Born in London but brought up and educated in Leeds from the early fifties, Steve Phillips has a long and illustrious career. Early influences include of course Elvis, Blind Willie McTell, Blind Blake, Big Bill Broonzy and Lonnie Johnson, the latter proving to become a major influence on Steve. At the age of 13 Steve learnt to play the guitar, he was still into Elvis and would spend much of his time trying to copy the guitar licks of the legendary Scotty Moore.
Following a period of time in the seventies where Steve was fairly disgruntled with the music industry, encouraged by Brendan Croker, it was time for Steve Phillips to record and release his first ever album, which with tongue in cheek, was called ’The Best Of Steve Phillips’. The album won rave reviews and rose to number 18 in the NME independent chart upon its release. To date, the album has become one of the most sought after blues albums for collectors. In 1988 an interview with Steve Aynsley for the magazine ’Now Dig This’ cited Steve Phillips as ’’the greatest exponent of country blues in this country today’’.
A ’sold-out’ national tour in the UK appeared and the album ’Missing .... Presumed having A Good Time’ by ’The Notting Hillbillies’ rose high into the main charts reaching an amazing number 2 position! Steve, Mark and Brendan would share lead vocals and guitars and the interest in Phillips would continue to rise with increasing sales of his debut album and demand from festival and club promoters for him to appear at their venue. After the ’The Notting Hillbillies’ Mark then returned to Dire Straits and Steve and Brendan settled back into their usual role of playing at blues clubs, arts centres and theatres up and down the UK and across Europe. The ’Hillbillies’ publicity was heavily associated with the use of the ’National’ guitar and it is arguable that Phillips is partly responsible for the popularity of the instrument since the early nineties as the band featured his own guitars. It was Phillips’ own National guitar that he eventually sold to Mark that appeared on the album cover of ’Brothers In Arms’.
Steve continues to tour regularly with Brendan Croker and perform as a soloist playing some of the very best in country blues, swing and more. Steve Phillips’ most regular appearance is every Tuesday night (when not touring!) at ’The Grosvenor Hotel’, Robin Hood’s Bay near Whitby, North Yorkshire with his fantastic band, ’The Rough Diamonds’. If ever a band should be booked to entertain the crowds, this is it!
To date, Steve Phillips has now released six albums in his own name plus of course the best selling ’Notting Hillbillies’ album. His most recent release (2005) is simply titled ’SOLO’ and will prove to be another classic amongst fans of this multi-talented ’artist’.
All the above information and more can be found at Steve’s website