Victor’s Insider Scoop on a Shawn Phillips Concert Redux
September 10th, 2011 | top of page

Growing up in Montreal in the 1970s one of the biggest names in rock and roll was Shawn Phillips. A native of Fort Worth, TX and known for five things: his really long, straight hair (down to his waist as I remember), wearing a black cape, an incredible vocal range especially at the high end, non-repeating, poetry-like lyrics, and what is probably the song with the world’s longest title (She Was Waitin’ For Her Mother At The Station In Torino And You Know I Love You Baby But It’s Getting Too Heavy To Laugh), Shawn was a super star in Quebec. He’d pack the house for multiple shows at Place des Arts and is still incredibly popular north of the border.

Down here in the southwest, not so much. None of my Phoenix friends had ever heard of him. So when I saw he was appearing at The Rhythm Room (a small venue blues bar in Phoenix) I knew I just had to go. Knowing I’d not have much luck recruiting attendees here in Phoenix (even my wife did not want to go with me) I sent out an email to my Montreal friends who used to go to Place des Arts with me. My offer was simple: you make your way to Phoenix, I put you up for the weekend and buy your ticket (a whopping $20!).

Me, Shawn Phillips & Dave Shaw


I had a taker: my old friend Dave Shaw! Dave and I went to high school together but didn’t really get to know each other until we both started attending McGill University. Dave is a oilfield geologist and had recently moved from Calgary to Dallas.



Steve McCarty



I also invited a local musician, Steve McCarty, who used to play in The Steve Miller Band. As expected, Steve did not know Shawn’s music.




Shawn Phillips at The Rhythm Room



Accustomed to seeing Shawn from the 32nd row at Place des Arts it was a real treat to sit 10 feet away and enjoy his music and a cocktail at the same time! He played all my old favorites and some new songs too. Being an elder-rocker now, Shawn’s range is not what it once was but no one in the packed house of perhaps a hundred fans seemed to care. I came away happy having relived some of my past with my friend Dave and with Shawn’s autograph on one of my favorite CDs.

My Autographed Copy of Second Contribution

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