INTERNATIONAL singer and songwriter Shawn Phillips will perform in his adopted hometown, Port Elizabeth, tonight. He will be performing at the Old Cash Store in Sardinia Bay tonight at 8pm.
Phillips said he loved performing for the locals.
“I play where I live, for a home crowd,” Phillips said.
“It is just down the road. Seven minutes and I am home,” he said, which compares with a seven- month tour of the US.
“I will be adding a couple of songs that I have not done for quite some time. Some songs people will request but I can’t hit the high notes any more so I avoid those.”
Phillips, who moved to South Africa in 2003 and soon afterwards settled down in Seaview with his wife, Juliette, is dividing his time between writing and recording songs for his new album, which will be released next year, and spending time with his six- year-old son, Liam.
The artist, who has worked with musical greats like Eric Clapton, Paul Buckmaster, J Peter Robinson, Steve Winwood, Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, and Bernie Taupin, said he was amazed at the talent of local artists.
“The secret to my CD is that I never tell musicians how to play,” he said from his home studio.
“I have worked with some of the most singular, sought-after artists in the world but I have to say that the level of talent of the musicians I will be working with right here in Port Elizabeth, is world class.”
The as yet untitled album will be recorded at Phillips’s home studio and will feature Port Elizabeth musicians Lloyd Martin on drums, Donovan Hattingh on guitar, Joe van der Linden on bass and John Edwards on piano.
A talented high school pupil from Pietermaritzburg, Ruby Gill, will be adding her talents to the album as well.
“Friends from KwaZulu-Natal were visiting and they brought me Ruby’s first CD, Breathing in C Minor, recorded when she was just 15 or 16. I was blown away by her songwriting and composing abilities,” Phillips said.
“I immediately said I would love to have her work on the CD with me.”
Gill will be arriving in the city next week to collaborate with Phillips on his first double album, which will feature 20 tracks.
Phillips recently created a music video to raise funds for the production of the album.
“I recently made a video for YouTube in which I said I work with real musicians, I don’t use loops and dance beats,” Phillips said.
“Throughout my career I have tried to stay true to the power of pure music and have thus always worked with talented musicians who bring their own insight to my compositions,” Phillips said.
The folk musician, who is a volunteer at the National Sea Rescue Institute’s Station 6, will sell an EP album at the event tonight.
It features his funk version of the Star Wars cantina song called Circles on it.