Phil Ayoub
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Phil Ayoub

| Established. Jan 01, 2004 | SELF

Established on Jan, 2004
Solo Americana Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"...strong American music influences of Ayoub and the Brit Rock influences of Bradshaw..."

“Ayoub’s extraordinary ability to paint a deeply stirring, sweetly poignant picture with emotive, insightfut lyrics and pure natural music, combined with Bradshaw’s time-earned experience and production know- how, have put a smooth polish on Ayoub’s personal, frequently humorous thoughts and experiences. This amazing debut album is filled with beautiful, deep, often playful lyrics, acoustic guitar, jangly synth and of course, Ayoub’s earthy, gentle, sensual vocals.”

“…with the strong American music influences of Ayoub and the Brit Rock influences of Bradshaw. This accidental partnership has created a beautiful, deep, sometimes funny, soothing album filled with acoustic guitar, jangly synth and emotive, insightful lyrics…”

“…Ayoub’s extraordinary ability to paint a clear, poignant picture in song and his love of pure natural music combine to lead the listener through his personal, frequently humorous thoughts and experiences...”

“…Although produced and, in some places co-written, by a David Gray-ite, this album is easily better than anything Gray has done and has a much stronger rock and pop flavour…”

“…Ayoub is a deep-thinking, deep-feeling… funny, charismatic and urbane man, ….relaxed and friendly...Schoolbus Window Paper Heart is filled with poignant, honest romantic lyrics and simple melodies coupled with pop hooks that will keep you hooked from the first track to the ironically funny secret final track...”
- Blogcritics

"You will not be disappointed"


“If your tastes include The Black Crowes and/or Three Doors Down, get the debut disc of a great new band, Riverside Train. Try their web site. You will not be disappointed.” - Peter Gammons,

"Great singer-songwriter stuff"

Phil Ayoub's Schoolbus Window Paper Heart was one of my more recent pleasant surprises, having picked it up over the holidays. The record was produced by one of David Gray's sidemen, but frankly it's better than any David Gray record I've heard. This is great singer-songwriter stuff, in many places worthy of my holy trinity of Josh Rouse, David Mead and Freedy Johnston. The standout track, "River to Ocean", though, is jangly power pop bliss reminiscent of Michael Carpenter. There's hardly a weak track in the batch on this one.
- Absolute Powerpop

"His influences are classic, and he lives up to them."

"Phil Ayoub’s debut solo record, Schoolbus Window Paper Heart, shows off a mature modern-rock songwriting style, with strong performances and big-time production. His influences are classic, and he lives up to them."

“'There was something immediately appealing about his style of writing, and his voice really,' says Bradshaw, who now lives in Franklin, Mass. 'I like lyrics, and I found that his lyrics weren’t always obvious, which is a good thing for me. They alluded to things, but didn’t make it obvious, so you really had to make your own story.'"

"The result is a radio-ready sound for radio-ready songs. 'I’m very proud of that record, really,' Bradshaw says."
- The Providence Journal

"He has a fan club and an MBA"

"He has a fan club and an MBA, which might not make all that much sense. But if you listen to Phil Ayoub, you can hear the two opposing qualities in his music: It’s keen and endearing, witty as well as likable."

"Ayoub quit his job in a big investment bank in Boston to concentrate on a career in music. While you might not call that a “smart” move, Phil is definitely following his heart, and his heart is taking him to all the right places."

"Ayoub writes empathically, with sensitivity and intelligence….he must be doing something right."
- The Phoenix

"...nothing short of musical brilliance...""

"Phil Ayoub is one of the best New England songwriters you've never heard of. He has a unique talent of bringing everyday occurrences to life with color and clarity. His new album Arrivals and Departures is a stellar collection of songs that highlight his keen eye for observation as well as his superb outstanding sophomore effort that shows off his growth as a songwriter...nothing short of musical brilliance." - Metronome Magazine

"He wears his heart on his sleeve and his songs are as truthful and honest as they come"

“…He wears his heart on his sleeve and his songs are as truthful and honest as they come…clever lyrics, solid musicianship…The songs wear their influences on their sleeves, from the cocky barroom wisdom of Bono, the social commentary and good ole rock ’n’ roll punch of Bruce Springsteen and the wordsmith master, Bob Dylan. The album shines brightest for the up-tempo numbers like “No Heart Ache” and “4th District of Bristol Country” (hidden track #14), but that shouldn’t take anything away from slower alt-country numbers like “White Feather”…a definite keeper.”
(September 2006)

