Hailing from Conwy, North Wales UK, Phillip Foxley is a songwriter and guitarist with many years of experience on stage and as a recording session player, often producing his own tracks in his home studio. In November 2011, after a hiatus lasting 3 decades, Phillip began writing new songs and setting up a basic home studio to record them.
He released his first eclectic EP One Song Is All You Need. A collection of tracks spanning the artist’s favorite original compositions over the years. However, Phillip soon realized that his home studio has limitations in both overall sound quality and production capability, so the tracks on the EP have been re-worked and remastered, together with new vocal material, in a pro studio for Phillip’s official debut album, coming in early 2013.
On listening to the twelve tracks over at Phillip’s Soundcloud platform, you quickly get the impression that there’s nothing generic about his playing, and like B.B. King, Buddy Guy or Eric Clapton, Phillip’s guitar exhibits a personal, trademark sound that is immediately identifiable.
His guitar sound is penetrating, ravaging, and fearless. And while his singing may not be his absolute forte (by his own admission), it remains every bit as expressive and rawboned as his guitar playing.
Most of the songs in Phillip’s collection are gritty blues-rock numbers, featuring his crisp, twangy Fender Stratocaster guitar sound. The Strat is a fine guitar for playing this genre and has been used by numerous blues-rock guitarists including Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Robert Cray, and many others. Here the Strat once more plays fine testimony to Foxley’s amazing playing talent and durability, considering his been caressing those strings over 40 years now!
If you’ve never heard of Phillip Foxley then you should seek out his music, turn up the volume and zone out. It reflects the maturity so loved and appreciated in the great blues players. His song collection has all the right stuff; edgy blues to classically styled rock tunes. It’s like listening to three generations of blues-rock on one album.
There are many standout tracks, but my favorites, without a doubt are; “Time,” “Demon Lover,” “Racing Thru Time,” “Seize The Day” and the acoustic poignancy of “Indian Summer”. However to be honest, the songs are all tight and substantive with some great playing.
All in all, this is a pretty damn good collection from Phillip. It’s definitely a great intro to his world, if you want a good mix of his various playing moods and styles. From the first bar of the opening song, Phillip slides his fingers over his guitar like the wind showing his expertise with every note. Hooking you into a great guitar-playing experience, that there’s no way of getting out of. You don’t get to warm-up or pace yourself, as you are thrown into the deep-end of one fantastic track to another.
Phillip Foxley makes it clear, that even after his long hiatus, his playing skills are still intact and he remains a consummate songwriter, with something new to offer, both in his lyrics and certainly in his music.
The only way not to like this, is to not like the electric blues-rock genre…in toto.
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