WELCOME TO JOHN HUNTER PHILLIPS
One of the first things you learn when you meet John is that he’s a Beach Boys fan. He has dissected their harmonies many times, in order to recreate them using his own voice. Listen to the cover songs on the samples. He did not get any of that from sheet music (though he could certainly write the sheet music for these recordings if he had to). He got them by listening, one note at a time. Try it sometime.
We’ll tell you in a minute what the three true highlights of his life are. But there are an additional nine highlights enjoyed by very few people – John sang onstage with the Beach Boys nine times; and if you search through the gallery on his website for photos of those events, you will see his soul shining from the joy of it. John is most alive when he's singing. He needs to make music to stay happy.
In 1999, after spending countless hours putting his unique voice on the harmonies, John had recorded enough Beach Boys songs (and one by John Fogerty) to put out his first CD, Diamonds on the Beach. That CD contains 16 songs, all winners. When you listen to the samples, or to the CD itself, notice the voice range. That's all John. He does some duet work with Billy Hinsche on 'One More Night Alone,' and Misha Wade does some background vocal on 'Wild Honey.' The rest, from bass to falsetto, is all John.
Then he did what any enthusiastic musician does. He started recording for his next CD. As copies of "Diamonds on the Beach" were being bought up, he headed back to the studio for a second round with different songs. But life did what life so often does--it happened while he was making other plans. That second CD had to take a back seat to a divorce and major life reorganization. It was wrenching. Enough said.
When he was ready, he finished the second CD, all 18 songs of it. This time, two songs are by Beach Boy alumnus Billy Hinsche (those arrangements are John's, by the way) and one is by Brian Wilson sideman, Jeffrey Foskett. Three of the songs are originals by John, and they're excellent. One is by John's talented friend, Jim Oliver, and one is by Dion DiMucci. The rest of his recordings, need we mention, are Beach Boys songs.
Why did John choose the title "It's About Time" for this second CD? You can figure that one out for yourself, we're sure of it. It was worth the wait.