Clair de Loon
Clair de Loon is the latest CD by Neal Phillips featuring songs by Mike Pearrell, John Seay, and others in addition to Neal's title track. This is a largely solo effort, with Neal singing and playing guitar, bouzouki, bass, melodica, keyboard, and percussion. Sam Rossitto added keyboard on A Ram for Abraham and Today's the Day. Clair de Loon is Neal's fourth CD, following Magical Forest (1998), Lovegrove Street (2002), and Still Life (2005). Neal Phillips is a singer/songwriter with a dry sense of humor and a flair for intelligent, evocative lyrics and melodies. His thought-provoking and often pointedly funny songs have been performed by Bob Zentz, Holly & Glenn Yarbrough, Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen, and Pete Seeger, among others. His writing touches on matters both profound and mundane, from the global significance of stackable chairs to the life and times of Roy G Biv; from the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay to the devil's squeaky shoes in a Baltimore alley; from Claude Debussy & Claude Monet dancing in the moonlight to the quiet joys of walking home on a snowy midwinters' evening. Neal's songs have won several awards including the Mid-Atlantic songwriting contest and have been played on The Midnight Special, The Folk Sampler, Traditions, and other syndicated radio programs. Neal has played and recorded for about 15 years with fellow 'farsighted aging folkies' Greg Trafidlo & Laura Pole in the group Trifolkal. As a songwriting team, Neal and Greg have enjoyed rewriting the lyrics of famous songs to humorous effect. "In the White House Now" pokes fun at you-know-who and was performed around the country by Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen during the last election cycle. "The Starbucks of County Down," a parody of a famous Irish tune, was featured on Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes. 'The Tumbler' (a takeoff of "The Gambler"), appeared in Sing Out! Magazine and has been a favorite of Bob Zentz and other folkies for years. On the serious side, 'One Small Thing' was recorded by Glenn and Holly Yarbrough for their Family Portrait CD (Folk Era Records). And Neal and Greg co-wrote "Oh Freedom/Mississippi Summer '64" which was recorded by Trifolkal on 'Freedom is a Constant Struggle' (Folk Era Records), joining folk luminaries such as Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul & Mary, Si Kahn, Judy Collins, and Tom Paxton. Dirty Linen magazine singled out 'Midwinter's Night' as 'truly lovely and a keeper.'