Mo Phillips
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Mo Phillips

Portland, Oregon, United States | INDIE

Portland, Oregon, United States | INDIE
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May
13
Mo Phillips @ Mississippi Pizza

Portland, Oregon, USA

Portland, Oregon, USA

Apr
22
Mo Phillips @ Milagros

Portland, Oregon, USA

Portland, Oregon, USA

Apr
15
Mo Phillips @ Milagros

Portland, Oregon, USA

Portland, Oregon, USA

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Music

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Hey folks! I’m continuing on my “Kids Music Weekend” with a super fun CD from Mo Phillips called Monster Suit. I’m seriously digging Mo’s voice and rocking beats, and in fact my hips starting wiggling and my feet started shuffling within the first couple bars of track one… love it!
The title track on Monster Suit has my favourite lyric of the whole album in it… “I can do a funky dance, yeah I can do a funky dance. You give me half a chance, I’ll dance right out of these pants”. And we did my friend… we danced, and danced and danced.

Mo’s style is a mashup of rock n roll, soul, blues and a hint of country. I must say that this time around I found it hard to pick just a couple of favourites as I really enjoyed the whole album. However, if I must, I’d tag songs such as The Worst Party Ever Thrown for its amusing lyrics, Big Red Truck for its twanging guitars, Rollerskate Banana Peel for its energy and All Okay for its cuteness. I also like Bed Head as it’s a very familiar tale in this household!

Mo Phillips is based in Portland, Oregon but his wife Kate is an Aussie who grew up on the Gold Coast in Queensland. They moved with their 2 y.o. son Henry to Brisbane in 2005 to be close to Kate’s family and had a second son, Owen in September 2006. Mo’s years down under had an important impact on his work.

As he says, “In about May of 2007 I was in the midst of some really fantastic times as a stay-at-home dad when I had a discussion with a mom at a co-op about Fire Guitars. This mom kinda changed my life with one very obvious suggestion: why not make a class based on making a band? I then started to devise how the class would work over the course of 8 to 10 weeks and where it would be offered and then tried to solicit it to local preschools. The name Rock ‘N’ Roll Kindy comes out of these Aussie roots, as ‘Kindy’ is what they call preschool Down Unda. No one picked it up, but I was convinced it would work. And after we moved back to the States in January 2008, it did!”

Monster Suit by Mo Phillips will be released on 10 April; put it in your diaries folks! You’ll be able to find it online at www.mophillips.com, cdbaby.com, and itunes. - Kid Independent


I have completely fallen in love with emerging Kindie artist Mo Phillips and his upcoming kids’/family album Monster Suit. Groovy, fun, shake-your-bootie music paired with imaginative and clever lyrics make Monster Suit fun for the whole family, not just for the wee ones. I have even listened to it by myself while folding laundry!

Mo’s folksy rock-n-roll music is very catchy, energetic and playful and the lyrics are unique and quirky. This isn’t your typical preschool music – this is seriously fun music that will get you and your kids dancing and singing together. - Simple Mom Reviews


I have been ecstatic to have found a few children’s CD’s that I think I enjoy just as much as my kids! One of those is Mo Phillips, ‘Monster Suit’. It is full of catchy and fun songs that will make you and your kids laugh and sing along! I have found myself singing and humming many of these songs after we’ve listened in the car. The good music just sticks with you! - Real Moms, Real Views



I'm diggin' the lo-fi movement goin' on in Kids' Music right now: Kimya Dawson's Alphabutt, String Bean Jones' Live from the Bathtub, Mr. David's Jump in the Jumpy House, and now Mo Phillips' Train Beard. Now, lo-fi doesn't mean low quality, as evidenced by the great material and performances on all the above CDs. It just means presenting songs from a different angle, thinking outside the musical box, so to speak. And who better to spring this "experimental" approach on than kids, the most open-minded and receptive audience to all things different, sublime, weird, magical, and ridiculous.

Mo Phillips is a musician based in Portland, OR, who has released a couple of Americana/Neil Young-like albums for grownups (The Boat, 2004; Homemade, 2006), and Train Beard follows his stylistic leanings, except with kid subjects and lyrics this time 'round. Guitars, harmonica, organ, and the occasional bongo provide the majority of the instrumentation on Train Beard, supplemented by Phillips' down-to-earth vocals.

"Supa Dupa Race Car" sounds like Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show singing one of those songs Shel Silverstein used to give them; and "I Ain't Gonna Clean My Room" is exactly the kind of poem Silverstein loved to write, as a kid's excessively messy room starts to rebel against him. The title tune is, or should become, a bona fide folk classic: a train travels from head to foot in this a cappella song, sounding like a long-lost Appalachian field holler.

The guitar/organ nonsense song "Cat and Dog" boats lines like "D-O-G dog riding on a bike / B-I-K-E bikin' through the night," while "Change Like a Cloud" uses organ, guitar, and fuzz bass to convey a sense of dreamy imagination. "Leche" is a short nonsense song en Espanol, and "My Ninja Move" battles bedtime fears via a Dave Matthews-like tune.

Other standouts include the playful folk song "Best Friends" and the silly beat poem "The Garbage Man." The only tune that features heavy percussion is "Pizza in a Cup," a drum machine-driven song about a very specific way of serving a slice. That tune then fades into a live performance of the same song, which closes out the album.

Great kids' debut from a unique talent. Check out Train Beard and encourage Mo to keep up the good work!

Warren Truitt - New York Public Library (Feb 16, 2009)
- Warren Truitt - New York Public Library (Feb 16, 2009)


Discography

In the kindipendent genre, Mo Phillips has two previous releases, Train Beard and Robot Rodeo, with his third kindipendent album, Monster Suit being released on April 10th, 2012. Have a listen at www.cdbaby.com/mophillips3, www.cdbaby.com/mophillips4

Photos

Bio

Mo Phillips writes kids songs from his secret ninja laboratory in the Portland, Oregon. In the old days, Mo played crazy jazz and psychedelic math rock on three continents to much acclaim. Mo grew up recreating Neil Young and the Rolling Stones in his bedroom, and after some university years trying (unsuccessfully) to cross D. Boon with John Coltrane, he fell back into his classic rockin' ways. It has been said that Mo's album Train Beard sounds like Black Francis joined Wilco to make a kids album.

When not doling out the goods to the young set, Mo is a husband, a dad, an Early Childhood Educator, and teaches his program Rock 'N' Roll Kindy to kids all over the Portland area. Rock 'N' Roll Kindy is a highly sought after music program for preschoolers and K-2 graders in the Northwest. In the program each band writes songs, makes band shirts and instruments, and records a CD to sell at their show.

When not making bands with the youngest rockers, Mo performs interactive shows of his own that respect the intelligence of young people with wit and irreverence, without being being strictly scatological. This is music built for kids and parents alike! Mo does not dumb down lyrics or melodies for kids to "understand", and therefore sings about things whole families can appreciate. A fine, distilled blend of Americana, Soul and Blues, while not being afraid of a poppy hook or straight rockin' out.