Phil Edwards Band

Phil Edwards Band

 Auckland, Auckland, NZL

The Phil Edwards Band are a five piece from New Zealand who bring together elements of folk, blues, roots and country to create a unique blend of music which has proven itself to be accessible to a huge range of audiences. The honest, emotive lyrics of Phil’s songs captivate audiences while the live energy of the band adds another dimension to the music and never fails to get crowds on their feet.

Slow Borders is the debut album from the Phil Edwards Band, released in March 2011 to the US an


(slow borders)

What we have here is the peanut slab of New Zealand music; no pretence, just good honest Kiwi music. Unfortunately that leaves out that portion of the audience that are allergic to nuts, but that takes nothing away from Slow Borders. It’s not their fault they can only listen to Death Metal.

It would be impossible to write this review without mentioning the similarity to Jack Johnson. In fact, I’ve already heard Crash on the airwaves and associated it with a new release from Johnson. Whether the similarity is intentional or not, both are successful in capturing the relaxed temperament of the island mindset. In the press release accompanying Slow Borders the band mention John Mayer as one of their main influences and went so far as to hire Dave O’Donnell, who worked with Mayer on his release Continuum, to mix their album.

O’Donnell is not the only international outsider the band brought in to perfect their music. In a considerably unusual move Stirling Sound’s Ryan Smith, who is known for his work with Beyonce, was asked to master the album in New York. While in no way similar to Beyonce the subtle effects of the mastering are the same; it sounds good and you want more.

The implicate cost and wait time associated with hiring such big names were well worth it in terms of the quality of this release. The mix is crisp and warm completing the bright summer feel already created thru the lush guitar tones, jocund harmonica interludes, soulful vocals, hums and deep breaths and the swelling unobtrusive rhythm section. The backing vocals create a subtle luminous ambience that is the paper beneath the kindling of the searing winter fireplace that is Slow Borders.

It couldn’t be released at a better time, as our temperatures fall and our memories of a scorching summer are still fresh in our minds. It’s all you need on a cold winter’s morning while stuck at an intersection in a torrential downpour with a torrent of traffic in between you and your workplace. To explain it in the words of Phil Edwards “It’s so fine... it’s my summertime” (Track One, Crash).

But it’s not all sunshine and double rainbows. Further thru the album we encounter the darker Lit my Fire, an almost emotional discourse on love lost from a protagonist who seems too nonchalant to be that bothered. “You lit my fire, but that was such a long long time ago” (Track Three, Lit my Fire). I love the lyric, “there’s something falling away from my soul, and I think it’s you.” It draws an obscure allusion to the semi-recent space shuttle disaster, where the explosion was thought to be caused by a piece falling away from the shuttle. The intro guitar is like the famous Kiwi bands of yesteryear with a happiness found in the music of the barefoot hippy years. Along with What the World Needs it’s one of the stand out tracks of the release.

Just before Lit my Fire we have Believe, the moody slow jam of the album, a bluesy emotional plea that begs you to cheer up. “Life ain’t so hard if you follow with your heart” (Track Four, Believe). Starting off as a throbbing echo and shortly joined with heart-rending chords, slow drums and long bass notes the solo builds you up from the sadness and brings a feeling of elation. It’s definitely a burning lighter salute moment (I’m doing it while listening) and I’d be disappointed if this didn’t receive any radio play.

My recommendation: Sit back with a few mates with a wine in one hand and talk about happy times while the Phil Edwards band plays quietly on the stereo and enjoy the good vibes it creates.


A Kiwi band inspired by the sound of John Mayer; surely what we’ve all been waiting for? In fact, they liked Mayer so much, they hired his producer, who mastered the album in New York.
The music has that low-key groove familiar to fans of Jack Johnson, and it has that blue-eyed funk feel of James Taylor when he’s “getting on down” – highly polished, no-sweat white-boy grooves, but grooves nevertheless.
There’s something to be said for Edwards’ control, and the discipline of his six-piece band. These performances are well executed, and he’s left plenty of space in the arrangements, which suggests that he may have spent some time with Little Feat albums in the dim distant past, and taken a few lessons from the low-down shuffles of Lowell George and his crew.
But… and it’s a big ‘but’. You can see from the unimaginative title of the band, and the title of the record (what is a ‘slow border’, exactly?) that there’s a certain lack of spirit and adventure here. It’s totally catholic.
While Slow Borders is nicely recorded, nicely arranged, nicely performed, nicely engineered, and nicely mastered, it induced instant entropy in this listener.


Better me

Written By: Phil Edwards Band

When your heart is on fire
And you loose your way
You’re caught in the desire
To not do what they say

They way you live
You never give anything at all
And soon enough you will see
You are guna fall

No angel will lead you in
Oh no

I don’t wana lie
I just want the truth
I don’t wana fight
I just want the peace
I don’t wana hate
I just wana love
And sure enough
I wana give you some

The way that you’re behaving
You must not understand
The bricks that you lay
They don’t change the just stay bad

Have you lost your control?
Have you sold your soul?

No angel will lead you in
Oh no

I don’t wana lie
I just want the truth
I don’t wana fight
I just want the peace
I don’t wana hate
I just wana love
And sure enough
I wana give you some

You get what you give
And you get what you see
You get what you give
And you get what you see
You get what give
And you get what you need

We don’t need to lie
We just need the truth
We don’t need to fight
We just need the peace
We don’t need to hate
We just need to love
Come on everyone
We’ve all got some


We have released our single "crash" which was well recieved by New Zealand radio, it was on the highest rotation on one of NZs biggest stations More FM.

"crash" is available on itunes throughout NZ, Australia, And U.S.

Recently released our debut album "slow borders" in march 2011, with 13 tracks, which is distributed by Rhythm method thoughout NZ stores.

Set List

What the world needs
Whatever the weather
Rhythm of the river
Lit my fire
Im no fool
Bad things
Better me
Shallow fellow.

Set usually from an hour to 2 hours.

Covers we do sometimes are "im on fire" Bruce Springstein.

"free falling" tom petty