Indie Folk singer/songwriter Philip Boone lures his audience into a space for honest reflection with intricate melodic phrasing, warm tones, and soft sweeping vocals. Boone was raised in Dallas, Texas and took with him his roots in folk country and classic rock. He currently resides in Topanga Canyon in Southern California, the same mountains that inspired and protected Woody Guthrie, Neil Young, and Joni Mitchell. And from these mountains he creates a soulful, heartfelt harmony.
Boone is an introverted and soft spoken individual yet writing songs allows him the chance to say the things he wouldn’t dare in conversation. And this voice sings with profound intimacy. Boone’s voice is often mentioned as a highlight in reviews. As Stephen Carradini from Independent Clauses writes, “the vocals simply shine throughout; in a genre where the telling of the thing is everything, Boone knows how to deliver a melody and a story.”
Boone has a knack for writing from an honest point of vulnerability while using relatable ambiguity to touch on striking elements of the human condition. He paid attention to his primary influences Dylan, Young, and Prine. In 2006, Boone released his first solo album titled “Cannons and Bells.” An acoustic album recorded at home in his bedroom in Austin, Texas, the charm of this record is in the harmonic blend of voice and guitar. In 2007, “Cannons and Bells” was featured in Paste Magazine’s Paste Recommends.
In March 2013, Philip Boone released his second album of songs, titled “A Light and A Line.” This record features his band, plus special guests Greg Rogove (of Devendra Banhart, Megapuss, and Priestbird) on drums and Noah Georgeson as mixing engineer (with credits from The Strokes, Devendra Banhart, and Mason Jennings), and has been met with very positive reviews. An excerpt from a review by Leicester Bangs reads, “his style, a mix of '70s west coast hippie groove and classic cosmic country certainly has a deal in common with various ex-inhabitants of the area, including Neil Young, Emmylou Harris and Little Feat - together with the latest wave of Los Angeles musicians, best exemplified by Jonathan Wilson and Beachwood Sparks.”
Philip Boone is gaining notoriety, performing regularly in Los Angeles, including the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood, The Malibu Inn, Room 5 and Molly Malones.
Angelo Felder - Banjo, Acoustic Guitars, Electric Guitars
Eric Vasquez / Steven Smith - Bass
Simon Hancock / Johnny Sterner - Drums
A Light and A Line - LP - released 03/19/13
Cannons and Bells - LP - released 10/06/06
Philip Boone – A Light And A Line (Independent)
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"Originally from Dallas, Texas, singer-songwriter Philip Boone initially relocated to Austin, and th..."Originally from Dallas, Texas, singer-songwriter Philip Boone initially relocated to Austin, and then in 2007 he moved to Topanga Canyon in Southern California. He certainly sounds at home in this small art driven, bohemian community, and his style, a mix of '70s west coast hippie groove and classic cosmic country certainly has a deal in common with various ex-inhabitants of the area, including Neil Young, Emmylou Harris and Little Feat - together with the latest wave of Los Angeles musicians, best exemplified by Jonathan Wilson and Beachwood Sparks.
Recorded and mixed by Noah Georgeson (with mixing credits with The Strokes, Devendra Banhart, and Robin Pecknold of the Fleet Foxes under his belt), "A Light And A Line" is an entirely satisfying whole; an album that hangs together perfectly, with a dynamic course which both lifts and settles the listener. The title derives from a line in "Margarita (a Good Friend of Mine)", a gentle, meditative waltz, with soaring choruses and guitars that crackle. "Brother" is equally enthralling, accompanied for the most part by a simply strummed six-string, Boone's song seems to tap directly into Neil Young's "After The Goldrush" / "Harvest" legacy. "One Star" draws in contemporary influences, and it's that mix of the modern and the old that makes "A Light And A Line" so appealing. I can't recommend this album highly enough."
Philip Boone’s Voice Shines in A Light and a Line
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Indie and country have been mingling freely since the ’80s, but the trend picked up a ton of steam i...Indie and country have been mingling freely since the ’80s, but the trend picked up a ton of steam in the ’00s. Yet Philip Boone is able to bring a new light to the subject because of his seamless integration of both sensibilities into one sound. Boone’s A Light and a Line meshes confident vocals with strong instrumentation and recording style to create an wonderfully comfortable album.
Boone’s voice is similar to Ben Gibbard’s: smooth, lithe, emotive and incredibly calming to listen to. It’s a bit lower than the Death Cab for Cutie and Postal Service singer, but not by much. Boone plays to this strength, as the arrangements of these twelve songs never impede his voice from shining. He knows that when you’ve got striking melodies at your disposal, like in the Eagles-esque “Either Way” and piercing ballads of “The Truth Is” and “Don’t You Know,” you should use ‘em to their full effect.
