Grant-Lee Phillips is best known as the voice and vision of the critically acclaimed group Grant Lee Buffalo. Soon after the band’s 1993 debut album “Fuzzy” was on the shelves they headed for Europe, it was there that the band had it’s first taste of commercial and critical success. Soon, they found themselves headlining large venues and playing every major festival, touring at a dizzying pace.
At home a strong fan base was forming seeded by some of popular music’s greatest names, and soon these band’s offered Grant Lee Buffalo opening slots on major tours. Grant Lee Buffalo went on the road with REM, Pearl Jam and The Smashing Pumpkins to name just a few. It was this incessant touring that earned Grant-Lee Buffalo a devoted following both in the States and abroad.
Meanwhile, Grant-Lee Phillips’ searching, sometimes political songwriting continues to evolve well after the release of four major albums. The singer-songwriter has always moved restlessly, beginning with the mercurial acoustic-fuzz driven ballads of “Fuzzy,” to the moody cinematic “Mighty Joe Moon” in ‘94 which yielded the classic single “Mockingbirds.” From the diverse orchestral labyrinth of “Copperopolis” in ‘96 to the celebrational swan song of “Jubilee,” which brought with it the widely successful gem “Truly, Truly.”
After being voted best male vocalist of ‘95 by Rolling Stone magazine, he was heralded by fans and critics alike as being both a visionary and one of the most important songwriters of his generation. Known for his sweepingly cinematic forum that are both profoundly insightful and casually poetic his music continues on in this tradition.
In 1999 after many tumultuous changes at Warner Brothers both the band and the company had reached an impasse. Shortly after a long tour of duty in Australia promoting Jubilee word circulated that Phillips would continue on alone, while the fate of Grant Lee Buffalo would remain open. It was during this time that a mutual agreement was found, Warners would not pick up the option if Phillips wanted to go elsewhere and so he packed his bags and looked forward to the future.
Currently, Phillips is busy in Los Angeles playing to rapidly sold out shows at Largo. During these performances he has been showcasing new songs and approaches. His recent material carries the same depth and insight as his previous work but with added vibrancy and a new experimental edge. A bonus to Phillips solo engagements has been the exposure of a deeply human side, a unique, off beat sense of humor and love of spontaneity that might have been lost in the echo of mammoth venues.