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Singer and songwriter Phil Pritchett finds it's not a small world after all

Sept. 18, 1996

Months of anticipation finally end with 'Philworld' debut

By Blake Riordan

Lariat Reporter

Known as the songwriter with a 'Springsteen in cowboy boots mentality,' Phil Pritchett is bringing his quick-witted songwriting and high energy performance ability to Waco.

Pritchett will play Thursday at Scruffy Murphy's.

Coming off the breakup of his Southwestern University band, Romantic Embargo, Pritchett and his new band have created an album entitled 'Philworld' that achieves a harmonious medium between fun sing-along melodies and harder songs with a message.

'This album is very refined,' Pritchett said. 'We set out to make an album that is listener-friendly. We still have a lot of silly, fun songs, but we definitely tried to make the album more well-rounded by creating a few serious songs,' he said.

'Philworld' creates a sing-along mood with songs like the easy-moving 'Luke Skywalker and Indiana Jones' and the fast and upbeat song 'Six on Saturday.'

'Philworld is definitely more song-oriented,' Pritchett said. 'I made an effort to just be a songwriter on this album and just put my lyrics to good music,' he said.

Pritchett said that he is determined to keep his style of music unclassified.

'I'm just a songwriter,' Pritchett said. 'You can call my music pop music or just simply rock 'n'roll. I just don't think that my sound can easily be pinned down and classified.'

Pritchett claims to have been a 'self-taught guitar player' during his high school days, but he said he began to take his playing more seriously during his senior year of college.

'I've been playing and singing all of my life,' Pritchett said. 'I used to listen to the radio and do my best to find the chords on my guitar.'

Pritchett said that his early high school influences ranged from heavy metal great Eddie Van Halen to the Beatles.

'My high school band was completely modeled after the Beatles,' Pritchett said. 'We looked and sounded like the Beatles, and yes, we did wear ties.'

Pritchett also said that he enjoys listening to Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, and Jack Ingram. In addition, he has taken an interest in the bands that play in Austin, where he lives.

'I love to listen to the local bands,' Pritchett said. 'After living here for a while, I know some of the band members, and I like to hear their music. Plus, I can learn from some of the successes and failures of the bands around me,' he said.

Pritchett is well-grounded in his hopes and goals for the future of his band. He understands that he must set both short and long-term goals to achieve success.

'My short and long-term goals are very basic,' Pritchett said. 'For now, I would like to stay independent and not sign a record deal. All I want is to keep playing locally for now and just see where it takes me. If all goes well, the sky's the limit.'

Pritchett's new band makes the addition of his high school friend and drummer, Mark 'Bake' Baker, and bassist Kevin Jecker.

'Mark and Kevin are great for the band,' Pritchett said. 'Mark is colorfully covered in tattoos and body piercings. He stands out a lot because I kind of look like a square. Sometimes I'll be playing a song with country guitar and he'll go nuts on the drums behind me,' he said.

Pritchett said that Jecker is a little less flamboyant, but his experience playing bass in Austin makes him an excellent addition to the band.

'We've been getting along great so far musically and personally,' Pritchett said. 'However, since we teamed up, things have gotten really complicated with the business side of things. We're sticking together and trying to keep our own record label,' he said.

Pritchett is also anxious to return to Scruffy Murphy's and play before a college audience.

'Waco is my favorite place to play outside of Austin,' Pritchett said. 'It's always great to play in front of a smaller crowd after playing in Dallas and Fort Worth. Scruffy's crowds have always been really appreciative, and I always have fun.'

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