Phil Heywood | Rollin' On

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United States - Minnesota

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Folk: Fingerstyle Blues: Finger-Picked Guitar Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Rollin' On

by Phil Heywood

An acoustic guitarist/singer with tons of tone, lyricism and groove; this CD shows why Heywood has been a performing partner of choice for such fingerpicking greats as Leo Kottke and Tim Sparks; rootsy and modern at the same time.
Genre: Folk: Fingerstyle
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Vermilion
3:58 $0.99
2. Cincinnati Flow Rag
3:36 $0.99
3. Rollin' On
4:53 $0.99
4. When the Sun Goes Down
3:22 $0.99
5. Things We Said Today
4:13 $0.99
6. Wayside / Back in Time
3:32 $0.99
7. Crisis
2:49 $0.99
8. No Woman No Cry
3:11 $0.99
9. So Jah Seh
3:09 $0.99
10. We Shall Overcome
4:19 $0.99
11. Tomato Truck
2:40 $0.99
12. Last Steam Engine Train / Deep River Blues / Sixteen Tons
5:11 $0.99
13. One Too Many Mornings
3:20 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Phil Heywood plays fingerstyle guitar with a bluesy swing and a bucketful of whatever it takes to turn an instrumental piece into an arresting lyrical narrative. His lucid playing encompasses the down-home rhythmic groove of a Mississippi John Hurt or Big Bill Broonzy, and the sheer fluidity and melodic flair of such contemporaries as Leo Kottke or Mark Knopfler. The internationally renowned Kottke, in fact, once handpicked Heywood to tour and perform duets with him. A soul-satisfying instrumentalist, Phil draws listeners in with his voice as well, singing in a warm, plainspoken baritone that blends smoothly with his rock-solid guitar work.

Heywood has been based in Minneapolis-St. Paul since the mid-1980s, performing locally and regionally while also establishing himself in the greater guitar and acoustic music world. In 1986 he won the National Fingerpicking Championship, and followed up a year later by winning the American Fingerstyle Guitar Festival Competition. Phil has played on NPR's A Prairie Home Companion with guitar legend Chet Atkins, performed with fellow acoustic guitar luminaries Peter Lang, Pat Donohue, Tim Sparks, and Dakota Dave Hull, and opened shows for such artists as Norman Blake, Greg Brown, John Renbourn, Chris Smither, and John Hammond. Rollin' On is his sixth solo CD.

"Phil Heywood, 1986's National Fingerpicking Champion, may be the Midwest's best-kept secret. He rarely tours, but area guitarists hold him in high esteem for his strong musicality and easy-going personality. His powerful guitar sound features crystal-clear melody and harmony lines above subtly driving bass lines..." Gary Joyner, Acoustic Guitar magazine

"He is perhaps unique among contemporary players in the way he melds the straightforward yet sophisticated sensibility and technique of the country blues guitarists with a virtuosic attention to tone, dynamics, and textural density. The remarkable and unmistakable Heywood command of the instrument and uncommon level of taste and musical intensity are evident throughout the album." Guitarist, a publication of the Minnesota Guitar Society

"Excellent picking that never sacrifices the integrity of the melodies to the artist’s ego." Music Reviews Quarterly



to write a review

Mark Ambroe

Rollin' On: Another Heywood masterpiece
If you're not aware of Phil's well-deserved place in the pantheon of acoustic fingerstyle guitar, I wouldn't fault you. He doesn't talk about it much verbally, preferring rather to let his music do to the talking. Only a brief listening is required however to realize that he is truly cut from the same block as the greats he has shared the stage with: Leo Kottke, Chet Atkins, Jorma Kaukonen, Peter Lang, Tim Sparks, Spider John Koerner, to name but a few. Numerous appearances on "A Prairie Home Companion", packed audiences at Minneapolis' Cedar Cultural Center, and multiple National Fingerpicking Championships all attest to his enduring respect and appeal among both casual and serious listeners alike.

After listening to the new album a lot over the last week, I'm just as amazed and inspired as I when I first stumbled into Phil's music at the New Riverside Cafe back in 1992. It's a simultaneously exotic-yet-accesible, traditional-yet-current expression of sheer beauty. There's creative, genre-busting originality mixed with rock-solid cover arrangements of works both familiar and unexpected. Inexplicably, this unique collection of new songs puts a bounce in my step and makes me deeply reflective at the same time! What else in the world does that?! Not much... Anyway, this is powerful stuff, and it will simply make you happy to be alive. If I sound like a drug dealer or evangelist, well guilty as charged, but when you find something this good, you (or at least I) can't help but spread the Good News about it.