I’m not sure how accurate the depiction is, but IFC’s PORTLANDIA is a great show, and it’s become what I (and many others) think of first when hearing of anything coming out of Portland, Oregon. That said, independent musician and Portland resident MO PHILLIPS is gearing up for the release of his third album of family-friendly tunes, with MONSTER SUIT due on on April 10th. As a music and monster aficionado, I’m interested.
From the Official Press Release: The uncomplicated charm of Monster Suit stems from its refreshing connection to what was happening in the late ‘50s, when rock ‘n’ roll was evolving from a cultural mix of country, folk, and African-American influence. With a style and delivery sometimes reminiscent of Woody and Arlo, Mo Phillips offers classic acoustic rock ‘n’ roll with a minimum of electric effects in a finely tuned but fiery blend of Americana, soul and blues.
Says Mo, “As the dad of two boys, I know that sanity can be hard to come by in the parental world, and I’m just trying to offer a small dose with my music. I wanted to create an album for parents to jam to with their kids. Monster Suit is my third album for families and the first done in a proper studio (and not in my basement)! My main influences include Neil Young and The Rolling Stones, although many of my compositional ideas stem from my undergraduate years studying with jazz wizard Dan Balmer at Lewis & Clark College.”
An early childhood educator as well as a musician, Mo Phillips doesn’t hesitate to credit his initial inspiration to the kids he’s taught. He explains, “When I was teaching a class of three-year-olds in 2005, some of the curriculum ideas for what later became my “Rock ‘N’ Roll Kindy” program were born. The kids had been doing a lot of role-play as musicians, so we made a project out of it. They named their band Fire Guitars. We wrote songs, recorded a CD, and put on a show for the parents. By 2008 – after an expatriate experience soaking up the sounds of my wife’s native Australia — I was again teaching preschool in Portland. One day, while sitting in the sandbox with some little friends, I wrote the song “Pizza In A Cup” after being offered the umpteenth cup of sand advertised as pizza. All of a sudden these afternoon playground sessions started producing some serious songwriting opportunities.”
Curious to learn more?
Check out http://mophillips.com/