Shredding Erie, One Lick at a Time

By Jenna Croyle

So many people have wanted to play an instrument such as a guitar, but ended up giving up playing altogether because they could never get the guitar to sound right, or play well. It can be quite discouraging to be playing the right notes, but get that awful buzzzz, sound out of tune, or find it just too hard to play because there is so much daylight under the strings.

This week’s featured musician, Doug Phillips, has overcome all of these pitfalls and countless others over his more than twenty-year span as one of Erie’s most talented and popular musicians.

In addition to being one of the most energetic and electrifying acoustic artists playing out in Erie today, Phillips has been a member of such celebrated bands as Smoke Break, Key West Express, Chance of Reign, Trev Zeppelin, Spooner, Platos Cave, Dirty Looks, Hello Kitty Death Squad, Midnight Riders, East Ave. and currently the Pick Up Band.

Phillips has a very diverse and seasoned musical background, drawing on his influences of Tom Waits, The Beatles, Frank Zappa, Stephen Stills, Radiohead, Paul Simon, RHCP and Keller Williams, to mention only a few.

Unlike many musicians, Phillips is not only a master acoustic and electric guitar, but also has the versatility to bang the beats on a bass guitar and blow the funk out of a sax.

Phillips also commands the stage as a lead singer in bands like Hello Kitty Death Squad and has an astonishing wealth of material that includes hundreds of covers for his acoustic act that span the decades of great Rock including tunes by Frank Zappa and The Allman Brothers and many, many more.

The soulful, funky and even sometimes raspy voice of Phillips is almost too good to be true. After you have heard Phillips sing, you have to let what you heard sink in because he is that good, he is the real deal, and so tremendously talented. One of the first things you notice when hearing Phillips sing is that he does not sound synthetic and he is not emulating anyone.

Phillips is a sincere and authentic person who brings a soulful and passionate voice to every show, drawing the audience in with every note preformed. If his voice does not get you, his hard-hitting guitar licks will.

As a natural guitar player, making it seem almost effortless, Phillips offers a never-ending string of scintillating guitar riffs with a never ending and stunning and always enchanting precision and feel that makes Phillips an extraordinary guitar slinger.

With an impressive persona, stage presence and excellent guitar work and soulful singing, along with a real heart and passion for music that sizzles, Phillips when called upon can even get growly and gritty with not only his voice, but his music as well, doing so with a vengeance.

With killer licks that never fail to impress along with trademarked vocals to match, certainly puts Phillips in the upper ranks of great players as one of the hottest musicians that has ever played an Erie stage.

For more information on Doug Phillips, his show dates or new projects, please visit his Facebook Page.