Our newest Big Country Artist Of The Month won’t be found burning down honky tonks or tearing up music row. He doesn't have an album to promote, hell, he doesn’t even have a Myspace page. No, this month's artist is Philip Smith, and this month's entry is the most personal I’ve shared on this site.
Phil and I grew up together in Eastern Kentucky. We played on baseball teams together, shared a college dorm room together, even learned to play guitar together (though, admittedly, I played to impress girls while Phil played for love of music… which, apparently, is far MORE impressive to girls). Ever since, whether it was picking around a campfire, performing in my backyard or appearing in my short films, hearing Phil sing instantly brings me back home. For these reasons, I knew I could not produce Big Country Blues without Phil being a vital part of it.
Credited as a music consultant, Phil helped to craft, co-write, and "countrify" the original Big Country Blues sountrack before submitting to Jeremy for final revisions. He collaborated with us on version after version of songs like “You Don’t Know Me”, “On My Way” and “All For You”, tweaking and turning common chord progressions into authentic, soulful southern ballads. But even more important than Phil's contribution to the BCB soundtrack was his integration into the BCB characters and inspiration for the BCB series itself.
For the 20 odd years I have known him, Phil has been a true blue Kentuckian - hardworking, practical, loyal to his friends, devoted to his family, and bound by his responsibilities. When creating the character of Grayson, I drew upon these values and injected them into Grayson's personality. Strength, courage, passion, loyalty, all these traits that Grayson exhibits on screen stem from a very real and genuine place. Case in point, despite the fact that Phil works tireless hours at a factory job, he still found time to help a friend halfway across the country produce songs for an obscure web project without ever a question or complaint. (pictured left: Brian and Phil, pardon the shirt)
For his integral role in the music and characters of the web series, for his unquestionable talent, unyielding loyalty, for being one of the best friends I’ve ever known, I am thrilled to honor Philip Smith as our Big Country Artist Of The Month. HIIIIII PHIL!!!
Watch Phil in action:
"My Country Home" - Original song performed at Poage Landing
"Ain't No Sunshine" - Cover performed at the 2012 Ross Star Concert
Hear Big Country Blues songs and original tracks by Phil: