Phil Gates
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Phil Gates

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Band Blues Soul


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"Phil Gates IBC Blues Competition"

"“Highlights of my two days of running from club to club … included the explosive sets by the Phil Gates Band.” Art Tipaldi, BluesWax
- Blues Revue

"Phil Gates"

"“Phil Gates is an impressive presence… The crowd rewarded him with a much deserved standing ovation.” Pete Sardon, Southland Blues - Southland Blues

"Phil Gates"

“He's a sharp guitar man who's written all the tracks on this album and produced it with a keen sense of the music he plays -- blues with a modern hue and a lot of attitude. Gates uses all his musical weapons to good effect, including a guitar that swings and stings, and vocals that reach deep for grit. … A fresh and original take on the blues.” Jim White, Blue Notes Blog - Blue Notes Blog

"Phil Gates"

“Phil Gates takes the storyteller's approach to the blues, and brings his characters to life through his heartfelt playing and singing.” Sheryl & Don Crow. Nashville Blues - Nashville Blues

"Phil Gates"

“This guitar man is the perfect, contemporary gateway drug to get you hooked on the blues. Nice stuff that really gets its point across in fine style.” Chris Spector, Midwest Record - Midwest Record

"CD Review Phil Gates Addicted To The Blues"

“Addicted To The Blues is a masterful slice of modern blues by an artist who has the total package. Phil Gates is an excellent songwriter who views traditional themes in a modern manner. His guitar work is outstanding (he also plays bass, keyboards, and drums), as is his singing.” Graham Clarke, Blues Bytes - Blues Bytes

"Phil Gates"

“Phil is a wonderful, soulful guitar player who understands his way around the fretboard as well as a multitude of other instruments. He grooves ya', he moves ya'; Phil Gates is a big time artist who deserves a listen for his outstanding work on this album.” Steve "Fly" Klein, Chicago Blues News

- Chicago Blues News

"Phil Gates"

“Phil Gates captures the heart that runs through the USA and so do his songs. He devours his music in the studio with intense growls, putting boogie to the blues.” John Shelton Ivany, -

"Phil Gates"

“... Sweetly gritty vocals, blistering guitar with blues expression, distinction, and great stage presence. I predict a bright future for this young charismatic bluesman.” Dorothy Hill, Blues Source & President, The Golden Gate Blues Society - blues Source Magazine

"Phil Gates Addicted To The Blues"

“His gentle smoky/husky vocals are well suited to the musical honey that he produces; as it pours languorously and warmly out from the speakers, it clings and lingers upon the ears and mind like the memory of a warm summer Sunday afternoon. There are intricate and tightly woven funky guitar passages that unobtrusively feed into the listeners’ subconscious like a slow morphine drip. The sublime understated slidework that Phil effortlessly constructs creeps up upon you with the stealth like movement of a stalking tiger.” Brian Harmon, Blues Art Journal, Austria - Blues Art Journal, Austria

"Phil Gates"

“Phil Gates is a real break; a new spirit and voice of the greatest American Values (Blues), and Phil with his knowledge, skills and indisputable talent maintain historic or, if you will, traditional values alive.”
Mladen Loncar, Sound Guardian, Croatia
- Sound Guardian, Croatia

"Phil Gates Review"

“...sweetly gritty vocals...blistering guitar
blues expression, distinction,
and great stage presence.

I predict a bright future for this
young charismatic bluesman.”
Dorothy Hill
Blues Source - Blues Source


Phil Gates - Addicted To The Blues
Phil Gates - This Side of Me
Phil Gates - Music from the film "My Normal Life"
Phil Gates - Should I?





Though the word “funk” originally had odiferous origins, eventually the term became a high compliment for the “real thing,” as well as a form of syncopated dance music growing out of R&B. Guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Phil Gates is as real and funky as it gets, as amply demonstrated on his new release, Addicted To The Blues. Just as significantly, he is a totally hip blues cat, savvy in cutting edge recording technology and the latest online social networking.

