcase - Photo by Ayumi Astro Hall Showcase - Photo by Ayumi Astro Hall Showcase - Photo by Ayumi Astro Hall Showcase - Photo by Ayumi Astro Hall Showcase - Photo by Ayumi Astro Hall Showcase - Photo by Ayumi Astro Hall Showcase - Photo by Ayumi Astro Hall Showcase - Photo by Ayumi Astro Hall Showcase - Photo by Ayumi Astro Hall Showcase - Photo by Ayumi Astro Hall Showcase - Photo by Ayumi Astro Hall Showcase - Photo by Ayumi Astro Hall Showcase - Photo by Ayumi Astro Hall Showcase - Photo by Ayumi Astro Hall Showcase - Photo by Ayumi Photo: @toyodajunko Phillip Phillips before his performance on Sukkiri. Photo: @ntv_sukkiri Phillip getting ready to perform on Sukkiri TV. Photo: Phillip Phillips Photo: Phillip Phillips

Thanks Mari, Mary and Ayumi.
Featured photo by Phillip Phillips.

Exclusive interview with cellist Dave Eggar

You may think you don’t know Dave Eggar, cellist, composer and arranger, but if you listen to music at all, you probably have heard the sound of his cello at some point in your life. That’s because Dave Eggar is an extremely busy and prolific musician who has worked with numerous artists across many genres and styles, from classical, to world music, to rock, including recording and performing with bands such as Coldplay and Pearl Jam and a long time collaboration with Evanescence’s Amy Lee.

Fans of Phillip Phillips best know him as the creator of the beautiful cello and string arrangements on Phillip’s first album The World From The Side Of The Moon and as one third of Phillip’s wonderful acoustic trio. PhillPhillcom had the pleasure to interview Dave Eggar recently to talk about his inspiration and evolution as an artist, his collaboration on Phillip’s upcoming album Behind The Light and life as musician on tour. Check our interview below.

PhillPhill.com: We know you started playing music at a very young age. How did you start and when did you realize the cello would be the instrument for you?

Dave Eggar: I started playing the cello when I was 6 years old! It’s kind of a funny story. My mother really wanted me to be a concert violinist, so she enrolled me in those Suzuki violin classes for kid–you know–the ones where you march around holding the violin and play “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”! Well I really hated it–so I smashed my violin (I know it’s immature)!  For Christmas that year my mother bought me a cello and I took to it right away–it was kind of weird–it just fit me. Six months later I was playing the Brahms sonatas.

PhillPhill.com: Throughout your career you have worked with an incredible amount of musicians and artists in many different mediums and genres. Can you share a little about your evolution and inspiration as an artist?

DE: Until I was 21 I didn’t play any music except for classical–my whole family was classical musicians. However I was always improvising and writing songs. When I was a teenager I started to fall in love with rock music–especially Nirvana and Pearl Jam which became a major influence on my musical development. In my early 20’s I started to become fascinated with the use of the cello in other music.  The cello is like a huge bowed fretless guitar–and I found very quickly that I loved the idea of re-imagining the instruments in different styles (jazz, rock, Persian music, South-East Asian folk music).  Pretty soon I was on tour–even with some of my heroes–and I kind of didn’t look back!

Phillip Phillips @ Barclays Center Brooklyn, NY

PhillPhill.com: How did you get to work with Phillip for the first time? Can you tell us a little bit about your collaboration on Phillip’s first album, The World From The Side Of The Moon?

DE: I first met Phillip through his producer Gregg Wattenberg. Gregg is an incredible producer of pop music-and I have worked for him on many projects. Phillip and I just started jamming at the beginning of the first session–and I don’t know, it just clicked [and] we just kept playing. He’s my musical brother in a lot of ways. I loved his music immediately and found a voice for the cello in it right away. The first album was made very quickly (in about a month) and we all worked around the clock–it was a really amazing adventure.

PhillPhill.com: What do you look for in a song or a piece of music, either as a listener or as a musician? What is it about Phillip’s music that makes you want to play with him?

DE: I care about the story and the depth of emotion in a song. I also care about clarity of execution and intellectual detail in playing. I also love music that pulls together influences you would not normally find together. I really dig Phillip’s guitar patterns and melodies.  I feel they have both directness and sophistication. I also love the emotional diversity of his songs and the tremendous dynamic of the live show–it’s rare that you will have an artist with a fragile acoustic song like “A Fool’s Dance” in the same show with an epic pop hit like “Raging Fire” and a rocking cover of “Thriller.” His shows keep us on our toes technically and I like that.

