Concert Review Local Music

Show Review: Local Band Local Beer – Phil Cook & His Feat w/ SumnerJames

Phil Cook & His Feat

Two side projects shone bright on Thursday at Tir Na Nog, as Phil Cook and James Phillips shed their usual full-time bands for a more stripped down and intimate performance for the weekly Local Band Local Beer.  James Phillips (of Bombadil) made his first solo outing with the help of Elyse Thebner (Some Army, JKutchma & The Five Fifths) to fully flesh out his minimalistic electronic act inspired by his stay in Oregon earlier this year.

A far cry from his work in the quirky folk act of Bombadil, Phillips’ set up consisted of a laptop from which to blast beats and an array of synths to produce the dense soundscape that sets the somber yet hopeful tone of his solo work.  Joined by fellow local musicians like Stuart and Daniel of Bombadil and Christy Smith of The Tender Fruit, Sumner James transitioned surprisingly well for a debut live act.  Closing with the album’s lead-off single of, “Home”, James was borderline shouting his heart out on “Losing his mind” in the state of Oregon.  These tunes can be just as therapeutic to the listener as it evidently was for Phillips, much like the deep emotion and soul poured into the mostly instrumental tunes of Phil Cook.

Phil Cook is usually just accompanied by his feet on percussion, but with the addition of Yan Westerlund (brother of Megafaun drummer Joe Westerlund and regular drummer for Bowerbirds) on drums, the fans at Tir Na Nog were treated to a tight and blues driven performance from a vastly underrated local act.  In a mostly electric set, Phil Cook jammed out on open tunings that were oozing with emotion, notes were being bent to his will and captivating concert goers to move and shake like an old revival show.  From instrumental blues jams to a rootsy lullaby sung for his young son, Phil Cook displayed his breadth of talent with dobro jams and a strong sense of musical connectivity with Yan who provided simplistic yet driving rhythms for songs he was mostly unfamiliar with.  For a low key show from local side projects, these two acts displayed vast amounts of talent and promise, making for a fantastic way to spend a Thursday evening.