Grant-Lee Phillips

Infobox musical artist |
Name = Grant-Lee Phillips

Img_capt =
Img_size = 180px
Background = solo_singer
Origin = California, USA
Genre = Rock, Alternative rock, Folk, Pop, Americana, Indie
Instrument = vocals, Acoustic guitar, Electric guitar, Bass, Banjo, Mandolin, Harmonica, drums, Piano, Synthesizer
Years_active = 2000–present
Label = Rounder Records
Associated_acts = Shiva Burlesque, Grant Lee Buffalo, Robyn Hitchcock, REM
URL = []

Grant-Lee Phillips is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist known for his versatile voice, intense lyrical narratives and dexterity on the acoustic twelve-string guitar, a style that often sees him compared to Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan.


Born on September 1, 1963 in Stockton, California, Phillips began playing the guitar in his early teens and persevered throughout high school. At age 19 he moved to Los Angeles where he worked tarring roofs to fund evening classes at UCLA and the possibility of forming a band at weekends. He eventually dropped out of college and linked up with an old friend from Stockton named Jeffery Clark. Together they formed Shiva Burlesque and released two lauded LPs "Shiva Burlesque" (Nate Starkman & Son; 1987) and "Mercury Blues" (Fundamental; 1990) which due to a failure to fit with LA's glam metal scene of the late 1980s did not make any commercial impact. Phillips and Clark disbanded shortly afterwards which duly meant the end of the band.

Grant Lee Buffalo

Following a handful of solo shows at clubs around Hollywood, Phillips recruited ex-Shiva members Joey Peters (drums) and Paul Kimble (bass) for rehearsals as Grant Lee Buffalo in mid-1991. Phillips was now writing lyrics as well as music and the trio quickly built up a local following, selling out clubs on the strength of Phillips's intense performance. His political storytelling was delivered in a recently discovered voice: both a soaring falsetto and a nourishing drawl that matched his aggressive acoustic guitar stomp and pouting physicality. One song, "Fuzzy", was released on Bob Mould's Singles Only Label in 1992 to huge critical acclaim and lead to Grant Lee Buffalo being signed to Slash Records. The debut LP, also called "Fuzzy", was released a year later, upon which Michael Stipe of R.E.M. declared it "the best album of the year hands down".

A further three Grant Lee Buffalo albums followed. "Mighty Joe Moon" (1994), "Copperopolis" (1996), and "Jubilee" (1998) were all quite different and highly accomplished. A live performance of "Mighty Joe Moon"'s title track is available online from the South by Southwest festival. [ [ Grant-Lee Phillips: Might Joe Moon] , "Blender" Online, retrieved on March 16, 2007.] Though all were heavily promoted through concert touring, they never escaped cult status largely thanks to a lack of support from the Warner Bros label and a frustrated Phillips disbanded the band in early 1999.

Solo career

Phillips immediately signed to the Boston-based indie label Rounder Records and launched a solo career, issuing the intimate "Ladies Love Oracle" over the Internet in 2000. The recording was later more widely released. His first full-length LP, "Mobilize", was released to enormous critical acclaim in 2001. Being praised as much for its gentleness as much as Buffalo were for their rock, it featured Phillips's talents on many instruments, including both dreamy pop and dark but comforting ballads. Touring followed with sets containing solo and Buffalo material in equal measure.

In 2004 "Virginia Creeper" arrived and with it a more folky, almost-country record noted for the complete absence of the electric guitar. In 2006 Phillips released another acoustic album, "Nineteeneighties". An ambitious set of cover versions, it featured songs from the Pixies, New Order, Robyn Hitchcock, R.E.M., The Church, and Echo & the Bunnymen. A new record of his own material, "Strangelet", was released on March 27, 2007.


* In 1995 he was voted best male vocalist by "Rolling Stone" magazine.

* Grant often collaborates with producer/musician Jon Brion as well as Rickie Lee Jones. He is currently writing with former Jayhawks frontman Gary Louris.

* He can be found at the LA club Largo performing sporadically throughout the year.

* He played a recurring minor character as the town troubadour on the television series "Gilmore Girls". Solo songs featured on the show include "Beautiful Dreamers", "Heavenly", "Lily A Passion", "Mona Lisa", "Sadness Soot", "Smile", "Spring Released", and "Sunday Best". Grant Lee Buffalo songs featured on the show include "Everybody Needs A Little Sanctuary", "Honey Don't Think", "It's the Life", "Mockingbirds", and "Truly, Truly". [ [ Gilmore Girls Music] , retrieved on December 03, 2007.]

* He sings "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" with Aimee Mann on her Christmas album "One More Drifter in the Snow". He was also part of her 2006 tour for that album.

* Grant-Lee Phillips is of Native American descent and a registered member of the Creek Nations.


External links

* [ Official website]
* [ Grant-Lee Phillips on]
* [ Grant Lee Phillips Forum]
* [ review of "Nineteeneighties"]
* [ Being There review of "Nineteeneighties"]
* [ Grant Lee Phillips Group on]


* [ Grant-Lee Phillips: Might Joe Moon] , "Blender" Online, retrieved on March 16, 2007.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Grant-Lee Phillips — (* 1. September 1963 in Stockton, Kalifornien) ist ein US amerikanischer Musiker. Er ist vor allem bekannt geworden als Sänger, Gitarrist und Songschreiber der Band Grant Lee Buffalo (1992–1999). Leben Grant Lee Phillips wurde 1963 im… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Grant-Lee Phillips — en novembre 2009 Naissance 1 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Grant Lee Phillips — (* 1. September 1963 in Stockton, Kalifornien) ist ein US amerikanischer Musiker. Er ist vor allem bekannt geworden als Sänger, Gitarrist und Songschreiber der Band Grant Lee Buffalo (1992–1999). Die Band feierte ihren Erfolg durch das im Jahr… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mobilize (Grant-Lee Phillips album) — Mobilize Studio album by Grant Lee Phillips Released July 24, 2001 Genre Indie rock, folk Label …   Wikipedia

  • Grant Lee Buffalo — was a rock band based in Los Angeles, California, consisting of Grant Lee Phillips (vocals and guitar), Paul Kimble (bass) and Joey Peters (drums). All three were previously members of another Los Angeles band, Shiva Burlesque. As Grant Lee… …   Wikipedia

  • Grant Lee Buffalo — war eine Rockband aus Los Angeles. Sie bestand aus Grant Lee Phillips (Gesang und Gitarre), Paul Kimble (E Bass) und Joey Peters (Schlagzeug). Alle drei waren zuvor Mitglieder einer anderen Band aus Los Angeles, Shiva Burlesque. Als GLB… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Grant Lee Buffalo — est un groupe de musique qui s est formé en 1991 à Los Angeles, avec comme chanteur et leader Grant Lee Phillips. Les deux autres membres du trio étaient Paul Kimble à la basse et Joey Peters à la batterie. Ces trois musiciens faisaient… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Grant Lee Buffalo — es una banda de rock creada en Los Ángeles Contenido 1 Historia 2 Miembros 3 Discografía 4 Enlaces externos …   Wikipedia Español

  • Phillips (Familienname) — Phillips ist ein englischer Familienname. Herkunft und Bedeutung Es ist ein patronymischer Name, der sich vom Vornamen Philip ableitet Varianten niederländisch: Philips deutsch: Philipps Bekannte Namensträger Inhaltsverzeichnis A B C …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lee Phillip Bell — is a former talk show host and soap opera creator. Lee Phillip Bell is one of the most notable graduates from what is now known as Riverside Brookfield High School in Riverside, Illinois. Ms. Bell received a degree in microbiology from… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.