“Ayoub handles the singer-songwriter style well; the songs are interestingly arranged and the lyrics are reflective. I particularly like the opening track, “White Feather,” with its Dylanesque harmonica and electric guitar. The song “Goodnight Kiss” evokes Harvest Moon-era Neil Young. And of course I have to take note of the production…both the arrangements and the mix, are top-notch.”
(May 2006) - The Noise Magazine

"smart, sweet pop rock…think Springsteen’s more lovelorn material or Tom Petty’s more laid back work."

“…smart, sweet pop rock…”

“…[Ayoub’s] ‘grad-school rock’ differs from adult alternative in that Ayoub’s lyrics are more clever than cliché.”

“…classic boy-girl relationship woes and glories that define most good radio rock songs…think Springsteen’s more lovelorn material or Tom Petty’s more laid back work.”
- Boston Metro Newspaper

"A collection of radio-friendly pop-rock tunes"

“Phil Ayoub has an MBA degree. He also has some kind of ear for commercial pop-rock melodies and intelligent lyrics. "

"Ayoub’s first solo release, ‘Schoolbus Window Paper Heart,’ is filled with radio-friendly grooves and themes that range from the 9-11 nightmare to carefree romance….[Previous band] Riverside Train’s run stopped somewhere short of major music industry success for Ayoub. ‘Schoolbus Window Paper Heart’ could change all that.”

"Phil Ayoub, whose smart lyrics and accessible tunes have radio-friendly stamped on their backsides and whose virtuosity ought to guarantee consideration at next year’s Boston Music Awards."

“A collection of radio-friendly pop-rock tunes that span subjects ranging from relationships to social commentary…Infused by Ayoub’s canny songwriting, masterful keyboard tracks from Tim Bradshaw and drumming from Ed Toth, ‘Schoolbus Window Paper Heart’ is filled with potent hooks and evocative lyrics.”

“Ayoub isn’t about to let listeners off with an earful of cotton candy, however, and uses his observational skills and sense of irony to invade unexplored songwriting territory. ‘Scenes from An American Highway Rest Stop’ is what Simon and Garfunkel would have seen if their bus had stopped on the way to ‘look for America.’ And ‘4th District Court of Bristol County,’ which occupies a hidden track on the record, tells of Ayoub’s own bizarre experiences there as a juror.” - Sun Chronicle

"You'll hear it—or something like it—on the radio soon enough..."

"Most of these songs could be thrown immediately into rotation on 92.9FM WBOS [Boston, MA]...above-average songwriting...You'll hear it—or something like it—on the radio soon enough..." - Dissolver Magazine



“…smartly penned songs filled with a sparkling cascade of instrumentation, mesmerizing rhythms and Ayoub’s excellent vocals…Radio friendly songs include the commanding album opener “White Feather,” “Carnival Days,” the Springsteen infused “River To Ocean,” “No Heartache,” “If I Walk Down Her Path,” and the cool hidden track (and our favorite) “4th District Court of Bristol County.”
-Metronome Magazine
- Metronome Magazine


LP: Arrivals and Departures
LP: Schoolbus Window Paper Heart
LP (w/former band Riverside Train): Riverside Train


"No Heart Ache" selected for Promo Only Country Radio CD along with tracks by Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts, Clint Black, and others.

"Lying and Stealing" selected for WMVY Radio's Fresh Produce vol. 2 CD sampler.

"Cinderella and the Subway" selected for Ground Control's Boston Rockers for Life (prevention of drunk driving) benefit CD sampler. Chosen from 960 artists.

"No Heart Ache" featured on SAS Scandinavian Airlines In-Flight Entertainment's Country Music Channel with Faith Hill, Big & Rich, Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, among others. The only unsigned independent artist to have a song featured in any genre that month.

"No Heart Ache" selected for MS Music Fest Compilation CD for the Montel Williams MS Foundation.

"Carnival Days" selected for Best of The Great American Music Hour vol. 3 compilation CD.

