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Tom Phillips - Mikey's on 12th Roots Roundup


We have an amazing line up of Artists this year!


Tom Phillips

Show at 8:30pm - $10 cover

"Though staying true to his roots, Tom Phillips is not a man to sit idle.

Following thirty years of making music and seven studio albums, Tom has once again added to his portfolio with a new sound on his latest album, Plastic Machine. The album represents an evolution in Tom’s sound, yet still remains genuine to the craft  he has been practising over the entire course of his career.

On Drinking Days, the final song on Tom Phillips’ new record, the veteran Calgary songwriter seems to offer a bittersweet farewell to his wild years.

With a hint of rueful nostalgia, our narrator reflects on a life of “champagne mornings” and “good wine all afternoon” before revealing his drinking days are over. The song then seems to end as another begins. But it’s actually the same song, now sung by a collection of voices that the liner notes slyly refer to as the Shirley Temple Singers. Against guitarist Geoff Brock’s searing guitar solo, the choir sounds celebratory and loose; a sudden burst of swaying gang vocals that turn this sorrowful lament into something much more jubilant.

It turns out the song is a rather on-the-nose reflection of the songwriter’s experiences in the past few years.

“I quit drinking,” Phillips says, in an interview with Postmedia. “I quit three years ago but, for the five years before that, I had been going at it massively hard, like health-problem kind of stuff. Part of my quitting was to see if I could do it anymore, see if I could write songs. I had been at the point for probably a couple years before that where I’d get up every morning and think about writing a song and just drink instead. So I had bits and pieces. So just to help myself, I guess spiritually, I wanted to just write songs for no other reason than to just craft the song and see what I could do. That’s where the songs came from.”

"Despite a steady presence on the scene for decades, the singer-songwriter still somehow manages to seem like one of the city’s best-kept secrets. On stage, he manages to surprise on a nightly basis. Some of that can be credited to his far-flung taste in covers, which on any given night can include Warren Zevon’s junkie’s lament Carmelita, Bruce Springsteen’s under-appreciated I Wish I Were Blind, Damien Jurado’s spare and chilling Ohio and even an a cappella run through the old Irish ballad, The Auld Triangle.

But for every intriguing cover he throws in, Phillips manages to match it with three or four equally strong originals."

See Tom's weekly Mikey's Sit Back Sunday Jam at Mikey's Juke Joint.


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