In the heart of the Flatiron district, Hill Country BBQ brings the spirit of Texas to NYC as it showcases live Americana music from the beloved elder statesmen of the genre, like Ray Wylie Hubbard and Billy Joe Shaver, to established artists who fly under the radar as well as talented up and comers, one of whom is K Phillips.
Touring on the heels of his March 10th release, Dirty Wonder, the Nashville by way of Texas singer-songwriter has been making music since he was a teen, but his April 22nd stop at Hill Country was his first. While many enjoyed their brisket and beverages, Phillips and his band of three made their way to the stage for an almost hour and a half set of all original music that pulled from Dirty Wonder as well as his 2012 release, American Girls.
As a steady stream of people passed through, more than usual stayed on listening to Phillips' unmistakable vocals convey an intense sensuality on "Hock The Horses" (a tune based partly on Mexican goddess Tlazolteotl ), accept a failed relationship while name-checking Shelley and Browning on "Hadrian" and expose a devilish side on "Dirty Wonder." While the melodies magnetically capture rock, country, and the blues, Phillips is an inspired storyteller, delivering lyrics that are poignant, literate, and witty detailing experiences in an unique and insightful manner.
While Phillips alternated between guitar and keyboards throughout the set, he and his band (who had only been playing out together a few days) brought people to the dance floor (often a rarity) on songs like "To Dance With You" and "Rambler" while an older couple swayed in the corner to "Coalburner." A soft-spoken and engaging frontman, Phillips brings an endearing presence to the stage interspersing stories, anecdotes, and charmingly cheesy jokes (Q: What's a metaphor? A: Cows and Sheep...ba dum dum) between tunes. Ensuring he had enough time before proceeding, he also played "Nobody Does It" and "Had Enough" before closing out with "Kat's Song." With that perfect triad of tunes, musicianship, and presence, make sure you catch Phillips when he's near you.
Read the interview with K HERE
Purchase Dirty Wonder HERE
Photos Courtesy: C. Mitt