Phil Walton
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Phil Walton

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This self produced CD is the debut release by British multi-instrumentalist Phil Walton on which he sings and plays all the instruments. This is generally a relaxed piece of work that is pretty difficult to pin a style to but there are shades of the Canterbury sound, a little of 80s electro and just a hint of Jim Morrison. In many respects, this is poetry set to music with the lyrics being an integral part of the experience. Walton hasn't got the strongest voice around but it is pleasant and can hold a tune and his relaxed, almost clipped, delivery compliments his playing.

Classic Rock Society review by Terry Craven - Classic Rock Society


Phil Walton - "Reason to Live ": Waltons album is difficult to categorize, but once you are tuned in on his unique and personal style, this album opens up. Composed and played in it's entirety by Walton himself, the music/lyrics and his vocals has a certain naivety that is seductive. The album is unfortunately rather uneven; spanning from very good songs with strong, beautiful arrangements, to songs that may have deserved an extra take in the production process. Though I sense the spirit of a demo in "Reason to Live" I have to acknowledge the fact that I was moved by the clever honesty of Waltons work. - http://www.ectagon.com/reviews.htm


From the first listen of Phil Walton’s album Reason To Live I realized it would be difficult to nail down what his sound was, or even more difficult, how to explain it. I do love his voice, it is so natural, and very refined, and very British I might add. He is not trying to sound American or like anyone else but himself. Well, we are off to good start as I sincerely appreciate an artist just letting loose and being nothing more than the real deal.

While this may not be music for everyone it most certainly has an audience, yours truly being one that appreciates this type of sound and variety on a recording. Phil takes a lifetime of listening experiences and influences, takes it all, and wraps it into his own package for us all to open up and see what may be inside. That is the very reason why it so difficult to quantify what the sound is, and to me that aspect is a wonderful thing. Having the problem of trying to classify music, means that it is unlike anything else I have heard. To be set off in a corner inside a box in the indie world is certain suicide; Walton does everything right with his presentation on this CD. I cannot get away from the fact that his voice is the key here; it is haunting, resonating, and emotional, bringing all the lyrics to the forefront of your experience. Walton makes it real for you and he does it in such a way that it is hard to forget. I am willing to bet if you hear this CD for the first time you will begin to think how different it is yet appealing, something that could continually grow on you, that is how it worked for me.

There are some great tunes on this album, featuring delicate, and perfectly placed guitar lines, a stirring rhythm section, and an organ that sounds like it could burst wide open at any minute. Phil is the only musician on the entire recording; in fact, when I asked for the band lineup he replied that he created most of it right at his computer, brilliant! This has become an art form currently and if you can be that convincing, that you went into a studio with a band and recorded an album when you actually used your talent and imagination on a computer to create it, well, that is incredible. I must say it sounds quite good when considering that factor. He holds back on the power of the organ just enough to allow each song to sink in without the distraction of an instrument that is too prevalent, which could destroy the meaning and intent of the lyrical content. The organ is the most prolific of the instruments on several tracks, everything else is very important but it all takes a back seat, only Walton’s vocals can rise above it. Walton sings about relationships and sometimes gets his digs in with the opposite sex, expressing his displeasure with the pain and suffering one can go through when involved in a head-over-heels love. “All Of Me,” “Don’t Be Coming Back,” and “Reason To Live” illustrate all of this vividly for the listener intent on understanding what the songs really mean.

Those that enjoy progressive rock or art rock will find plenty of enjoyment and the opportunity to do a little reflection in the mirror of life with this music. This could be a good thing for some of us…I guess you have to listen and find out for yourself. I would not listen to this if you were recovering from a broken relationship though. Well, just enjoy the music!

© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

April 10, 2006
- www.radiogetswild.com


Classical in a wolf's skin. Gloomy but life-affirming.

