10 p.m. to Midnight Host: Steve Winters
“The Golden Voice of the Great Southwest” is now silent, succumbing to congestive heart failure on May 23 at 73 in Nevada City, Calif., his home for the past 21 years.
Bruce Phillips wore so many labels well: itinerant folksinger, storyteller par excellence, social activist, labor historian, railroad tramp, hobo, peace activist, anarchist and iconoclast, Wobbly, human being extraordinaire, a man of the people. In terms of his artistry, songwriting and storytelling, he was a polished, consummate performer who enjoyed a 38-year career and exerted a strong influence on the folk music community. His last appearance here in Connecticut was in March 2007 at the Sounding Board in West Hartford, where he played to a standing-room-only house with many people turned away.
Rather than borrowing from all his recorded works for this program, I relied heavily on his 4-CD set, Starlight On The Rails: A Songbook (AK Press/Daemon Records) because of his spoken introductions to the songs, which illuminate the music and the man. In a few weeks, we’ll present another show devoted to Phillips’ music as offered by other performers.
I could write reams about the man, but others have done it so well. See www.utahphillips.org
The “Uter” used to say at his concerts, “I don’t need fame and I don’t need power and I don’t need wealth. I’m in need of friends, which I have found in abundance.” He certainly did.