Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Happy Birthday, Phillip Marshall...

One of the happiest musical (and otherwise) experiences of my life has been to make the acquaintance of Phillip Marshall, guitarist and songwriter extraordinaire. We met working together at the same record store around 1986 or so, and eventually played in three bands together: The Colorblind James Experience, The Hotheads, and Lalaland. The last two were formed by Phil. My involvement in Lalaland was very brief, but I went to many of their gigs as an enthusiastic listener. All three groups offered tremendous riches to the Rochester (NY) music scene, and each will eventually get ample discussion on this blog, but for now, let me say that Phil's musical scope was far too vast to be contained within one group. Common to all of them was a deep appreciation for musical tradition (particularly the blues and the legacy of the Beatles), combined with an ambition to explore new territory. Aside from his musical skills, Phil is one of the kindest and most decent human beings alive. This is well-known to anyone who knows Phil personally, but is also evidenced in his songwriting. His songs display an extraordinary empathy and insight that is on a par with that of Ray Davies or Elvis Costello. More on that in a future posting. Happy Birthday, Phil.

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