phillip rosenberg

phillip rosenberg

 Joshua Tree, California, USA

I write Contemporary Folk Songs that search for meaning in an increasingly alienating and dangerous world.


My song "FLOWER TIME" tells my story - Like many before me, I cut short my work towards a career as a singer/songwriter to raise a family. Now, my kids out of school, I am writing and playing full time. I am a storyteller at heart, so it's not surprising that my influences include Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Paul Simon Patti Smith, Townes Van Zandt, John Prine, Patti Griffin, Mark Knopfler.


Smokey Joe's

Written By: Phillip Rosenberg

SMOKEY JOE’S © 2012 Phillip Rosenberg
It’s 4am on Sunset The traffic’s movin’ slow, The purple neon flashes “Come on in, we never close.” Outside, the line is forming The wannabees all flirt They buzz around the doorman, Liftin’ up their skirts
Inside the royalty recline In the afterglow The congregation’s gatherin’ Downstairs at Smokey Joes
There’s Mr. Clark and Johnny And everyone can tell Those smiles that they’re wearin’ Are illegal as hell
They’re slicing red tomatoes The home grown variety And Laughin’ like those good ol’ boys Laugh in Tennessee
Guy, he’s drinkin’ whiskey Single malt, you know, One you can’t get anywhere ‘Cept down at Smokey Joes
Lenny’s old ‘n horny And in his holy way Perfectly imperfect he Removes his clothes to pray And everybody’s bowin- To gods unseen again
For every drop of golden ink That passed down through their pen.
Yeah, Thanks for What’s it to ya And “Everybody Knows” They’re singing Halleluja Downstairs at Smokey Joes
Bobby’s quite the joker You cannot pin him down Between those devil’s horns he sports A dark and thorny crown He whispers to Johanna Let’s get out while we can Before they turn us all into Statues made of sand
Come on, lets go fishin’ I brought my line and pole There’s always something bitin’ Downstairs at Smokey Joe’s.
Tom parks his ol’ 55 Slips on his hat and coat He takes another hit o’ wine
He takes another toke There’s paparazzi everywhere He walks in unseen They’re busy interviewing The home-comin’ queen
Her lips are fat as oysters But the doorman he says “No It ain’t the looks they’re lookin’ for Downstairs at Smokey Joes.
I know its not appealing To see me on my knees Beggin like an orphan “Just a crumb, sir, if you please” But who else can I turn to
In my hour of need To save me from the oblivion of Mediocrity
Who are you to criticize I saw you with your soul Whisperin’ to the devil out Behind Smokey Joes.

Worryin' the Bone

Written By: Phillip Rosenberg

WORRYIN’ THE BONE © 2012 Phillip Rosenberg
I was sittin’ in a bar in Tucson, been on the road a week Man walks in, sits down, orders him a drink. “Well, howdy friend” he says to me like I was some relation, Me, I’m way past half past, in no mood for conversation.
Oh, where you headed young man, he tries gettin’ me to talk, Don’t like the way he’s eyein’ me, I get up and start to walk, sayin; “I ain’t got no time for this I got problems of my own, I got a woman back in Arkansas worryin’ the bone.
He says “what’s your name, son”, I say “what’s it to you?” He says “you kindly look like the man named Pettigrew, The one they call the “Bowie” The one they’ll pay to find, The one that done that woman wrong back in Adeline.
He reaches in his pocket, slides a paper down the bar Well, that’s my picture, sure enough, he says “Stay where you are” I cursed the day I met her she won’t leave me alone I cursed that evil woman worryin’ the bone.
Worryin’ the bone, Worryin’ the bone, I curse that evil woman worryin’ the bone
From my boot I pulled up the blade for which I’m known I left that poor detective in a pool of his own Bloody and bewildered I walked out real slow I fired up that firebird and headed down the road.
I thought about that woman, Elvira is her name, I never saw it comin’ I didn’t know her game Once she’s got a hold of you Elvira don’t let go All that woman’s good for is Worryin’ the bone.
We’d met at the casino, she said “I like it rough.” We was slappin bellies every nite, she couldn’t get enough. But then I got the fever, the wanderlust to roam I said “I gotta leave ya,” She said “I don’t think so.”
I was good enough for beddin’, now I want my ring, My daddy he’s the sheriff, and the sheriff’s mighty mean I say “so long, Elvira, I’m in the wind you’ll see” “Mark my words” she says this ain’t the last you’ll see of me.
Worryin’ the bone, Worryin’ the bone, All that woman’s good for is Worryin’ the bone
You know she followed me to Detroit, she tracked me to St Cloud Hired that detective, well, you know how that turned out Now if the law don’t get me, Elvira surely will When the world stops turnin’ round
She’ll be chasin’ me down still and
Worryin’ the bone, Worryin’ the bone, All that woman’s good for is Worryin’ the bone I hate that evil woman

Gainin on You

Written By: Phillip Rosenberg

GAININ’ ON YOU c 2012 Phillip Rosenberg
Last nite you tried to catch me in a dark and desperate dream I was runnin down a rain soaked street tryin’ to make the train and you, oh you were on my heels Out of the past you flew but you couldn’t see what was gainin’ on you
You wore a cashmere sweater you sported a black beret you were quotin’ karl marx all night and sippin courvoisier and you were oh, so beautiful For just a frame or two, But you couldn’t see What was gainin’ on you
Your daddy’s rage, the glint of a blade you crumpled and fell and you couldn’t be saved you reached out for me as the ground gave way,
I woke up, half past midnight walked over to the sink I wiped the sweat from my brow I poured myself a drink and you, where do you sleep tonight, Are you still pursued, Is that scared little girl Still gainin’ on you?
I hope you’re safe tonight...


I have not yet released my first project.

Set List

My sets are 45 minutes to 1 hour. A sampling of my songs can be heard under the 'Audio' heading of the EPK.