For many years Phil Walton has perforrned as an orchestral musician and a conductor, but his interest in new forms has led him to explore the progressive rock possibilities - in his own way, though. There's no bombast usually associated with the genre, whereas the meaty organ provides the bedrock for the opening "Passed Me By"; it's the voice, dark and deadpan that's the record's focus. Phil's a poet as well as composer, so the songs find him in a philosopher position. It's the music for thinking ones by the one who thinks. Some may find it's Gothic yet this depth comes from some other source, there's a lot of emotion bubble under the bleak surface, and "Do You Love Me?" is as playful as it gets in such a context. There are more questions, and "What Becomes Of You?" will satisfy the DEPECHE MODE fans, yet then again, Walton's approach is different from techno, it takes more of a heartbeat than of a beatbox. Deeply human the album is - yet it takes a lot of digging to reach its core. Still, the closing title track urges the listener to do so.

Dmitry Epstein - http://dmme.net


Phil Walton Releases D.I.Y. Recording Reason To Live

"Phil Walton went to the same school as Sting and Neil Tennant (Pet Shop Boys), and studied Music at Sheffield University alongside John Hackett (brother of ex Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett) but the education that benefited him the most was the school of life. Walton has spent most of his working life as an orchestral Viola player while composing and conducting. While listening to his new release Reason To Live, you realize quickly his many experiences have paid huge dividends.
There are some great tunes on Reason To Live, tracks such as She Walked and What Are You Waiting For, feature Waltons haunting vocals alongside delicate and perfectly placed guitar lines, stirring rhythms, and textured organ sounds that are as compelling as they are infectious.
What makes Phil Waltons new album such an incredible feat of modern technology and sheer genius is the fact he created the entire recording on a computer, painstakingly putting it together piece by piece with tremendous effort driven by his true love for music, what makes a composition tick, and lyrics that come from the mind of a poet. A project of this magnitude pushes the musical envelope symbolically and literally into regions of creativity reserved for only those with an intrinsic knowledge and respect for music as a living breathing entity.
Those that enjoy progressive rock or art rock will find plenty of enjoyment and the opportunity to do some reflection in the mirror of life with this multi-hued moving music. Phil Walton challenges your imagination through his lyrics and music. He is a true poet and sage of our time. There are many ways to deliver a message and music can be the best medium of all, then it suddenly becomes clear after hearing this music you find yet another Reason To Live."
- Keith 'MuzikMan' Hannaleck


The Englishman Phil Walton studied music at the “Sheffield University”, alongside John Hackett (Steve’s brother). Apart from his background in classical music, Phil also shows a lot of interest in the more popular music styles. His influences include The Beatles, Steely Dan,The Beach Boys, Fleetwood Mac, Frank Zappa, The Kinks, Yes, Genesis and Led Zeppelin, to more modern bands like Oasis, Talking Heads, Shania Twain and Stereophonics, to name but a few. His debut album “Reason To Live” marks a new start for Phil Walton, after cutting his teeth for 25 years as an active musician. He played in the Ulster orchestra for 22 years, and worked as a composer, a soloist, a director (BBC TV and radio), but also as a teacher and a writer of poetry. Combining all these interests, he has come up with a record, consisting of 12 songs, and ranging from pop, rock and jazz to classical and modern music. The idea was to record his compositions, and then attract some fine vocal talent. But after some time, Phil’s own voice became such an integral part of the songs, that he never signed a vocalist, and kept his own recordings. This way, Phil Walton came up with a real solo project, where he not only played all the instruments and vocals, but he also took care of the production, mixing and mastering.

The final product has become a fresh, inspiring album, with a very nice sound. Sensitive songs with a spread-out organ sound, a steady rhythm section and good guitar lines at the right moment are typical for this record. Especially Phil’s voice gives this album it’s character, reminding me a lot of Jim Morrison from The Doors. He sings about relationships, affairs, displeasure, and pain and suffering as a possible result of falling in love.

“Reason To Live” from Phil Walton is a gratifying album to listen to, while relaxing in your favourite chair. It has plenty of memorable moments, to which you’ll be coming back often. The record can be ordered from his website for £6,99 plus shipping.