Gates was born to the blues in a musical family in Chicago, IL. By the third grade he was playing violin, clarinet and drums before following at age 12 in the guitar-picking footsteps of his older brother. Buddy Guy, Albert King and sixties rock guitar heroes like Jimi Hendrix and Santana fueled his desire, as did jazz. Gates served in the Air Force 1980-85, working with high tech electronics and was also selected as guitarist the USAF “Tops in Blue” World Tour that performed at Superbowl XIX. From 1986-89 he was a sound engineer at a Texas jazz club, while a move to Los Angeles in 1989 to work in the aerospace industry afforded him the opportunity to produce and do session work. He released Party Time in 2000, Secret Passage in 2002, This Side of Me in 2005, created the film score for My Normal Life in 2006 and released Should I? in 2008. He also found time to write FAQ: Recording the Guitar for music book publisher Mel Bay in 2005.

Gates wrote all 12 original tunes on his new disk while also contributing keyboards, bass and programming drums. “Get Around to Me” sets the table early with a sassy funk groove over which Gates leaps about nimbly on his guitar after exuding pure attitude in his suave vocal, tossing out lines like “got a text from you this afternoon.” In “Sexy Little Cool” he rocks the shuffle blues, using his distinctive gritty delivery to express his ardor that is intensified by his slithery slide guitar. A country two-beat powers the hypnotic locomotive chug of “Evening Train,” a classic blues theme about “getting home” that Gates steams up with fleet, twisting guitar lines. On his lusty tribute to “My Babe” he glides over the swinging shuffle beat before pouring out a liquid gold guitar solo. “Funkin’” down hard on the “one” in “Everyday,” he provides bass, organ and scratch guitar under his inspirational message of “You’ve gotta be better, you’ve got to be strong.”

The strutting title track finds Gates unequivocally expressing his “addiction” to the blues in startling graphic terms. He then changes pace to an unusual half-time feel on the churning slow blues of “You Should’ve Listened.” “I Never Knew” swings harder than Count Basie ever imagined as Gates slyly tells an ex-girlfriend, “I never knew things could be so good since you’ve been gone.” He turns the clock back with the 8-bar R&B of “Used Me Up,” his snaky slide guitar making a timeless statement. The toe-tapping instrumental “Road Shufflin’” spotlights his exceedingly tasty guitar work that always avoids gratuitous flash. Nonetheless, on “End of Time” he cuts loose with stunning fire and precision on the stomping shuffle. In contrast, “The Wisdom” closes the disk with a New Orleans second-line strut as Gates movingly pays tribute to his dearly departed family and friends.

The blues is a rich heritage that celebrates life in all of its glory and complexity. Phil Gates brings a fresh perspective and voice to America’s greatest native art form with the determination and talent to move it forward as a vital, living cultural treasure.

Dave Rubin, staff Writer, Guitar Edge Magazine


Get Around To Me
A man wonders when his girlfriend will finally have time for him and the relationship. Matt Forger who has engineered on projects with Michael Jackson and many others mixed this song.

Sexy Little Cool
This is a shuffle song about a man who is completely involved with a girl who has this incredibly irresistible vibe; a “Sexy Little Cool”. I dig playing slide guitar, so I got to get some in here.

Evening Train
It’s about a factory worker who was glad to have the work, but equally glad to leave work everyday. I used to do audio post, so the train sample I had on hand. A train style blues with a western touch.

My Babe
A song about a woman very close to me in my life, and how good that feels. This song is inspired by the early blues Greats in a short style, pocket groove song. Used my old 1971 Fender Strat on this one.

This is about our job to continually make things in our lives better. Our relationships, dreams, jobs, you name it. It couldn’t hurt. I had fun with a little wah pedal on this one, and funk styled guitar lines.

Addicted To The Blues
In the vernacular of an addicted person (not autobiographically), I discuss my unending desire to play the blues. A fun little play on word song to explain my passion for th