PhillPhill.com: Phillip’s second album, Behind The Light, is coming out in just a few weeks. How much did you get to play on this album? Can you walk us through the process of creating the cello or string arrangements for a song?

DE: Much like the first album, the process was very organic and very fast paced. I am really excited about the strings on the record (there are strings on most of the songs), as we were able to create a powerful diversity–some songs have a full rich orchestral arrangement (like “Raging Fire”) others are quirky and cool with an almost jazz or gypsy type use of the cello. Many times we would come back to a song a number of times tweaking it over and over till the parts were just perfect.

PhillPhill.com: How would you say this new album is different musically from The World From The Side Of The Moon? Did you approach your work differently this time? What is your favourite song that you got to work on in the album?

DE: I loved working on “Raging Fire”–and also some of the more striped down acoustic songs. I like “Face” a lot. It was great working on this album because I have done hundreds of shows with Phillip since the first album and I felt I understood his message and style much more. It was personally a very important album for me for that reason as well.

PhillPhill.com: The string arrangement on the album’s first single, “Raging Fire,” is beautiful and quite prominent. How did the strings came to be such an important part of the song?

DE: It was Gregg’s idea (and a brilliant one). We found a perfect blend of violins and cello that are reminiscent of Gustav Holst and Elgar–there was a moment where we found the perfect sound–you know when everyone looks at each other with a smile in the studio. I’m really excited about how that track turned out.

PhillPhill.com: You are a very busy musician, but fans were lucky to see you on the road with Phillip during his college tour last year. You have also played numerous shows with Phillip and Errol Cooney as part of an acoustic trio. How do you approach these two settings? Does your playing and arrangements change when playing with a full band?

DE: We are always playing. While we don’t rehearse all the time, we are always jamming on the bus, in the hotel, etc. The trio is a lot of fun because there is so much freedom. Errol is pretty much the best guitar player I have ever played with so I love when the three of us get to really stretch out. Full bands rock though, and that is tremendous fun!

Screen-Shot-2013-11-04-at-12.53.14-PM

PhillPhill.com: The video for “Where We Came From” was shot during the band’s stop at the Alaska State Fair last summer. How was it to record the music video for this song, in particular the “trio” version of the video?

DE: Haha—it was COLD!  But a lot of fun. When we recorded on the mountain it was also very, very windy and the cello almost blew off the side of the cliff. The show itself was magical though–so many awesome fans and an unbelievable setting.

PhillPhill.com: Phillip’s shows are known for having a good amount of jamming and for their display of excellent musicianship. How much do you get to practice as a band before a tour or before a show? How much of what happens on stage is improvised and how much is rehearsed?

DE: We are always rehearsing. We set aside time before the tours for more structured rehearsals, but also, since Phillip does different groups of songs each night, we are always doing touch-up rehearsals on the bus, and trying new things at sound check. Some of the new songs emerged from things Phillip would teach us at sound check and then over months they developed into the new songs. It’s a very organic process.

PhillPhill.com: What song do you most like to play with Phillip? Among your performances, which one is the most memorable and why?

DE: I like all the songs, but some of my favorite to play are “Hold On,” “Tell Me a Story,” “Where We Came From,” and “A Fool’s Dance.” I feel I really connect to these songs and they have really challenging and fun cello parts. It was really amazing playing “A Fool’s Dance” at the Hollywood Bowl last summer. I had played the second to last concert of Michael Brecker, who was my teacher and mentor, on that stage and it was very meaningful for me to play on that stage with Phillip a song that meant a lot to me.

PhillPhill.com: We read recently that you play the Bach cello suites almost every day. Is this part of your daily practice or part of a special ritual for you? Do you have any special rituals or things you do before a show to get ready?

DE: I really love to practice classical music–I do it every day and it is really grounding for me; I love the balance and the subtlety of detail. It makes it easy for me to play all the other styles I play. I also am really into Karate, so sometimes I will do a Kata before going on stage. I also eat a lot of chocolate, which probably isn’t a good thing haha.