“No Heart Ache” selected for Red Gorilla Music Fest Compilation CD, in coordination with festival in Austin, TX.

“Lying and Stealing” featured on A Taste of Triple A CD sampler along with Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket, Joan Osborne, Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, Jonatha Brooke, and Toots and the Maytals

“Goodnight Kiss” selected for Music for Troops Valentine’s CD (sending free music to soldiers).

“Carnival Days” selected for Free Lap Dances Volume 3: Hot Tails in the City CD to benefit stray cats and dogs.

"Lying and Stealing" selected for Ground Control's Providence Rockers for Life (prevention of drunk driving) benefit CD sampler.

“River to Ocean” selected for Musselman Triathlon Compilation CD. Selected as a top 25 finalist and received 2nd highest number of votes to be included on the CD.

“River to Ocean” selected for Timberman Triathlon Compilation CD. Selected as a top 25 finalist and voted on the disc.

And others…

Songs have been added at over 60 stations. Notably:

WBOS Boston
WXPN Philadelphia
WBCN Boston
WHJY Providence
WDHA New Jersey
WZLX Boston
WMVY Martha’s Vineyard
XM Satellite Radio’s XM Café
Sirius Satellite Radio
KEXP Seattle
WMPG Portland ME
WERS Boston
WMSV Mississippi
WICB New York
WORT Madison WI
PIXY 103 Cape Cod
WQNR Auburn AL
WMFO Boston
WGCC New York
WRUV Burlington VT
KHSU California
KWMR California
WWUH Hartford
KWVA Oregon
KTKE California
WXYB Tampa
WYOU Virginia Beach
WATD Boston
CUIT Toronto
Queens Radio (Ireland)
101.3/106-FM TeleMadrid’s Plastico Elastico (Spain)
Evolving Artist Media ENGAGE Internet Radio
1.FM Radio
…among many others.

International Songwriting Competition 2006 Semi-Finalist for “No Heart Ache” (Phil Ayoub/Tim Bradshaw).

We Are Listening Singer/Songwriter Awards 2006 Honorable Mention for “No Heart Ache” (Phil Ayoub/Tim Bradshaw).

Best Records of 2006, #27 Schoolbus Window Paper Heart, Absolute Powerpop.

Top Songs of 2006, “River to Ocean,” Absolute Powerpop.

Blogcritics Top 5 Best Indie Artists of 2006.

John Lennon Songwriting Contest 2003 Honorable Mention for “Walking Away” (Phil Ayoub/Craig Jackson, w/Riverside Train).

Other notables:
Performed at Fenway Park, Boston MA, August 2007.

Performed at the Viper Room, West Hollywood, CA, March 2006.

Performed at Red Gorilla Music Fest, Austin, TX, March 14, 2007.

Performed at M.E.A.N.Y. Fest in New York City in September 2006.

Participated in Peter Gammons & Theo Epstein's Hot Stove/Cool Music concert.

Nimbit Demo Derby Finalist (Boston, MA). Judges included Steve Morse (music critic, Boston Globe), John Laurenti (DJ, WBOS), Chris Rucker (program director, WBCN), David Avery (founder, Powderfinger Promotions).

Featured in Pollstar Magazine's "Gigs & Bytes" column, March 6, 2006 issue.

Appeared on RootsRockLive television show. Past artists include Sister Hazel ("All for You"), Greg Johnson ("Save Yourself"), Matt Nathanson, and Ellis Paul.

“White Feather” featured on Neil Young’s Living With War Today: Songs of the Times website.

"Scenes From An American Highway Rest Stop" chosen by Arts United of Washington (DC) for the performance of The Scenic Route.

Featured in Providence Monthly (RI) magazine, February 2007.

Featured in The Daily Record (NJ), February 2007.

Schoolbus Window Paper Heart chosen as Metronome Magazine's top 5 discs, March 2006.

Cover story, Metronome Magazine, April 2006.

Cover story, New England Entertainment Digest, April 2007.

Featured in Indie In-Tune, March 2007

Schoolbus Window Paper Heart in Pandora Internet Radio..

Featured on

“No Heart Ache” featured on Adam Curry’s Daily Source Code podcast. (Early MTV VJ and podcasting pioneer known as “The Podfather.”)

Featured on over 350 podcasts.