This isn’t to say that the band is slouching along; the instrumentalists keep the tunes moving, showing off their skill tastefully. This isn’t heart-stopping rock’n'roll; this is swoon-worthy indie-country. The band plays in that framework, and doesn’t ever create any difficult tensions for Boone’s voice (unless they’re intended to be there). The exception is the solo piano closer, which eschews vocals to great emotive effect.
Boone’s A Light and a Line is strong throughout; I could list off tracks with excellent qualities, but I’d be taking up hundreds of words and repeating myself. He knows his strengths, plays to them well, and produces one of my favorite country-rock albums of the year. The vocals simply shine throughout; in a genre where the telling of the thing is everything, Boone knows how to deliver a melody and a story. Highly recommended for fans of indie-folk and alt-country.
Philip Boone - A Light and A Line - Review
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Philip Boone’s new CD, A Light And A Line, is a wonderful blend of folk and country music, with som... Philip Boone’s new CD, A Light And A Line, is a wonderful blend of folk and country music, with some pop elements. There are lots of sweet, positive, somewhat laid back vibes to these tunes (like “In The Meantime”). I love the general feel of this album. Certainly, one element leading to that overall vibe is Philip’s voice, which has a sweet vulnerability and earnestness (like in these lines from “The Truth Is”: “But if there’s a way/To make a good thing stay/The truth is I don’t even want to know”). There is something true, even timeless about this music – it feels neither contemporary nor nostalgic (though the CD cover art has a certain early 1970s look). There are times when I wonder just how much his living in Topanga Canyon has had an influence on his style, and on the imagery he uses, a lot of which comes from nature (sun or sunshine is mentioned in many of these songs, for example).
A Light And A Line is Philip Boone’s second album, and the songs are all originals. The entire album is good, but there are some stand-outs. My favorites are “Margarita (A Good Friend of Mine),” “Three Short Stories” and “Don’t You Know.”
A Light And A Line opens with "Either Way," a bright country rock tune. Its first lines are, “Well, you can tell me I’m the one/Or use me just for fun on Saturday night/Either way, I’ll be all right.” How’s that for a good attitude? And I love his delivery on “all right,” holding onto “all” a little longer than you might expect. I also like the following lines: “You can buy me fancy clothes/Or keep on talking until my boredom shows.” This is kind of a playful tune about a resilient spirit, sung with a sweet voice. But there is a hint of vulnerability too, in lines like “You can fill the void in me”.
The second track, “Margarita (A Good Friend Of Mine),” is one of my favorites. It’s a pretty folk tune that begins with just acoustic guitar. Its real, full beauty becomes apparent when the other instruments come in (I’m particularly fond of the piano). It’s sung like a letter to someone who is missed: “Dear Margarita, we haven’t spoken in some time/Oh, for the most part things have been working out fine/The weather is warm, there’s almost too much sunshine/Your life’s looking up, but I’m missing a good friend of mine.” The vocals on this one are particularly good. And I love the instrumental section with harmonica and piano. This is a really wonderful song. (By the way, the album’s title comes from this song’s lyrics: “From my dark hole, with only a light and a line/You drew me up, now I’m missing a good friend of mine.”) I could go for a margarita right now.
“Nowhere To Be Found” is quite different, beginning with vocals and a steady thump on the kick drum and handclaps (with some background noise). I prefer the sections with the rest of the band.
“Brother” has a simply beauty to it, with vocals and acoustic guitar. This is an unusual and really good song. Check out these lyrics: “Brother, are you running from the law/In a faded photograph I think I saw/The same face that I once wore.” There is something wonderful in the occasionally somewhat awkward guitar playing – it gives the song an added sense of being true, of being immediate (rather than planned and perfected), which really works for the material.
“Country Song” has a fun, bright, kind of playful feel. It’s one of those easy-going folk and country tunes that make you feel good, with an enjoyable harmonica part. If this doesn’t put a smile on your face, please consult a physician. Here is a taste of the lyrics: “Now here I stand beside the sea/I caught the sun, and then I set it free/I touched the land with my bare hands/Now I own my life, now I own my life.”
“Three Short Stories” has a really nice groove, and features banjo, which I love. I also really like this song’s lyrics, with lines like, “Going nowhere and taking you.” This is another of the album’s many wonderful songs, and it includes some nice work on harmonica.
“Don’t You Know” begins so sweetly, so quietly, with just acoustic guitar and humming, sounding truly pretty. Then the vocals and keys come in, and it’s just wonderful. “Don’t you know I’d climb the mountain for you.” Now this is what I call a love song. Check out these beautiful lines: “Don’t you know that we could live forever more/On the sandy beach of any given shore/And the waves will wash us to sleep/And the stars will be ours to keep.” I absolutely love this song.
It ends at 3:12; then at 3:30, there is another tune, an instrumental – solo piano – that is really pretty. On the CD it’s referred to only as the “piano outro,” so perhaps it’s considered part of “Don’t You Know,” even though there are several seconds of silence before it starts. This piece was written by Charlie Hale.
