Little Gun Shy
Before Brian Douglas Phillips became a rock 'n' roll icon, he had dreams of building the world's most innovative amusement park outside of Louisville, Kentucky. However, a lack of finances, design and know-how (added to the fact that he had never been to Kentucky) crushed the idea before it ever got off the ground. In the summer of 2003, Brian laid those dreams aside to focus on his solo debut, 'A Little Gun Shy.' 'I'd known for a long time that this album was something I had to do,' Brian said. 'I had played in bands and written some stuff before, but I wanted to venture out and do something different - something totally my own.' Until the fall of 2002, Brian was the frontman for Jumbuhlyah Peet, a mildly successful Dallas folk/rock band. He took the next year off from performing and devoted his time to writing new material. By the end of that year, Brian had amassed a small army of ballads and love songs, each one with a twist of irony and a strong message. He spent the summer of 2003 turning the catchy collection of tunes into his first solo effort, 'A Little Gun Shy.' The album explores everything from love and regret to finding an identity. 'I wanted this first album to be a mix of styles and subjects, so I could find my groove, so to speak,' Brian said. 'The songs kind of tell the story of the past year in my life, as I've seen so many things change in myself and the people around me.' And Brian is no stranger to composing. He began writing songs as soon as he could play the guitar. 'I got my first guitar when I was in the sixth grade,' he said. 'At that point, I became a little more serious about my songwriting. Everything before then had been about waterslides or dinosaurs.' With the new album completed, Brian is often found playing acoustic shows for students or singles groups at coffeehouses and colleges. His performances are honest and sincere, but not without a touch of charisma and a commanding stage presence. 'I'm proud of the album, but there's so much satisfaction in playing live,' he said. 'I'm not too confident in conversation, so the stage gives me a chance to put myself out there for other people to read. If they relate to the songs, that's great. But I'm also a believer in enjoying music for it's own sake. I'd feel just as successful if people listened for sheer pleasure.' As far as future plans are concerned, Brian hopes to continue playing live and promoting his album. 'Who knows how long all this will go on,' he said. 'I'm healthy and I love playing, so I'll just keep going until I'm tired or the rock 'n' roll fans tell me to find another job.'