Utah Phillips

Notes to "Good Though"


This is a re-make of a page compiled and presented by Hidden Water. Luke Baldwin wrote the Album Liner Notes and really underscored an important point. Bruce works hard to make Utah work.
Utah Philips & Rosalie Sorrels will be appearing throughout The Kate Wolf Memorial Music Festival June 14th & 15th! As Phillips calls her, Faith Petric, "The Earth-Mother of West Coast Folk" will M.C. Saturday.. "The Golden Voice of The Great Southwest", U. Utah Phillips will M.C. on Sunday...

Luke Baldwin's "Good Though" Notes...

Utah Phillips? Bruce Phillips?
I guess Utah is the best known of the two, the first one I met, the only one people really talk about.
He first showed up in the East a few years ago, wearing buckskin pants, raising hell, and flipping knives around with a reckless abandon that scared a few people pretty good, but never seemed to lose him any friends.

He's the guy who for the last years has lied and punned his way through a neverending string of folk festivals, coffeehouses and bars. But Bruce is the man who writes the songs.
Utah drinks the whiskey. Bruce has the ulcer.
It is Bruce Phillips who has done the real bumming, organizing, gandy dancing and dish washing. But it is Utah's great sense of romanticism that turns hard times into good ole days, that lets a man laugh at himself, that turns a freezing-ass-cold boxcar rattling through Wyoming into an air-conditioned, streamlined express cruising through majestic mountains.
Utah Phillips -- very real at times -- once in a while an actor submerged in the leading role of a seemingly endless melodrama in the imagination of Bruce Phillips. Two different characters, merging at the point where it is as necessary to be as heroes as it is easy to be absurd.
Fun though.
Utah is a train nut. He can name more railroad lines than most of us have heard of, tell you how to shake hands with the oiler, or how to get on a moving boxcar without busting your guitar.
Trains, buckskin, hobos, whiskey, unions, wild women and good times -- that's what this record is about.
Listen to the songs and enjoy them; but most important, learn them so you can sing them yourself.
The steam locomotives gone, and the railroad is more and more a nostalgic reminiscence. Yet, in the great American tradition of "old Blue," as long as your dog died, you might as well have a good time singing about it.
Luke Baldwin



This page is a start of some more stories I'll get down about Bruce and Utah...
Luke did a fine job with this a number of years ago... There's not much more to add to his telling of this part...
There's a couple references to Luke back in some stories about Saratoga Springs, out of the Freestone!
front page. More stories about Bruce, Utah and Luke will show up around these pages sooner or later.

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