June 15, 2013

Grant Lee Phillips ~ June 14 @ SOhO

photo by p.dunkley

Soul with a Side of Stillness

Quiet, intimate, and early. It’s shows like this I really wish more people would attend, but at the same time I am really glad they don’t. It’s quite the conundrum.

Performing an acoustic set early on a Friday night, during happy hour and before the night revelry begins, Grant Lee Philips was able to be open, raw, and vulnerable in front of a small intimate gathering of fans. And funny – he was so extremely funny. He could probably be successful at stand up as well. But I digress…

The former front-man for Grant Lee Buffalo, Grant Lee Phillips, has evolved into quite the musing solo singer songwriter. His recent solo album, Walking in the Green Corn, is a recording of Phillips’ own journey into his native American heritage and contemplation of man’s tribulations. The music is reflective of all that is right and all that is wrong with life – at the same time, in the same song. His lyrics really call you out, while his sullen guitar sets the tone with a country edge and a hint of gentleness. Songs like “Mona Lisa,” Vanishing Song,” and “Fools Gold” compel you to delve into your own dark places while exploring his.

This was a quiet performance in a dark room with somber reflective songs and an attentive audience. One guy yelled out, “Play something dark!” To which Phillips joked that all his music was dark.  But I thought his music was soulful with just a hint of stillness.

For more on Grant Lee Phillips, go to http://www.grantleephillips.com/site/index.html