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Nashville Recordings Vol​.​1

by E.G. Phillips

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They'll try and cram platitudes in a man Just jam 'em in — he's a tuna can Like "There are many fish in the sea" and "God has touched each grain of sand” Well, it sounds to me like someone has Too much time on His hands And I don't want to have to spend All my life as a fisherman If I catch a fish, should I Draw her from her waters? Watch her flop about my deck Before I cut and gut her? Cook her up in olive oil and Serve her up for supper? And once I have consumed her, I Should have to catch another? Then soon the seas shall be empty For all men will go fishing Until appetites are satisfied and That's just wishful thinking They're polluting all our rivers with their Lines and constant angling They'll cast a net around the world That’s as choking as entangling If you feed a man a fish, you’ll Fill his belly for a night — but if you Teach a man to fish, he’s Famished but he's occupied I’m so sick of baiting hooks with Fancy lures and worms and flies, I’d Rather sail on aimless-like and Hope that fish fall from the sky ​ Perhaps I ought to dry my skin 'Til it flakes and scales Shed my forelimbs for some fins and Spin myself a tail Hold my breath till I develop gills or the Blowhole of a whale Then I can make some plans to Join all those fish in the sea If they'll have me
​I tend to forget You Are Not Her – it’s an easy mistake to make You look and act enough alike, But when you draped your arms over my shoulders As we parted last night The shock of remembering threw me for a I must have looked like I had just been Accused of murder I tend to forget You Are Not Her – you don’t have the memories That she and I have shared That bizarre hayride with those rowdy Christian boys – They had us both terrified Or that one night when we nuzzled on her bed A stray phone call kept it from Going any further It’s become so much harder to give my heart away, and Although they become fewer with every passing day The temptation is to always put it off until the next tomorrow I tend to forget You Are Not Her – it’s not that I’m suffering From that mental disorder Which causes someone to think that all their loved ones Dm G Have been replaced by imposters Sometimes I think I’m damaged far beyond repair But it may just be I’m a Pathetically slow learner
When I was all of three years old I saw a cardinal in our back yard I watched through the window When it flew away I cried so hard: Mama, Make The Red Bird Come Back Mama, Make The Red Bird Come Back Mama, Make The Red Bird Come Back Mama, Make The Red Bird Come Back Neighborhood boys once discovered A dead cardinal in the gutter They made me cut off its head And pluck out all its feathers Mama, Make The Red Bird Come Back Mama, Make The Red Bird Come Back Mama, Make The Red Bird Come Back Mama, Make The Red Bird Come Back Mama can’t make that red bird come back Nobody can You’ll just have to be patient and hope It flies this way again I saw Beth at her least confident And I’ve seen her at her best And though she'd never believe me They were one and the same and I felt blest ​ Mama, Make The Red Bird Come Back Your mama can’t make it do that But I want that red bird back Mamas don’t make red birds come back
Oh my dear, your are so tired And in need of rest Oh my dear, it's time to sail on back Sail back to where they love you best Whenever I run into Etsu, I feel like Persona Non Grata Maybe it’s time I took Another trip down through Baja Buy myself a hand made guitar as I pass through Ensenada Drive through all that desert, Surrounded by a whole lot of nada I still have that Tupperware container Filled with Mari’s menagerie of sands That she had collected From all the beaches where we stopped and camped Oh but these days I only burn I never tan So maybe it’s not really The best of plans Such a simple girl — she’s the only one That ever really got this poor duffer When I broke it off with her, She knew how much I’d suffer I miss her company I miss her as a lover I keep trying to find her again In one form or another ​ Oh my dear, you are so tired And you are in distress Of my dear, it’s time to fly on back Fly back to where they love you best


The notion of a songwriter recording in Nashville is of course a bit cliche and the fact this album’s title has "Volume 1" appended to it either indicates ambition or just cheekiness. The main purpose of the album was to make sure there were some definitive versions of these songs committed, or perhaps, consigned, to that vast digital cloud.

Nashville Recordings Vol. 1 was actually recorded in East Nashville (sadly recently hit by tornados), which is appropriate because Phillips considers himself "Nashville adjacent" at best (or worst, depending on your point of view) — tolerated by, perhaps even vaguely amusing the locals when he's passed through that way with his "troubadour crooner" stylings

Phillips has a particular fondness for these tunes and other artists have performed them at EGPhest, a little shindig he's put together over the past few years where he invites folks from the local music scene in San Francisco to come perform one of his songs for the occasion of his birthday.

“The Fish Song” of course has already appeared on the full album “Fish from the Sky” but we get a more county-tinged version here to open up the whole affair. The lyrics covers a wide variety of topics — gastronomy, ecology, theology… ichthyology — but mostly it is about advice — the sort of advice someone who senses you need help in the romance department feels compelled to impart upon you, even though it is neither wholly original nor all that helpful. This is Phillips' response to said advice. It is admittedly a rather Swiftian diatribe (Jonathan, not Taylor) so it may not be for the faint of heart.

Three additional songs round out the EP. “You Are Not Her” deals with deja vu but not of a place or experience, but of a person. “Mama Make the Red Bird Come Back” concerns one of those stories your parents like to tell about your childhood at inopportune occasions ad nauseam. “Lullaby for the Unloved” is a somewhat, shall we say, “untraditional” lullaby — a lullaby that wraps what starts as a daydream of a road trip and then proceeds to traipse darkly through subsequent reminiscences. These are songs that are deeply personal and self-reflective that don't ever becoming maudlin. There are bits of self-deprecation sprinkled amongst earnest quests for succor and surcease of sorrow, all buoyed by friendly indie-folk type musical arrangements.


released September 4, 2020

Produced by Kenny Schick (who handles the majority of the instrumentation) of Basement 3 Productions , this humble volume features contributions from Amberly Rosen on violin and Sabiné Heusler-Schick (Artemesia Black) on backing vocals.


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E.G. Phillips San Francisco, California

E.G. Phillips is a San Francisco based songwriter who creates lyric driven songs with his own special blend of whimsy and cinematic imagery which he uses to give a wry take on dealing with the longings of the heart and the madness of existence.

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