Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Drifting on the Edges With Mo Phillips

Long ago, Mo Phillips came to Earth on the back of a ginormous intergalactic leatherback turtle that deposited him into the mountains of Colorado. He ultimately landed in Portland, Oregon where he embarked on many careers, including that of a children's recording artist. His latest CD, SPECTACULAR DAYDREAM, serves many purposes as well, including a ukelele primer for beginners.

Indeed, you can visit Mo's home page (or go directly to his YouTube channel) and view instructional videos for many of the songs on the new disc, including the title track, "Five Blankets On," and "Moonboots." The CD is a departure from the generally genial Phillips, adding an almost ethereal quality with the gentle uke leads.

The enclosed booklet (I'd advise purchasing that rather than a straight MP3 download) contain lyrics as well as chord changes for all 12 tracks. You also get guest appearances from fellow Portland artists Red Yarn, Little Sea, and Lincoln Crockett. What does the album concern itself with? Mostly flights of fancy like "Jump Inside a Book" and "Ode to Bed." As far as "Moonboots," did you know that they're made out of french toast? True story:

Got me a new pair of moonboots.
And I'm gonna fly.
Cause that's what I wanna do.

got you a silver pair too.
And you're gonna fly.
Cause that's what you wanna do.

These boots are made outta french toast.
The moon is made outta french toast.
This song is made outta french toast.
Your ears are made outta french toast.

Mo is ably assisted by a bevy of musicians, including a different Zac Brown (we discussed it). There's a gentle timelessness to the music, principally due to the absence of guitars. The fanciful illustrations are by Lynsee Sardell (check out her artwork). SPECTACULAR DAYDREAM is a rainy day tranquility antidote, for when you'd rather roll than rock. There are not many lessons to be learned here, unless you yearn to uke. But you will be entertained by the wistful, otherworldly nature of the tunes.

You can buy SPECTACULAR DAYDREAM through Mo Phillips' website, Amazon, or iTunes.

Here is the instructional video for "Moonboots":
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