Josh Phillips, singer and primary songwriter for the wildly popular southern funk act, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, is stepping out and stepping up! Phillips, who recently parted ways with his ex band mates, is quietly redefining his musical identity as one of the most soulful and thought provoking songwriters in the scene today. Josh Phillips and his band, Josh Phillips Folk Festival, have been gaining a veritable army of fans that range from the youngest musical listeners, to seasoned long time traditional music fans. With the release of their first studio album, Wicker, Phillips has truly provided a strong testament to his ability to effortlessly capture generations worth of musical evolution, and traverse years of cultural dilution, bringing the listener back to the very source of roots, folk, soul, r & b, rock and reggae. The end result is a collection of memorable compositions that can literally transport the listener to another time and another place, rife with a romantic and endearing spiritualism long lost in today’s over produced and manufactured music scene. Wicker is as original as it is genuine. This is visionary music from a visionary songwriter.
Josh Phillips true musical strength is most evident in his ability to effortlessly weave complex lyricism with arrangements that can easily be described as primal and irresistible. His adroitness toward telling a musical story, while never losing the anthem like energy that made his Booty Band contributions so popular, is what brings mind and body together in his music. The songs of Wicker are as much at home in a coffee house as they are in an arena. It is with this magnitude in scope that makes Phillips’ debut album a timeless musical contribution that will likely garner him an audience equal to its breadth. From the raw energy of the sing-along, soon to be summer hits, "Morning Song" and "Little Something Baby," which features ex Blue Rags vocalist Woody Wood, to the soaring cathartic melodies of "It Ain’t Easy" and "For Today," Wicker breathes with an honesty that keeps it sounding fresh even after many listens. The album also features a stellar line up of musical guests whose collaborations always sound vital, and not ancillary. Ryan Burns of Laura Reed and Deep Pocket plays organ and keyboards throughout the album, which also includes Elijah and Casey Cramer of Strut. The album, of course, features members of Phillips’ ex band, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band. Wicker, however, has much more to offer than just feel good sing-alongs. Tracks such as the smooth and lyrically powerful "Be for You" and the island infused John Hartford cover "Steam Powered Aeroplane" display Josh Phillips Folk Festival’s versatility. Wicker, which was recorded at the world class Echo Mountain Recoding in Asheville, NC and mixed at Tree Sound Studios in Atlanta with Paul Diaz (Outkast, Whitney Houston, Gwen Stefani) is simply a great album from an obvious talent.
Currently, Josh Phillips Folk Festival is gearing up for an extensive national tour in support of Wicker, including support dates with fellow Asheville natives, Toubab Krewe, and appearances at major festival events such as Floydfest, Loki Festival, and the Chinese New Year Festival in Negril, Jamaica with Peter Rowan, members of Little Feat and Keller Williams. The band have also released a video for the single, "Movin On" (youtube), and are currently in production for their next video due for release late this fall.
For more information and on the Josh Phillips Folk Festival and current tour dates please visit: www.joshphillipsfolk.com