Tag Archives: Shawn Phillips musician


PLEASE…listen to the video at the end of this post. If you think Shawn is worthy of more recognition, you can help!

Sign a petition HERE….


 No since even calling this post a review or critique. I’m not a very good critic of Shawn Phillips, as I’ve been a huge fan for over thirty years. With a style and range of music that can only be defined as eclectic, Shawn has refused to be boxed in by the music industry and practically led the way for the waves of independent rockers now on the scene. Although he did achieve some notoriety in the USA during the 1970’s, he has a much larger following worldwide. Now residing in South Africa with his family, he has toured the States on a limited basis for the last couple of years.

No need for me to review his song choices and every missed note. I’ll just say that Shawn seemed quite happy and his voice was great the night I saw him. His music is very difficult to perform, both vocally and the guitar techniques, so I was so pleased that he was able to use his full range without compromise.

Shawn plays his LesCaster/StrataPaul doubleneck.

Shawn plays his LesCaster/StrataPaul doubleneck.

Although Shawn never achieved the fame of some of his friends, he seems satisfied with his achievements and says that his defining moment was a standing ovation at The Isle of Wight in 1970.

Shawn Phillips (left) with sekanblogger

Shawn Phillips (left) with sekanblogger

A big thanks to UMG for allowing this video (below). WMG should learn a thing or two about common decency.


Filed under AMERICANA, Classical Muisc, Music, Rock and Roll, Tributes

January First


from the 1974 A&M album
AMLH 68278

Shawn Phillips — vocals and guitars
Peter Robinson — keyboards
John Gustafson — bass
Barry deSouza — drums
Caleb Quaye — guitar
Paul Buckmaster — cello
Raul Mayora — percussion

Produced by Jonathan Weston
Engineered by Django Johnny Punter
Assistant Engineer: Mark Dodson
Recorded in England at Rampart Studio, Battersea

I’ll sing you a song of the deepest blue, if you tell me all the colors that you see in the human hue
I’ll sing you a song of the brightest hope, if you show me a man who’s reassured that he can cope
I’ll sing you a song of beige and livid green, if you show me an earth that is slowly getting clean
And I’ll raise your spirit higher, make you tremble with delight, if you lay down all your weapons, if you make the truth your fight
Lay down all your weapons, if you make the truth your fight
If you make the truth your soulmate, keep it with you all the time, then by the grace of God inside, you’ll live in heaven’s clime

If you talk to me of atom bombs, if you explain what they are for, I’ll sing you all the songs I know about a world I see at war
A war that’s greatly based on fear that’s the only way they’ll work, authority and governments they hide behind their smirk
For they think that you don’t know it yet they think you’re not aware, that the potential of the human soul lies just in human care
So won’t you sing this silly song with me, come and give me a gift, we all are one in life and love, we all provide the lift


Filed under AMERICANA, Human Rights, Jazz Music, Lyrics, Music, Rock and Roll

Blunt and Frank

New theme song for “Occupy Wall Street”?

This was recorded in 1975, so it’s not exactly written for today’s protesters, but it sure does stand the test of time.

I’ve heard or read Shawn tell about different song’s lyrics, but not this one. Maybe it was written about the Savings and Loan Scandal. The Bush family did quite well being “bailed out” way back then, over 35 years ago!

Blunt And Frank

Mr. Blunt and Mr. Frank

Were standin’ in the halls of their 7 figure bank

Wonderin’ what in the world

They were gonna do for you

I can take the brunt

If you can take the flank

Explained Mr. Blunt to timid Mr. Frank

Wonderin’ what in the world

They were gonna do for you

We been stealin’ this money most every day

And ain’t nobody caught us in any way

But something’s tellin’ me

Now our goose is cooked

We been raisin’ our prices

On the kiddies ices

And the bedroom suites on the corner store

Don’t you think that they could go up some more?

