Shawn Phillips was born in Fort Worth, Texas. He developed his unique sound throughout the early 60s, playing in the folk clubs of L.A., Greenwich Village and London. Whilst in the UK he met and befriended Scottish singer-songwriter Donovan, and it was here that he recorded his debut album. It came out towards the end of the folk revival era, and as of such it was perhaps a bit too late to get any coverage (it remains mostly forgotten to this day). It was indeed a folk album, all songs being performed just by Phillips on his 12 string acoustic, but it transcended the genre. His repertoire in these early days wasn’t that of a typical 60s folk singer - rather than an abundance of Dylan covers and traditional material, the songs he performed were mostly interpretations of numbers by other obscure contemporaries (including Travis Edmonson, Hamilton Camp and Shel Silverstein) alongside some rather surprising choices such as “It Was A Very Good Year” and “My Favourite Things”. He managed to make all the songs his own and completely redefine them, and it was his remarkable voice which gave them such a brilliant sense of mystery and magic. This brilliant yet obscure debut album has got to be a true lost classic.
|> Shawn (1965)
More from Shawn Phillips