David Philips – Get Along (2018)

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As singer-songwriters go, the thing that makes David Philips stand out whether he’s making an acoustic-based bare-bones record or a more fully produced affair is that he’s got a lot of soul. It’s there in his voice and present in his melodies. Just as 2017’s Winter titled toward his rock side, Get Along, his latest from Black And Tan Records, makes that soul more overt.

Philips has never been afraid to put out his rougher recordings, he embraces it and it’s really to our benefit because there’s nothing to hide and nothing critical is missing from the demos. This time — and he’s done this with a song actually called “This Time” — he’s putting his rough-hewn product side-by-side with his (relatively) polished handiwork, which in either case all the chores are handled by him, and it’s hard to tell which version is better.

The demo version of “My Gravity” is full of funky spirit with Philips accompanied himself only with an acoustic guitar. That was placed immediately following the fully developed version of the same song, which has its own charms but the raw version remains just as satisfying. The blues “Nowhere” (video below) is also paired with its demo version but it’s the stripped down take that’s more energetic and played in a higher key, altered to the point that you could be forgiven for thinking it’s an entirely different song. Philips uncorks some nasty blues harp in the middle of it, too; there might not be much musically he can’t do like a boss.

Folk-soul, head-nodding, finger tapping rhythm and blues in an down-home wrapper is what make full band tracks such as “Another Day,” “Trim” and remakes of his own tunes “Mountain To Climb” and “When I’m Drunk” so irresistible. As a bonus, Philips’ jazz background makes a rare overt appearance on the instrumental fusion-ish number “Red On Yellow.”

One thing that isn’t rare at all about a Philips record is that it’s all done by himself, from the composing to the playing and singing, to the production, engineering and mastering. But DIY isn’t for everybody, only for those who can do it all and do it all right. Philips is clearly that guy, and now we know that even when he does something by himself two different ways, both ways are the ‘right’ way.

Get Along is available now digitally and available in CD form in September 2018 for those who also want more of Philips’ avian art to enjoy.


S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron

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