Then with everybody jivin’

About how to be survivin’

We could bring ’em back down again

And it’s gone full circle

While the world bank wins again

Revolution no solution

To the government’s illusion

That the people are amusin’

With the prices that we’re usin’

And I think that they’re abusing

Everything that we try to do

Defamation to the nation

That is drowning in inflation

Immigration, isolation is a useless tabulation

To the calculation that the world

Is gonna want to come to you

So people in distress gonna worry nonetheless

‘Bout the monetary mess from an educated guess, never really blessed

I think we must confess it now

So people jump and shout,

Everything is out

And I’ve said what I have to say

Everybody sit back

While I get ready to play

Where you gonna go

When the people gonna know

That they’re ripping us off again

Right back down

To the same old hole we been in

Bet your bottom dollar

That you’re really gonna holler

When your friends turn you down again

Not a thin dime

To keep in you in your time of men


Filed under AMERICANA, Crime, Folk Music, History, Human Rights, Humor, Lyrics, Music, Rock and Roll, Vocal Music

Most Of Us Don’t Understand At All


This must be seen on youtube, sorry! PLEASE take the time to check it out. Also visit the SHAWN PHILLIPS page (above).


Filed under Human Rights, Lyrics, Music, Vocal Music

Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me

Bettye LaVette is a great American treasure, who never gets the recognition she deserves. Of course this is a cover of an old Elton John song.

Bernie Taupin and Elton John…I knew them quite well, as they worked together a lot on Bernie’s poetry albums. Bernie and Elton were just getting started when they were doing that. Elton was still the mail boy for Dick James Publishing in London. The studio was in the offices there. He was not Elton at the time. His name was still Reggie.~ Shawn Phillips


Filed under Blues Music, History, Music, Soul Music, Vocal Music

Motes Of Dust

Motes of dust fly through the air they’re dancing in his vacant stare
The hollows in his cheeks are haunted shadows
And down below the sea is strong, the wind it whips itself a froth
A storm is coming on, let’s hope it passes
But storms will come with squalling rain and lightning hurled in screaming pain
The night becomes like mind left standing helpless
But thunder dies away in time to leave the silence so sublime
And once again the need for light is urgent

Though even in the center stage
A paler light doth he make rage
Than those who live their lives in poorest splendor
And diamonds yet festoon the trees
If you but have the eyes to see
To share it with the ones that you are loving
To cast your force into the land in hopes that you can make a plan
To live, let others live and not regret it
And love is peace and God is war
You’ve seen it all go down before
And more’s the shame to stand by while it’s happening
For we are like the storms at sea
A moment’s life like lightning be
Ourselves our only slaves
And only masters

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Filed under Folk Music, History, Lyrics, Music, Vocal Music

Shawn Phillips – ‘sampled’ and Rapped!

I don’t know all the details yet, but Shawn’s manager says that Shawn never get any credit (or money) for this song. As Arlo, Shawn’s manager says: We’ve been hacked!

Here’s the tune with lyrics, which happen to be a true story.


Filed under AMERICANA, Crime, Folk Music, Music

Kingfisher – Shawn Phillips and Donovan

This year is the 45th since this video was made.

The singer is Donovan, of “Sunshine Superman” fame. If you know my humble blog, you know who Shawn Phillips is. If you are an old guy like me, you know that the interviewer with the banjo on his lap is Pete Seeger.

Shawn and Donovan recently reunited at The Royal Albert Hall in London.

Also joining in the fun were other notable musicians like Jimmy Page!

Shawn Phillips & Jimmy Page

And not the least to join the fun was Mr. Danny Thompson, original Bass Player for Pentangle.

  It seems that Rolling Stone Magazine wrote a “review” of the whole gig, but spent much time carrying on about Jimmy Page appearing, much to the disappointment of Shawn and his fans! Shawn did share a letter he wrote to the magazine:

Dear Mr. Somaiya, and RollingStone Magazine,
                                                                                 I am writing this message on behalf of the rest of the people who took part in the recent Donovan Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, on June 3rd. It would be nice if you could do a followup review. There were a few folks there beside Jimmy Pageyou know. Saw no mention of Mr. Danny Thompson, original Bass Player for Pentangle, and the Bass Player for the momentous event when Miles Davis played, at the Isle Of Wight, and sessions for renowned musicians too numerous to mention.

