New Release - Phil Paige's "Simple Things" Foreigner meets Merle Haggard? Categorizing the music of a performing artist into a single genre is never a simple thing. Categorizing the new release by Central Oregon singer/songwriter Phil Paige, Simple Things, is definitely a complicated thing. The songwriting is thoughtful and emotional, with clever lyrics and melodic harmonies. Paige's clear and distinctive voice, and his masterful guitar displays country, jazz, bluegrass, finger picking folk, blues, and pop influences. Thankfully, the term "Americana" has been coined to describe the eclectic style that blends these American song experiences. This eclectic collection of original tunes was recorded at After Hours Recorders in Northern California, and produced by Bruce Turgon, long time bass player from rock band, Foreigner. Turgon plays bass on the album and is joined by Eric Day (The Salamanders) on Dobro, and Scott Joss on fiddle (veteran of Merle Haggard and Dwight Yoakam's bands). The fourteen songs on Simple Things range from bouncy folk tunes like Everywhere I Go, It Is What It Is, Problems, and the title track, Simple Things to the closing tune Bright Eyes, a classic jazz tune that features Turgon's walking bass lines and Paige's clear, crooning voice inviting comparisons to James Taylor or Chris Isaac. In between, there are tunes like Skipping Stones, Time Flies and Begin and End, that could have been pop hits of the sixties or early seventies. Throw in a few solid country songs, the catchy WalMart Parking Lot where the woman leaves him for a "George Clooney kind of guy," Time Stands Still, and the thoughtful Too Many Days, which showcases the soaring fiddle of Scott Joss. Add a dash of Brazilian samba with It Feels Good, and a couple of classic tear-jerker love ballads, Carving Our Names and 100 Seasons, and you have the recipe for a tasty sonic stew of easy going music.