Bo Phillips Band “Fishin’ With Grandpa” – CD Review
Bo Phillips may not have the level of name recognition that his brother, Stoney LaRue does, but I bet Bo is real comfortable with that. Phillips first made the decision to go to college and become a high school teacher before the itch to pursue music became too much to ignore. I'm glad he scratched that itch, because his latest CD, "Fishin' With Grandpa" is loaded with great songs.
"Fishin' With Grandpa", The Bo Phillips Band's 2nd studio album, has a lot of what every CD should have. Great music, solid vocals, and some really terrific, down to earth songwriting. With his rough, yet soulful vocal delivery, Phillips sings his songs in a way that red dirt music is supposed to sound. And "Fishin'" has hooks. Lots of clever, catchy hooks that can have you singing along by the end of most of the songs.
The newest single from "Fishin' With Grandpa", "Red Dirt Girl" is filled with musical references that take you on a trip through much of the history of red dirt music. It's fun to hear Waylon and Willie get their due, as well as a band like the Turnpike Troubadours get a shout out, too. The song is a true tip of the cap to the relationship between red dirt artists and their fans.
The title track is obviously sentimental to Phillips, and shares the message in a way that a lot of people can identify. The chorus simply states, "How I'd love to go fishin' with Grandpa again". It's a story that's been told a thousand times before, but Bo's spin is fresh and meaningful.
"My Best" is really simple, but it's a great message. A fun, up-tempo love song that's clever like we've come to expect from a good country song. "Your Tomorrow" is just the opposite. There's nothing fun, upbeat, or happy about it, but it still tells a beautiful story of lost love and heartbreak (According to the liner notes, three puppies were harmed - and have since fully recovered - in the writing of 'Your Tomorrow'. Bo's a different kinda person, if you didn't already know).
"After Party", like many of the songs on "Fishin' With Grandpa", just sounds like a song that needs to be on the radio. It's written by Bo Phillips, with the help of his Facebook fans. I wonder if the fans that helped write it are also Casey Donahew Band fans, because it sounds like the CDB's "Hunter S. Thompson (Rocketship)".
You'll be able to sing along to "Bottle Of Wine", "Clinger", and just about any other song after hearing them for the first time. They're that catchy. They're that good. And they're songs you can identify with easily, because this is music for regular folks, written and performed by a regular guy. "Biggest Fan" is a testimony to that fact.
Bo Phillips is a character, and if you don't quite understand his sense of humor, there are two things you should understand: You're not alone, and Bo doesn't seem to take life too serious. His sense of humor is found in the liner notes, in his lyrics, on his Facebook page, and on stage.
For the record, buying a copy of The Bo Phillips Band's "Fishin' With Grandpa" is something you should do. Then, to complete the experience, go to a show, sing along to all the songs, and have Bo autograph your CD afterward.
Seriously, go do it now!