Kathy Phillips
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Kathy Phillips

Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


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"Allmusic.com - Review of Carries You Away"

The sophomore release from Kathy Phillips — a mere five years after her debut — showcases a confident talent with a strong, emotive voice who can really craft her songs. There's a definite country touch to the New Jersey songstress' material, most notable on tunes like "Walking Out the Door," where she puts on her best Loretta Lynn, but there's also a very strong pop element to the music on the Sheryl Crow adult pop end of the spectrum, perfectly illustrated by the little gem "Ordinary Day." She can be quite enigmatic in her lyrics, as she is on "Rita," or quite blunt, on the other-woman scenario of "Little Secret." There's good production by Matt Angus, and the arrangements are varied enough to offer plenty of changeups in the sound. Wherever the album goes, Phillips sounds comfortable and in control, passionate but with enough coolness in her voice that it works very sensually. Perhaps the standout track, though, is "Sleep," which evokes images of Crowded House in its rich arrangement. All in all, Kathy Phillips deserves to break through with this record.

- Chris Nickson

"CD Review of SWAY"

"Bouncy, rootsy, yet somewhat melancholy pop along the lines of Natalie Merchant permeates this best-ever release from Clinton-based Black Potatoe Records. The jazzy ``Leaves Changing'' about lovers evolving in different directions is particularly impressive, especially the playing of Jersey jazz guitarist Walt Bibinger. Anthony Krizan of Spin Doctors and producer-labelhead Matt Angus also serve up some awesome six-string strutting on "Fly High.'' Kim Williams, Angus' talented wife, once again shines in the background on vocals and keys. A lesser talent might have been drowned out on a debut record but not Kathy Phillips. Her exceptionally sweet, powerful voice and strong, accessible songs would fit perfectly on a commercial adult alternative radio station if the New York market had one. Community radio hopefully will pick up the slack"

- The Courier News

"CD REVIEW: Kathy Phillips - Sway"

Isn't this a breath of fresh air? Kathy Phillips, hailing from the New Jersey area, sings her way through 11 pop/alternative cuts. Phillips has a soft, pop voice a la Natalie Merchant that has just a hint of vulnerability. In "Fly High" Kathy sings "Sometimes you'll find me inside my dreams, but the longer I'm there, nothing seems real." She dreams and sings her way through these songs as both a strong woman and a contemplative listener. Her voice really hits home on "Leaves Changing", an easy, jazzy slow shuffle. God, it's like a soft breeze on a summer day. "And if the leaves are changing, maybe I am too, And if the leaves are changing, well then so are you, so are you." Alrighty then. What a great pop moment that is. Kathy should send this one to Diana Krall.
Another nice song here is "Angels Never Sleep", which Kathy dedicated to those who have left us here. The instrumentation throughout the album is excellent, it always supports and is never overindulgent. Hats off to a really excellent production. As Kathy says, "It's one voice to change your mind" - and Kathy sure has a voice to take notice of. Wonderful album this is. Congratulations.
- The Muses Muse - Eliot Popkin

"Fourteenth Annual Makin Waves Awards"

BEST FEMALE ARTIST: Kathy Phillips - A singer-songwriter who would be a star if New York had a AAA radio format. Maybe someday. In the meantime, her Black Potatoe Records debut, "Sway" remains a rich delight.

BEST SONG - Kathy Phillips, "Leaves Changing." Phillips' song about out-growing a relationship is good jazzy-folky medicine.

- The Courier News - Gannett

"Singer Kathy Phillips "sways" Between Rock and Folk"

"Insightful songwriter… powerful, bouncy voice that you can hang onto for a sweet ride through a fistful of melodic pop music hooks and folksy rock"
- Robert Hicks
- The Easton Express

"Making a Difference: Kathy Phillips"

Kathy Phillips is one of the rich New Jersey music scene's best female artists. On her indie debut, "Sway," are four songs that could be hit singles: the touching jazz-pop of "Leaves Changing," the haunting "Angels Never Sleep," the uplifting "Fly High" and the bouncy "Change Your Heart." The disc, released in 2001 on producer Matt Angus' Clinton-based Black Potatoe Records, also is beautifully cathartic, able to help people through periods of pain with its expressive lyrics, heavenly melodies, gorgeous harmonies and excellent musicianship by many of New Jersey's finest players, including guitarist Anthony Krizan (Spin Doctors, Lenny Kravitz), keyboardist John Ginty (Robert Randolph, Jewel, Lou Reed) and multi-instrumentalist Kim Williams (Angus, Matt Angus Thing).