- Prog-Nose (www.prog-nose.org)


Having worked as a professional orchestral musician for many years, Phil Walton has taken a new direction with this 2006 album. Reason To Live is an interesting collection of carefully composed songs that is genuinely difficult to categorize.

Phil himself has described the album as "alternative-progressive pop-rock" and this is pretty close to the mark. There is a very wide range of styles, with touches of seventies progressive rock and pop, jazz, and even something that sounds like early Simple Minds on one track!

One constant throughout is Walton's voice, which is unique. Haunting, emotional and very English-sounding, there are echoes of Robert Wyatt and Ian Curtis here. The lyrical content involves rather dark takes on themes such as broken relationships and the passing of time, but the album finishes on an uplifting positive note with the title track.

The album was originally created as a showcase to attract interest from potential singers and to these ears it does sound more like a very good demo, rather than a finished album as such. Several songs (such as the excellent "Sail Away" for example) are a bit scrappy in the rhythm department and general production. Although full credit is of course due to Phil for playing, producing and mixing everything (guitars, keyboards, programming) himself, a full band or a more professional production could showcase his considerable talents better. - www.progressiveears.com


Discography

Album 'Reason to live' on Blaristrax label.

Album is for sale at CD Baby http://cdbaby.com/cd/philwalton

and on my website.

Downloads can be purchased at iTunes:
http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?playListId=152546210
and MusicFreedom:
http://www.musicfreedom.com/phil_walton

Tracks can be heard at www.blaristrax.com, and also at http://www.myspace.com/philwal

The album has been requested by the following Radio stations so far:

Radio Lu Luxembourg
Neoreal Media Tennessee USA
KCLC FM Missouri USA
Radio Terra Nova Portugal
WCLH 90.7 FM Pennsylvania USA
DBC Radio TV Switzerland
RUA FM Portugal
Musicatotal Radio Portugal
ILR Television and Radio Australia
SKYLIGHT Greece
Radio Unerhört Marburg Germany
Radio Logan Inc 101FM Australia
JAZZ RADIO fm Poland
Radio RheinWelle 92,5 Germany
The Music Korner Pennsylvania USA
KWEB-FM California USA
Minsk Belarus

Photos

Bio

So he's 50 years of age. Two years ago Phil Walton decided to turn his hand to rock music. He has always liked popular music, though he has spent his life in the classical music world. For more than 25 years he has been an orchestral musician, has conducted and composed.

Why, after all this, has he turned to rock music? The answer is - communication. Always looking for ways to express himself, he has combined his composing and interest in poetry to produce an album which continually searches, adapting many styles yet finding its own style. ... Phil does not compromise, and he is not concerned with music which has instant appeal, but with music which might last. As Keith Hannaleck says, ‘I am willing to bet if you hear this CD the first time you will begin to think how different it is yet appealing, something that could continually grow on you, that is how it worked for me.’

His debut album "Reason to live" 'is a gratifying album to listen to, while relaxing in your favourite chair. It has plenty of memorable moments, to which you’ll be coming back often.' (Prog-Nose Review) It was produced to showcase his songs, yet many have responded favourably to his voice ... 'The final product has become a fresh, inspiring album, with a very nice sound... Especially Phil’s voice gives this album it’s character, reminding me a lot of Jim Morrison from The Doors.' (Prog-Nose)

Phil created the entire album at home, often staying up well into the early hours, so he could work uninterrupted on the vocals. It is a solo album in the full sense of the word, in which everything (including mixing and mastering) was done at his computer, layer upon layer, track by track, until he was ready to send the CD for printing. Even the CD cover and booklet were essentially his own, though they received the necessary polish at the production house.

Phil could be described as an outsider. His album does not attempt to fit in though it deserves an audience. He is prepared to take risks and he does not take his listener for granted. He has been described as a "true poet and sage of our time", and his music as "music for thinking ones by the one who thinks".

While he is at the beginning of this new stage in his life, it may not be a coincidence that he shares the same school background with two popular musicians who started when they were young: Sting and Neil Tennant (Pet Shop Boys).

A new album is well on the way, and Phil hopes to be releasing it by the end of the year.