There is a buzz about Andy Phillips and deservedly so! His profile has risen quickly to become one of the hardest working and most talked about local Blues artists to come on the local scene this last year. After every show, people blown away by his performance often ask, who is that guy?
Andy Phillips is a largely self taught guitarist from country NZ, who showed a natural talent for music and art from a young age. Isolated on a farm for most of his youth, Phillips found solace in his guitar, playing daily for hours on end. As soon as he could, he headed off in the world to pursue music with a passion. After living in Sydney and London, he moved to Melbourne and without knowing it at the time, settled in among the hotbed of extraordinary international blues talent on the Mornington Peninsula, (Jimi Hocking, Phil Para & Geoff Achison to name a few). Here he was happy and was a regular at local jams and played sessional guitar with various bands. However it was after a trip to Austin, Texas in 2012 that everything changed for him.
During his trip to Texas, Phillips was deeply inspired by the music, soaking up the Texan blues like he had played it his whole life, jamming at legendary venues in Austin such as Maggie Maes, Antones and Friends on 6th St. and ‘blowing the doors off’ at the Austin Blues Club. By great luck and chance, he was invited one night over Halloween to play on a guitar previously owned by his idol Stevie Ray Vaughan and played it with the Alan Haynes band. This sparked his interest once again in the Blues and upon his return to Oz he quickly formed his own band ‘Andy Phillips & The Cadillac Walk ‘ of which he is the front man (singer, songwriter and guitarist).
Phillips is known as a cool, likeable, laid back dude, who can play the hell out of a guitar. To listen to him perform is to be truly transported, if you closed your eyes you can imagine being in an authentic blues bar or juke joint down Southern USA. A typical Cadillac Walk show incorporates traditional deep bourbon soaked blues numbers all the way through to shake it up, rock it out numbers, plus transcending guitar solos and some cool antics such as playing guitar behind his head! His energetic and exciting band Cadillac Walk is now a regular on the festival and gig circuit and you can catch a gig most weekends.
Phillips takes nothing for granted, showing a humility and gratitude for being able to simply play his guitar. He couldn’t care less whether he was jamming with a few friends in the garage, or performing at a large festival, as for him it’s all equally good. Music is his life and he lives and breathes it as every true musician does, he says he has no choice, it is in his blood and he is destined to sing and play guitar for as long as he can. In addition to gigging, Phillips teaches guitar privately to intermediate guitarists wishing to enhance their skills and takes a small group of students at a school in Hastings where he enjoys mentoring young talent. Phillips is currently writing his first original blues album due out later this year. For more information check out www.andyphillipsandthecadillacwalk.com
- Monika Narelle