This enigmatic figure on the music landscape never let a genre define his work, but he’s been a major player in pop culture – from Donovan to musical theatre, the Isle of Wight to the Beatles and beyond.
Shawn Phillips is a rock pioneer. Keeping true to his roots in folk music, he experimented with classical, fantasy iconography, surreal verse, mysticism and voice. The results produced the multi-million selling album “Second Contribution.” Four of his 18 albums charted on Billboard’s top 100. Four singles charted on Billboard’s top 40. Celebrating 40 years of recording and touring, Universal Music honored Phillips with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Johannesburg, South Africa on August 23, 2002.
Signifying the strength of his fan base, No Category, Phillips 18th studio album was a result of fans going to this website where they donated the money to cover the recording costs. Yanni acknowledged that Phillips was one of his favourite artists, and Alanis Morissette sat front row at a recent concert.
“I was born in Fort Worth, Texas with a silver spoon.
The war was rollin,’ and the deaths were tollin’ and Crosby crooned. The year was ’43, I started learnin’ how to be and I was on my way” Shawn Phillips, American Child from Transcendence
Shawn Phillips is one of most fascinating and enigmatic musicians to comeout of the early ’70s singer-songwriter boom. The mere fact that he was a
musician as much as a singer and songwriter made him stand out, and helped him attract a dedicated following. His refusal to shape his music — which
crosses between folk-rock, jazz, progressive, pop, and classical — to anyone else’s expectations has allowed him to hold onto a large and dedicated cult
following, without ever achieving the stardom that his talent seems to merit.