'Poetry-drenched, lyric-oriented folk jazz" is how Randy Phillips describes her music. "With a little Joni [Mitchell] and Ani [DiFranco] via Sarah McLachlan and Mary Chapin Carpenter."
The 1976 SDSU graduate (with a degree in sociology) used to sing songs to runaway adolescents while she was counseling at a residential treatment program called "the Bridge." She found a similarly receptive audience while serving as director of psychosocial services at San Diego Hospice, where she used her form of music therapy to comfort not only terminally ill patients but also family members and fellow staffers.
Patch Adams: The Musical? Yeah, she's socially conscious. But keep in mind that it takes one cheeky monkey to add your own lyrics and vocals to a Pat Metheny instrumental, and that's exactly what Phillips does on her 2005 CD True Stories I Made Up. Not one, but three Metheny tunes are interpreted on this CD, which also features guest appearances by local guitarist Peter Sprague and bassist Bob Magnusson. Check it out for yourself at violetstarrecords.com or see her at Rebecca's Coffeehouse in South Park on Friday, April 14.
WHAT'S IN YOUR CD PLAYER?
1. Death Cab for Cutie, Transatlanticism ("The song 'Title and Registration' free-associates about renaming the glove compartment in a car because no one keeps gloves in there. It just slays me.")
2. Mark Knopfler, Shangri-La ("This guy paints images like no one else, and the way he expresses his wit and humor through his music and world-weary voice always entrances me.")
3. Patti Scialfa, 23rd Street Lullaby ("Not as well known as her husband Bruce Springsteen, but her writing is so soulful and honest.")
4. Emersen, Radiowaste ("This is guitarist Daniel Crawford's band. I really dig their sound and style.")
DESERT ISLAND DVDs?
1. When Harry Met Sally and You've Got Mail ("Just gotta love well-crafted, clever romantic comedies you can watch over and over.")
2. The Shawshank Redemption ("Every time I watch this movie, it just grabs me by the throat and won't let me go.")
3. Enchanted April ("I love how this quiet little movie reminds me that there is a circuit of awakening energy running through the core of things, and if I can just get myself out of the way a little bit, it has a chance to work on the heart.")
BEST COVER SONGS?
"I would have to say all that fabulous old Motown stuff that the Funk Brothers created and lots of folks have covered. But to be more specific, in a different genre, Eva Cassidy's cover of Sting's 'Fields of Gold' stops me dead in my tracks every time."
BEATLES OR STONES?
"Truly, I appreciate the Stones' spirit, but you just can't beat the Beatles for melody, harmony, and sing-along lyrics. Beatles rule!"
"How did that guy from the Violent Femmes [Gordon Gano] ever get a recording contract? He can't hit a note to save his life."
SOMETHING ABOUT YOU FEW WOULD KNOW OR GUESS?
"I am hopelessly addicted to the TV shows West Wing and Project Runway, sour Gummi worms, and if I don't have very strong, sweet coffee in the morning and late afternoon every day, I get pretty darned cranky."