Shawn Phillips - Contribution (1970)

Shawn Phillips is an American singer-songwriter.

Throughout the 60s Shawn Phillips had been an almost unknown character, though he had been hard at work - he released two obscure folk albums and a few even more obscure singles. He also played at the Isle Of Wight festival and worked with Donovan, playing sitar on his Sunshine Superman album, and appearing with him on Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest TV show (which is well worth looking up on youtube). Rumour also has it that it was he who taught George Harrison to play the sitar. Though greatly respected by those who had heard him, he was by definition an underground musician.
In 1970 he recorded his first 'electric' album, five years after his last record, and by this time living in Italy. His best feature has always been his stunning voice, and fusing this with elaborate band arrangements and studio technology meant he was able to forge something truly special with Contribution, making the most of the opportunities offered by overdubbing. His voice reached dizzying highs on "Man Hole Covered Wagon" and thrilling lows on the quiet, hypnotic "L Ballade". It wasn't just about his voice and the fantastic arrangements though, as he proved himself a talented composer of original songs (his first two albums featured mostly cover material). Musicians backing him included Paul Buckmaster on keyboards, and the three core members of Traffic (i.e. Steve Winwood on keyboards, Jim Capaldi on drums and Chris Wood on sax).
Contribution started a new period in Phillips' career, which brought him to a much wider audience (though he was still far from being well-known).

Shawn (1965) <|> Second Contribution (1970)
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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello! My first visit to your site. I was just listening to Shawn Phillips'"Second Contribution" and decided it was time I heard the first "Contribution". Many thanks for the posting.

-Brian

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I can't believe that he worked with Donovan ! the author of "Atlantis"

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