August 21, 2022

Shawn Phillips: Live In The Seventies

On the cover of the exhaustive Live In The Seventies 3CD set Shawn Philips looks like the archetypal dude with a guitar playing songs about loss an love. And sure, there is plenty of that, but he was also an inventor, an eraly adapter of using loops, throwing in jazz licks, and getting his audience on the wrong foot with unexpected twists and turns. He came close to being big, graduating from coffee shops and rock clubs like The Bitter End to playing venues like Alice Tully Hall in the Lincoln Center NY. For some reason his songs from his studio albums were rarely heard on the radio, but luckily there were a couple stations who went to the trouble to record his live performances for posterity, capturing his impressive vocal register - three octaves all the way to a superb falsetto.

His fans always claimed to the best way to listen to Shawn Philips is attending his shows and the eight recordings were assembled by musician Roger Houdaille (Ex Norwegian) and composer Alex Wroten for Live In The Seventies are proof that they were right about. The audio restoration was in the capable hands of Prof. Stoned, bringing the urgent intimacy of the musician's stage persona to the fore. Taking it all in one sitting is the best way to get lost in the musical maze and enables the listener to follow his development over the years, but when that is not an option, it is best to break it down to one recording of a broadcast at the time, have a drink, and cue up the next one.

He is a balladeer, a rocker, a jazz cat, sometimes all of it within the space of one song. After enjoying this carefully curated archival release, the next thing to do is some serious crate digging to hunt down the studio albums. Shawn Phillips is still very much alive and well, and playing shows, holding on to his self-styled mantra that "health, love & clarity" are the most important things in life. Go see him if you get the chance. It is high time for a reappraisal of his body of work that continues to inspire his fans and fellow musicians alike.

Live In The Seventies is released via Think Like A Key Music.

CD 1:
  1. Lovely Lady (Dallas, TX, April 4, 1973)
  2. We (Dallas, TX, April 4, 1973)
  3. Lady Of The Blue Rose (Dallas, TX, April 4, 1973)
  4. Landscape (Dallas, TX, April 4, 1973)
  5. Hey, Miss Lonely (Dallas, TX, April 4, 1973)
  6. Springwind (Dallas, TX, April 4, 1973)
  7. Coming Down Soft & Easy (Dallas, TX, April 4, 1973)
  8. Planned "O" (Dallas, TX, April 4, 1973)
  9. Never Did Get Down To Baltimore (Dallas, TX, April 4, 1973)
  10. Dream Queen (Dallas, TX, April 4, 1973)
  11. Screamer For Phlyses (Rochester, NY, April 10, 1972)
  12. Steel Eyes (Rochester, NY, April 10, 1972)
  13. Song For Sagittarians (Rochester, NY, April 10, 1972)
  14. Whaz' Zat (Rochester, NY, April 10, 1972)
  15. Schmaltz Waltz (Rochester, NY, April 10, 1972)
  16. Spaceman (Texas 1973)
  17. Song For Northern Ireland (Texas 1973)
  18. Capé Barras (Texas 1973)
CD 2:
  1. Starbright (San Antonio, October 28, 1973)
  2. Breakthrough (San Antonio, October 28, 1973)
  3. Technotronic Lad (San Antonio, October 28, 1973)
  4. All The Kings And Castles (San Antonio, October 28, 1973)
  5. Victoria Emmanuele (San Antonio, October 28, 1973)
  6. Not Quite Nonsense (Austin, October 31, 1973)
  7. Troof (Austin, October 31, 1973)
  8. Talking In The Garden (Austin, October 31, 1973)
  9. Anello (Where Are You) (Austin, October 31, 1973)
  10. I Took A Walk (Austin, October 31, 1973)
  11. Woman (Austin, October 31, 1973)
  12. Keep On (Austin, October 31, 1973)
  13. Sleepwalker (Austin, October 31, 1973)
  14. Song For Mr. C (Austin, October 31, 1973)
  15. Furthermore (Inglewood, CA, January 30, 1974)
  16. January First (Inglewood, CA, January 30, 1974)
  17. Bright White (Inglewood, CA, January 30, 1974)
CD 3:
  1. Moonshine (Chicago, IL, March 31, 1977)
  2. Ballad Of Casey Deiss (Chicago, IL, March 31, 1977)
  3. Serendipity Peace (Chicago, IL, March 31, 1977)
  4. What's Happenin' Jim (Chicago, IL, March 31, 1977)
  5. Today (Chicago, IL, March 31, 1977)
  6. Early Morning Hours (Chicago, IL, March 31, 1977)
  7. Memories For JH (Improvisation) (Chicago, IL, March 31, 1977)
  8. Lookin' Up Lookin' Down (Houston, TX, December 11, 1978)
  9. Good Evening Madam (Houston, TX, December 11, 1978)
  10. Take It Easy (Houston, TX, December 11, 1978)
  11. Lady In Violet (Houston, TX, December 11, 1978)
  12. Implications (Houston, TX, December 11, 1978)
  13. Motes Of Dust (Houston, TX, December 11, 1978)
  14. Julia's Letters (Houston, TX, December 11, 1978)
  15. Maestoso (Houston, TX, December 11, 1978)
  16. Ease Your Mind (Houston, TX, December 11, 1978)


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