Ken Leighton 12:30 p.m., Feb. 21
Sound description: A bit of Motown soul mixed in with traditionally jazzy vocals. Book-length lyrical passages address issues both personal and topical.
RIYL: Katey Sagal, Bonnie Raitt, Joan Osbourne, Candye Kane, Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan, Kate Bush
- Musician Interviews · April 13, 2006
Inception: San Diego, 1954
Current Status: Occasionally performing, but she discontinued her blog and disabled comments in March 2007 and appears to keeping a low musical profile.
Influences: Death Cab for Cutie, Mark Knopfler, Patty Scialfa, Emerson, Eva Cassidy, Joni Mitchell, Ani DiFranco, Sarah McLachlan, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Aretha Franklin, the Motown sound
'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.
Phillips and Peter Sprague released a collaborative album in August 2018, Sparks and Seeds.