PhillPhill.com: Do you have any funny or interesting stories about life on tour with Phillip? What do you like to do on your days off when you are not playing or practicing?

DE: Man–we have a great time–we’re kind of like a family. It’s always fun. Phillip is a really down-to-earth guy, so it’s a great hang.  We’ve finished a lot of video games on the bus too haha.

PhillPhill.com:  We know you will be performing with your band Deoro in May. Will you be joining Phillip on his tour this summer?

DE:  Yes, I will be touring with my own band in May with a collaboration we do with this really cool dance company called Hammerstep which fuses Irish Step dance and hip hop and then I will join Phillip in June for the tour with O.A.R. which will be awesome!!!

PhillPhill.com: You are an amazingly prolific artist and a huge inspiration to many other musicians. Do you have any tips or advice for beginning music students?

DE: Thanks so much for your kind statement.  You always have to follow your dreams and be persistent no matter what anyone says. A lot of teachers told me the way I played the cello was different and strange and wouldn’t work. There was one very old teacher, Ardyth Alton, who was the person who accepted me into Juilliard when I was 9. I saw her years later when she was in her 90’s–she said: “Thank you for being different–I always knew you would be the one who would make a difference for the instrument.” There is really room for all artists, you just have to find your own way home, so to speak.

image2 5833b3a4974511e3becb129ac153a6d5_8 Phillip Phillips @ Barclays Center Brooklyn, NY Screen-Shot-2013-11-04-at-12.53.14-PM Phillip Phillips @ Barclays Center Brooklyn, NY BfQkkSdCAAIHbFr 10175246_550698128377426_999106932_n phillipphillips-qvc Phillip Phillips @ Barclays Center Brooklyn, NY

Contact info:

http://www.domomusicgroup.com/daveeggar/…
http://www.myspace.com/daveeggar
http://www.youtube.com/daveeggar
http://twitter.com/daveeggar
http://www.ilike.com/artist/Dave+Eggar
http://www.last.fm/music/Dave+Eggar

Phillip Phillips’ Canadian Tour – The Venues

Phillip Phillips’ Canadian Tour is only three weeks away. Needless to say, excitement is mounting, and not only for Canadian fans.

With a new album on the works, the Canadian tour could very well coincide with exciting news about a possible release date, or even more amazing, the actual release of a brand new single. This may be wishful thinking from us, but would not be out of character; so far Phillip has always found ways to surprise fans with unannounced album releases (iTunes Session), and impromptu performances of new, unreleased songs. One thing is for sure, Phillip’s first Canadian tour will be unforgettable for all Canadian fans, those that have been following him since the beginning and the new ones he’ll create along the way. We will celebrate this very special tour by following Phillip and his band from their first show in Halifax, Nova Scotia in the East Coast, all the way to Vancouver, on the Pacific coast.

During the tour, Phillip will play some beautiful venues across the country, but will also make a stop at historical Genesee Theatre in Waukegan, IL in the US. Take a closer look at the tour dates, cities and venues below.

[toggle header=”Opening show: Saturday, March 8, 2013″ open=”true”]
canada15Where: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Venue: Dartmouth Sportsplex
110 Wyse Road, Dartmouth, NS
Capacity: 3,500
Buy tickets
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[toggle header=”Monday, March 10, 2014” open=”true”]
1Where:
 Québec City, Québec
Venue: Grand Théatre de Québec (Salle Louis-Fréchette)
269, boulevard René-Lévesque Est, Québec, QC
Capacity : 1,875
Sold out show
See venue[/toggle] 

[toggle header=”Tuesday, March 11, 2014” open=”true”]

canada2Where: Montréal, Québec
Venue: Place des Arts (Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier)
175 Sainte-Catherine Street West, Montréal, QC
Capacity: 2,982
Buy tickets[/toggle] 

[toggle header=”Wednesday, March 12, 2014” open=”true”]

canada3

Where: Ottawa, Ontario
Venue: National Arts Centre (Southam Hall)
53 Elgin Street, Ottawa, ON (at Confederation Square)
Capacity : 2,323
Buy tickets[/toggle] 

[toggle header=”Friday, March 14, 2014” open=”true”]
canada4Where: Toronto, Ontario
Venue: Sony Centre for the Performing Arts
1 Front Street East, Toronto, ON
Capacity: 3191
Buy tickets[/toggle] 

