Glen Phillips (of Toad The Wet Sprocket)

Glen Phillips has always been a courageous and inviting
songwriter. During his years as lead singer of Toad the Wet
Sprocket, the band’s elegant folk/pop sound and his honest,
introspective lyrics helped them forge a close bond with their
fans. Since starting his solo career, Phillips has pared his
music down to its emotional core, concentrating on the
simple truths of love and relationships, with a profound
spiritual understanding.

Swallowed by the New takes on life’s difficult transitions and
delivers some of the Phillips' most vulnerable songs. “I made
this album during the dissolution of a 23 year marriage,
Phillips says. “A major chapter of my life was coming to a
close, and I discovered early on that I had to work hard to
get through the transition with compassion and clarity. These
songs were a big part of that process.”

The album was recorded in May of 2015 with producer/bass
player Paul Bryan (Aimee Mann, Lucinda Williams), Jay
Bellerose (drums), Chris Bruce (guitar), Jebin Bruni (keys)
and Ruby Amanfu (vocals). The sparse arrangements are
centered on Phillips’ vocals and acoustic guitar.
Shimmering electric guitar accents drift through a curtain of
sighing strings on Go, a ballad that bids a poignant farewell
to a lover at the end of a relationship.

“And though I want you close / This light can only glow / To
warn you far away from shore / Saying I love you, now go,”
Leaving Oldtown has the feel of a classic pop ballad, with a
string section and piano supporting a poignant vocal, as
Phillips describes a man, “hollow as a sparrow bone,”
packing up his belongings as winter approaches.
The Easy Ones focuses on the importance of staying
present when it’s not easy or simple, but necessary. Joined
in harmony with his 13-year daughter, Phillips says:
“You can’t just love the easy ones / You’ve got to let them in /
When you’d rather just run.”

Amnesty is a gentle rocker, with twang-heavy guitars, a
funky back beat and elegant string accents, it chronicles a
long journey of searching for understanding and safe harbor.
“I’m here to catch some kind of spark / In every face I see /
And offer amnesty.”

Held Up suggests a gospel tune being chanted by a chain
gang. The stomping drumbeat and jubilant handclaps
support a vocal that faces the scales of judgment; in balance
between self-recrimination and salvation.

“Brother you ain’t so broken / Sister you ain’t so small /
Everybody goes together / Or nobody goes at all.”
The folk hymn Grief and Praise was inspired by writer Martin
Prechtel who maintains that “grief is praising those things we
love and have lost, and praise is grieving those things we
love and will lose”. It sums up the philosophy of the record in
no uncertain terms:

“For all that you love will be taken some day / By the angel of
death or the servants of change / In a floodwater tide without
rancor or rage / So sing loud while you're able / In grief and
in praise”

Swallowed by the New is full of the inviting melodies that
have always marked Phillips’ work, while his singing reaches
a new degree of intimacy and immediacy. The arrangements
hint at country, soul, folk, rock and classic pop, without ever
sounding derivative. The emotions may be raw, but they are
guided by Phillips’ steady vocals towards healing and
renewal.

Phillips started Toad the Wet Sprocket in 1986, when he was
still in high school. He was as surprised as anyone when
their low-key folk rock landed them on the pop charts. When
the band members decided to go their separate ways,
Phillips began a solo career with Abulum followed by Winter
Pays for Summer, Mr. Lemons and Secrets of the New
Explorers. Always open to new projects and unlikely
collaborations, he’s toured and recorded with Works
Progress Administration, a band that included members of
Nickel Creek, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Elvis
Costello’s Attractions; Mutual Admiration Society with Nickel
Creek; Remote Tree Children, an experimental project with
John Askew and Plover, with Neilson Hubbard and Garrison
Starr.

His acoustic duo tour to support Swallowed by the New
starts in October and will continue through the spring of
2017. “I enjoy the spontaneity of acoustic performance,
where I can take the show wherever it needs to go and
follow the lead of an audience instead of following a set list.
There’s more talking, more stories, and more of a loose feel.
The subject matter is on the serious side, but I feel like the
perspective is ultimately positive. Life is about changes, no
matter how we may try and pretend otherwise. This album is
all about learning how to face change.”

(SEATED SHOW-INDOOR SESSION ROOM)

Julian Müller has been a familiar face on the songwriter scene in Dublin, Ireland for several years and for his long-awaited debut he has teamed up with Northern California acoustic roots duo Quiles & Cloud, double bass player Oscar Westesson and 5-time Grammy nominated producer Cookie Marenco to create a beautiful collection of songs titled "Colour Me Softly."

Julian toured Ireland with Glen Phillips of Toad The Wet Sprocket in March 2015.

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