 Also participating was Shawn Phillips who was the original session Sitar, and Guitar player on ALL THE SESSIONS for the “Sunshine Superman” album, and co-composer of the song “Season Of The Witch”. Would have been nice to note that Mr. Phillips took time off, and canceled 4 concerts to do this from a tour he is currently in the midst of in the U.S. and Canada, that consists of more than 68 concerts away from his home and family from April till Nov. and that he has some 23 CD’s of original music under his belt, and last year celebrated 50 years on the road, but as they say, “Money talks, and bullshit walks”.

 Listen man, the guy played a couple licks, while what should have been 2 weeks of rehearsals packed into 2 days with a full orchestra, went off very well considering the intricacies of the arrangements by John Cameron. A few more lines on his work could be appreciated as well. Would be lovely to have an OBJECTIVE review of what actually went down that night. I have read some of your other work in researching you, and you can write quite well on occasion. Personally, I do know a little about writing, as my Father was an author, and one of his favorite things in teaching me about writing was, “Don’t say Bloodbath”, say, “But did the multitudinous seas encarnadine”.

So c’mon man, write a REAL review. They’ll publish it, even if it’s a few days after the fact. Thank you. I wish you Health, Love, and Clarity,  Shawn Phillips


Filed under Folk Music, History, Music, Rock and Roll, Tributes, Vocal Music


Do you ever see what you want to be
Do you wonder
Do you ever feel that you’re not being real
Hear the thunder

And woman you’re so enticing
You’re the cake and not the icing
Can’t you see?
And you’ll wake up one of these mornings
To the sound of your own drummer
Wait and see

And you’ll wake up feeling open,
Filled with the force of hoping
Makin’ your big decision
In the face of all derision
And you’ll find it so insightful
You’ll be feeling so delightful
Can’t you see?
And you’ll wake up one of these mornings
To the sound of your own drummer
Wait and see

In the space that you’re displacing
Ain’t no sense in your evading
How to be
And the direction that you’re facing
Ain’t no use in all your racing
Just you be

And woman you’re so enticing
You’re the cake and not the icing
Can’t you see?
And you’ll wake up one of these mornings
To the sound of your own drummer
Wait and see


Filed under AMERICANA, Lyrics, Music, Rock and Roll

Some Things Will never Change

In the fullness of our lifetimes, the emptiness of goals,
We will strive to make perfection, we’ll run aground on many shoals
some will try to be conformist, others find out what is strange
but in the order of this chaos, some things will never change

‘Tween sea and sky we spend our time, all cycles writ in stone,
from birth to death we play our roles, carried through with flesh and bone,
while some stay put and never move, now others roam the range,
but in the order of this chaos, some things will never change

Through the wonders of perception, we question time and space,
we grapple with the issues, but never that of grace,
in seeking God we kill ourelves, I find this so deranged,
but in the order of this chaos, some things will never change

He said the times are changing, twas but a superficial act,
the face of man will never shift, so violent his pact,
yet born to love and knowing this, he chooses to estrange,
but in the order of this chaos, some things will never change

Of being human cast aside, we look into our face,
reflections in our mirrored souls, our final resting place,
we must believe in tolerance, and somehow to arrange,
that in the order of this chaos, some things will never change

The cry of birth, the rise of sun, the waning of the moon,
the pass of breath, the still of death, will come to all too soon,
but life imparts a strength of force, which we cannot explain,
but in the order of this chaos, some things will never change

The stars innate defiance, of distances untold,
of life to be discovered, of love to yet unfold,
the myriad millenia will pass like tears in rain,
but in the order of this chaos, some things will never change.

poetry by Shawn Phillips – all rights reserved


Filed under Poetry