Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Musical troubadours wander into Kenai for acoustic show

Redoubt Reporter
Staff report

Three wandering troubadours will alight in Kenai on Saturday.

Easton Stagger Phillips, the acoustic trio of songwriters Tim Easton, of Joshua Tree, Calif., Leeroy Stagger, of Victoria, Canada, and Evan Phillips, of Anchorage, have become companions on their musical journeys.

They discovered kindred spirits and developed respect for each other’s music. In January 2008, Easton and Stagger joined Phillips’ band, the Whipsaws, on its Alaska CD release tour. While on the road, they began to collaborate.

They found themselves in a Girdwood cabin, and spent the duration of a winter storm recording tracks for an album. In March 2008 they reconvened in Joshua Tree to finish the album, adding violin and highlights of organ bass pedals on some of the songs. With that, “One for the Ditch” was born and the trio began a performance tour.

“This is a natural fit,” Easton has said. “We travel well as a trio and we are not afraid to push each other to do better work. There’s a ton of songwriters out rambling about, and I feel lucky to have crossed paths with these two.”

“We keep each other together and in check, which makes it a very easy and fulfilling band to be in,” Stagger said.

“We are also big fans of each other so that helps,” Phillips added.

Rolling Stone magazine called Easton “a storyteller through and through, but he’s also a student of classic pop songcraft willing to interrupt a weighty narrative with an undeniable hook.”

Pop Matters has said “there’s a sincerity and warmth to Stagger’s music, serving up an interesting contrast of gutter poetry and pop sense, proving further that Leeroy Stagger is one of Canada’s emerging talents.”

On Saturday, Easton and Stagger will play at 7 and 9 p.m. at the Old Town Playhouse in Kenai. Admission is $10 for each show. For more information, on the band, visit http://www.myspace.com/eastonstaggerphillips.

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