[toggle header=”Saturday, March 15, 2014” open=”true”]
canada13Where: Kingston, Ontario
Venue: Rogers K-Rock Centre
1 The Tragically Hip Way, Kingston, ON
Capacity:  5,380
Buy tickets[/toggle]

[toggle header=”Sunday, March 16, 2014” open=”true”]
canada5Where: Hamilton, Ontario
Venue: Hamilton Place Centre
1 Summers Lane, Hamilton, ON
Capacity: 2,193
Buy tickets[/toggle]

[toggle header=”Tuesday, March 18, 2014” open=”true”]
canada6Where: Waukegan, Illinois
Venue: Genesee Theatre
203 North Genesee Street, Waukegan, IL (USA)
Capacity:  2,427
Buy Tickets[/toggle]

[toggle header=”Thursday, March 20, 2014” open=”true”]
canada7Where: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Venue: Burton Cummings Theatre
364 Smith St., Winnipeg, MB
Capacity: 1646
Buy Tickets[/toggle]

[toggle header=”Friday, March 21, 2014” open=”true”]
canada12Where: Regina, Saskatchewan
Venue: Brandt Centre, Evraz Place
1700 Elphinstone Street, Regina, SK
Capacity: 6,136
Buy tickets[/toggle]

[toggle header=”Sunday, March 23, 2014” open=”true”]
canada8Where: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Venue: TCU Place
35 22nd Street East, Saskatoon, SK
Capacity: 2003
Buy Tickets[/toggle]

[toggle header=”Monday, March 24, 2014” open=”true”]
canada9Where: Calgary, Alberta
Venue: Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
1415 14 Ave. NW, Calgary, AB
Capacity:  2,538
Buy Tickets[/toggle]

[toggle header=”Tuesday, March 25, 2014” open=”true”]
canada10Where: Edmonton, Alberta
Venue:  Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
11455 87 Ave. NW, Edmonton, AB
Capacity: 2,538
Buy tickets[/toggle]

[toggle header=”Thursday, March 27, 2014” open=”true”]
canada14Where: Kamloops, British Columbia
Venue: Interior Savings Centre
300 Lorne St., Kamloops, BC
Capacity: 5,158
Buy tickets[/toggle]

[toggle header=”Friday, March 28, 2014” open=”true”]
canada11Where: Vancouver, British Columbia
Venue: Rogers Arena
800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver, BC
Capacity: 5,800
Buy tickets[/toggle]

Phillip Phillips Announces Canadian Tour

Phillip Phillips‘ Canadian fans got the news they’ve been waiting to hear for a long time when it was announced that he will be embarking on a Canada-wide tour in March.

“The World From The Side Of The Moon” Tour will kick off on March 8th at the Dartmouth Sportsplex in Halifax, Nova Scotia and go all across the country with dates in major cities such as Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Calgary and smaller ones such as Kamloops, BC. The 15 date tour will end on March 28th at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC. Phillips will be making one stop in the US on March 18th at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan, IL.

This will be the first major Canadian tour for Phillips, who has only previously played selected dates in Toronto, Ontario including his appearance at the MuchMusic Video Awards in June 2013. Tickets will go on sale this Friday, January 24th at 10:00 am.

Is Phillip Phillips coming to your city? Check out the full tour schedule here!

March 8 Halifax, NS Dartmouth Sportsplex – Tickets
March 10 Quebec City, QC Grand Théâtre de Québec – Tickets
March 11 Montreal, QC Place des Arts – Tickets
March 12 Ottawa, ON National Arts Centre – Tickets
March 14 Toronto, ON Sony Centre for Perf Arts – Tickets
March 15 Kingston, ON Rogers K-Rock Centre – Tickets
March 16 Hamilton, ON Hamilton Place Theatre – Tickets
March 18 Waukegan, IL* Genesee Theatre – Tickets
March 20 Winnipeg, MB Burton Cummings Theatre – Tickets
March 21 Regina, SK Brandt Centre – Tickets
March 23 Saskatoon, SK TCU Place – Tickets
March 24 Calgary, AB Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium – Tickets
March 25 Edmonton, AB Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium – Tickets
March 27 Kamloops, BC Interior Savings Centre – Tickets
March 28 Vancouver, BC Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena – Tickets