Episode 63: Philip Boone
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"Once upon a time in late 1960s, a few scruffy musicians decided that country and rock music were tw..."Once upon a time in late 1960s, a few scruffy musicians decided that country and rock music were two great tastes that tasted great together. And thus was born a new style of music that retained elements of both while staking out some new stylistic territory. Philip Boone is a Southern California-based musician who is richly steeped in this country-rock tradition, but his breezy songs and gentle vocals owe as much to Nick Drake as they do Gram Parsons. The rest of the requisite elements are here: plentiful acoustic guitars, reedy harmonica chords, blissful, utilitarian drums and a piano that's pleasantly and ever so slightly out of tune."
Love Is a House Full of Stars
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"Philip Boone stood at Room 5 and sang songs. It was pretty much a singer songwriter night, and the ..."Philip Boone stood at Room 5 and sang songs. It was pretty much a singer songwriter night, and the room had been listening closely to voices and guitars for a couple of hours as I recall. The previous singer had a great voice, but some of the lyrics were just plain hard to take, redundant, and didn't ring quite true. Philip's voice cleared the air with songs that brought the seasons, stars, houses and homes within his grasp, without overreaching. I took a sip from the red wine in front of me at the bar, and whispered a little "thank you." I heard a phrase or two that stuck with me, and felt my shoulders relax. This was music worth hearing.
Philip has a vulnerable tenor voice with an honest quality and a touch of innocence. Buddy has that quality. Sara Lov and Meiko do the same in a different register. He has a gift for the acoustic guitar that reminds me of the folk wizards Danny Kooch and others who can turn a picking technique into a hook. The charm of this album is in the voice and guitar, supported by all the underplayed instruments. There's a little mystery and a touch of awe crafted into these songs with lyrics that draw me in. With all these views of the single subject, maybe Philip Boone doesn't understand a single moment of love, but he has certainly felt it. I hear that in these songs."
Philip Boone - A Light and A Line - Press Release
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“A Light and A Line” is not only the name of the new album by singer-songwriter, Philip Boone, it is...“A Light and A Line” is not only the name of the new album by singer-songwriter, Philip Boone, it is a metaphor that represents something fine--endurance through hardship, earned understanding, and simple grace. With easeful, smooth melodies Boone’s voice hovers above an organic arrangement of warm guitars and pianos, and tells universal stories with intimate detail.
Philip Boone’s “A Light and A Line” was released on December 11, 2012. “A Light and A Line” is an equal blend of the serenity of the vast expanse of Texas plains and the stunning wilderness of his current home in Topanga Canyon, CA. Boone’s music is surprisingly reminiscent of the recordings made by his predecessors from the shining 60’s and 70’s, who also travelled far from home to call the lush canyons of Southern California home.
“A Light and A Line” spent a good two years as a work in progress. Boone began recording with his live band in early 2010. By summer, the entire album had been recorded. Then, something which Boone simply refers to as “a twist of fate,” happened. The hard drive that held the entire contents of the recordings crashed, and was wiped clean. “We were pretty devastated at first, but it proved to be a blessing in disguise,” Boone said. He took it as a sign and acted on his desire to go in a slightly different direction the second time around.
Boone had also recently become friends with fellow Topanga Canyon resident Noah Georgeson (with mixing credits from the Strokes, Devendra Banhart, and Robin Pecknold of the Fleet Foxes). Georgeson suggested trying out his fellow bandmate Greg Rogove on drums, from Devendra Banhart’s band. As they played together, Philip heard the new sound he had been longing to hear--not folk, not country, not rock, but hovering somewhere between. The second recording session was completed in 2011 and in a neighborly exchange for cat-sitting, Georgeson promptly took over on the mixing process. The album released the following October.
A native of Dallas, TX, Boone also called Austin home before relocating to Topanga. The two profoundly different cultures each played a major role in shaping his songwriting, and the arrangements of “A Light and A Line.” In fact, the aptly named “Country Song,” in which Boone states, “I caught the sun, and then I set it free,” was written two days after his move to California. “I’m actually a little surprised at the overall positivity of the album when I look at it as a whole,” says Boone. That positivity, carefully disguised as skepticism, can be read in subtle hints throughout the record. Boone recalls, “It’s funny, when I lived in Texas, everyone called me a hippie. Out here, I’m the skeptical cynic.”
“A Light and A Line,” which derives it’s name from a line in the dreamy waltz “Margarita (A Good Friend of Mine)”, represents a beacon to Philip Boone. “It symbolizes a light that can guide you out of darkness. Everyone has their darkness, and everyone needs to be shown the light sometimes. This album, in some ways, is an account of that journey in my own life, and the world’s as I perceive it.”
Nowhere To Be Found
If I Told You
Meet Me in the Middle
Hey No Sir
Love Looks Good On You
In the Meantime
Asking the Wind
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