But it's Phillips' angel-meets-devil live show that's even more appealing and works extremely well in supporting her recording. Between the two, she sounds like an artistic yet commercially viable mix of Natalie Merchant, Stevie Nicks, Faith Hill, Norah Jones and Jewel. Over the past three years, Phillips' journey has taken her from a tentative debut solo gig to a show just a few of weeks ago in which she led a group of Central Jersey's best musicians in jams on several of her own tunes, as well as difficult rock classics, such as "Southbound" and "The Weight."

Phillips and Williams make magic with soulful, angelic harmonies that radiate with warmth from both the stage and the stereo. Before fronting and leading her own band, Phillips was in a harmonic folk-rock trio called Fedora with former songwriting partner Jay Morrissey, who helped collaborate on "Sway" with her. The best multi-instrumentalist among New Jersey's many rockers, Williams also is a member of her husband's band, the Matt Angus Thing, and spent many years with him in an improvisational folk-rock group called Angus. Other members of the exceptional, extremely professional Kathy Phillips Band include guitarist Gregg Sullivan (Blood, Sweat & Tears), bassist Jeff Wilson, who has his own bluegrass outfit, and drummer Dave Becker, who also has gigged much with Angus.
- Asbury Park Music

"CD Review ~ Carries You Away"

CD Review - Carries You Away
Four stars (out of five stars)

While Kathy Phillips’ debut CD, Sway, had a jazz-pop feel, her second release, Carries You Away, displays her ability to write, play and sing with a twang. The songs, musicians and vocal harmonies on this album make it another indie project worth listening to.

Sounds like: A country album with pop/rock undertones

- Joe O'Gara - NUVO.net - Indy's Alternative Voice

"Carries You Away - Review"

Kathy Phillips' Carries You Away - It's an album heavily weighted to the country side of Americana. It sounds a bit like those old Ronee Blakley albums I reviewed in late 2006: fiddles, steel guitar, piano and a solid rhythm section. In fact, pedal steel guitarist Robby Turner (Waylon Jennings and Jim Lauderdale) plays the bulk of the solos and makes himself very comfortable behind Kathy's deep rich voice. Travis Wetzel (violin), Barry Mitterhoff (mandolin), Anthony Krizan (Spin Doctors) on electric guitar, and Matt Angus (guitar) among others, add sterling backing.

Ms. Phillips wrote (or co-wrote) nine of the songs and proves herself to be a thoughtful lyricist, as well as coming up with some decent musical hooks. "You write your book of wisdom and all / your silly thoughts upon my wall / you call it your own scripture, we're / disciples following you down the hall / step inside a real dark room / shut the door it's much too soon." That's "Nothing is Good Enough" but the all lyrics are both thoughtful and thought-provoking.

It's not all about the words, though. The music ranges from country ("Nothing is Good Enough") to dreamy ("Little Secret") to folky ("Come Back Again") to the mandolin-based shuffle of "Everything is Different Now." And it wraps up with a solid take on The Band's "Evangeline." Kathy Phillips enunciates much clearer than Emmylou Harris, and her band acquits itself beautifully.

- David Kidney, Assistant Music Review Editor, Greenman Review

"KATHY PHILLIPS/Carries You Away"

An Americana songstress with help from some alt.rockers, Phillips is one of those under the radar gems that you are glad to come across.  Delivering a tasty little date that’s right on the money whether kicking it out on originals or covers, Phillips has a quality that you wouldn’t expect from a Jersey girl that pulls you in with it’s heartland charm.  Sets like this certainly show that indie is the new alt.
- CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher - Midwest Record


"Kathy Phillips remains the jewel of New Jersey's music scene. With her second album, "Carries You Away," her rootsier direction, stronger songwriting and better accompaniment should translate into even more fans."