Fan Club website:




"Phil Ayoub has an MBA degree. He also has some kind of ear for commercial pop-rock melodies and
intelligent lyrics."
-The Sun Chronicle

We’ve all known that great musician from high school or college, that talented guitar player or singer who we just knew would be on American Bandstand, or American Top 40, or American Idol someday. But more often than not, that “can’t miss kid,” did miss. They’d fail to make it in music and quit, probably to go back to school, get a graduate degree, and settle down to a more “normal” life working in insurance or maybe investments. Well some people do things a little bit backwards. Phil Ayoub failed at “normal” life…and quit. After earning an MBA from Boston College and finding his way to a prosperous job at a large investment company, Phil Ayoub left it all behind to write songs. After earning B's in business school (well, B-minuses actually), Ayoub enrolled himself in the school of Bruce, Bono, and Bob...

While he was still working his day job, Phil made a local name for himself creating, fronting, and engineering the Boston band Riverside Train. With Riverside Train, Ayoub (pronounced A-yoob) amassed a solid, loyal fan base, performing at some of the top music venues in Boston and New England.

The band also earned some national recognition through an unlikely source when Hall of Fame baseball journalist Peter Gammons wrote "If your tastes include The Black Crowes and/or Three Doors Down, get the debut disc of a great new band, Riverside Train. Try their web site. You will not be disappointed," in his column.

After bringing Riverside Train to its final stop, Ayoub toyed with the idea of moving from his native New England (he splits time between Boston and Rhode Island) to New York, Los Angeles, or Nashville, but it was at this crossroads that the hand of fate stepped in. Or more accurately, the mouse-click of fate.

Ayoub came across a “craigslist” online ad from a producer looking for new talent to work with in Providence, RI. That producer turned out to be Tim Bradshaw, keyboardist and guitarist with David Gray and John Mayer. Bradshaw liked Ayoub's demos, and signed on to produce his solo record.The result of this initial collaboration was Ayoub’s debut record Schoolbus Window Paper Heart. Described as “grad-school rock,” it is Americana pop-rock at its best, with 12 songs written or co-written by Ayoub, produced by Bradshaw, and featuring the drumming of Ed Toth of Vertical Horizon and the Doobie Brothers. Inspired by Springsteen, U2, and Oasis, Phil has the energy of Bruce, the passion of Bono, and none of the attitude of Oasis’ Gallagher brothers (well, not usually…). 

Then after a short stint in Nashville, a long break to write songs, and some traveling…

Arrivals and Departures, the new record from singer-songwriter, rocker-folker, coffee drinker, hookah smokah, and dog walker Phil Ayoub is finally cleared for landing in 2010! 

The new record contains 13 songs written in and amongst terminals, coach seats, security offices, food court Sbarros, on runways, baggage claim belts, during strip searches, random bag checks, and 10-minute chair massages in airports and airplanes all over the world. As well as in the kitchen of his parents’ house. Appropriately, recording sessions for the album were split between Massachusetts and Stoke-On-Trent in the U.K.

Arrivals and Departures finds Ayoub reuniting with the inventive producer and extremely talented multi-instrumentalist Tim Bradshaw, who helped turn Ayoub’s mumbled song ideas on cassette tapes (yes, Phil still uses tapes) into this record. It also features drumming from the ever cool Kevin Figueiredo from the band Extreme. Perhaps the most astonishing accomplishment of the sessions, though, might be the fact that Phil got the born and bred Brit Tim to voluntarily drink and enjoy Miller Lite Beer (Unofficial Official Beer of Ayoub Men).

Having been delayed on the runway for slightly longer than expected, Arrivals and Departures is the follow up to Schoolbus Window Paper Heart, which had Ayoub performing in venues from the Viper Room in LA to Fenway Park in Boston, and featured songs on such notable and respected stations as WBOS Boston, WXPN Philadelphia, WBCN Boston, WDHA New Jersey, WHJY Providence, WXRV The River Boston, WMVY Martha’s Vineyard, KEXP Seattle, and XM and Sirius Satellite Radio.

It has been said on more than one occasion by multiple anonymous sources that “if Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, John Mayer, Neil Young, Ryan Adams, George Clooney, and Bono all donated sperm, and one baby was the result, that baby would be Phil Ayoub!”