- Gannett Newspapers


Sway - 2001
Jersey Jams Jersey Cares - 2002
Atomic Vol. 3 - 2003
Jerry Jams Jerry Cares - Tribute to Jerry Garcia - 2005
Carries You Away - 2006



What makes a performer special? The ability to empathize through a well-turned lyric, the talent for writing an effective hook, a connection with an audience projected from the stage, and a sense of purpose and passion in an artists' music are all qualities possessed by those who are able to make the transition from musician to performer.

In 2001 Kathy Phillips released her debut album "Sway" (Black Potatoe) to unexpected success and acclaim. In 2002 Kathy was awarded Best Female Artist and Best Song (for Leaves Changing) by New Jersey’s Courier News/Gannett Newspaper Group. Referring to the Best Song award, the papers wrote “Phillips' song about out-growing a relationship is good jazzy-folky medicine.”

The CD’s praise and her intimate live performances at local venues such as the Stone Pony, the Stanhope House and the Black Potatoe Music Festival created a tremendous regional following. Phillips’ smooth polished sound was described as a graceful connection between rock, folk and pop and drew media comparisons to early Natalie Merchant and Edie Brickell. Phillips’ became a compelling indie music force to the point where several tracks from the record were chosen for a popular MTV series.

Five years later Kathy Phillips releases her sophomore CD for Black Potatoe Records entitled CARRIES YOU AWAY. Sticking with a winning sonic formula the CD is once again produced by label owner Matt Angus (Levon Helm, Warren Haynes, Rodney Crowell) and a collection of 11 roots-driven songs of which Phillips wrote eight. Once again Matt and Kathy capture her expressive lyrics, strong melodies, gorgeous harmonies and excellent musicianship.

Despite using the same production techniques, Phillips is uninterested in treading similar musical ground. Rather, she returns with a more expansive Americana leaning collection including a visceral interpretation of The Band’s classic ‘Evangeline.’ This new direction reflects Phillips personal growth and musical evolution garnered from experiences like singing alongside The Harlem Gospel Choir singers and playing festivals as a duo and full ensemble. On this record, Phillips promises to connect with current fans as well as reach new audiences with musical honesty and eloquent stylistic impressions.

Adding the twang to Phillips’ rootsy redirection is Nashville based pedal steel legend Robby Turner of Waylon Jennings/Highwaymen fame and recording partner of Jim Lauderdale, Willie Nelson, John Prine, et al. Other band members include Barry Mitterhoff (Hot Tuna-Jorma) on Mandolin, Anthony Krizan (Spin Doctors, Lenny Kravitz) on electric guitar, Matt Angus on guitar and Hammond, Kim Williams on keyboards, violin, and vocals, Walt Bibinger on acoustic guitar, Todd Lanka on bass, Tom Nelson on drums and Travis Wetzel on violin.


Kathy has opened for/shared the stage with national acts such as: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Shawn Mullins, Marshall Crenshaw, Honeyboy Edwards, Pinetop Perkins, Hootie & the Blowfish, Styx, Andy Summers (Police), Levon Helm (The Band), Dickey Betts (Allman Brothers), Catie Curtis, Chris Barron (Spin Doctors), Michael Glabicki (Rusted Root), Shannon McNally, and Jeffrey Gaines. Kathy has also been involved with singing backups for The Matt Angus Thing alongside members of the notorious Harlem Gospel Choir.

She has performed at notable venues such as New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), The Stone Pony, The Stanhope House, The Starland Ballroom, Maxwells, The Saint (NJ), The Living Room, The Wetlands, The Knitting Factory, The Cutting Room, The Postcrypt Coffeehouse (NYC), and The House of Blues (Boston).

Phillips' latest collaberation with Anthony Krizan (Spin Doctors, Lenny Kravitz) and Jacqueline Rose "I Wanna Feel Good" just received placement in the movie "WAKE" starring Jane Seymour, Danny Masterson, Bijou Phillips due out in theatres mid to late 2008