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Interview:
Pair of Phillips -- Grant Lee and Glen -- play nice together on the road
 

By GARY GRAFF
for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

Grant Lee Phillips and Glen Phillips aren't related. Or even twin songs of different mothers.

But the two singer, songwriters and band members -- from Grant Lee Buffalo and Toad The Wet Sprocket, respectively -- do share an artistic affinity that's finally made them affable touring partners and on stage collaborators.

"We seem to have a lot in common, which we're finding in our long travels -- although NPR has saved us from completely losing our voices," says Grant Phillips, 49. "We've known each other for several years, and we're having a great time.

"He's got such a great balance of songs that are at one moment introspective, at another moment flat-out hilarious, and what I've taken from that is his immense courage to stand up there and sing the quietest of songs. I've got a lot of material like that, but that's the kind of stuff that scares the hell out of me; it's much easier to step on stage and crank up the volume. But the more we've played together, the more courageous it's made me in terms of investigating those quiet nooks and crannies of my introspective material."

While Glen Phillips is working on a new Toad album for 2013, Grant Phillips has released a new solo album, "Walking in the Green Corn," that he funded through a Pledge Music campaign. But he's also reactivated Grant Lee Buffalo in 2011 after a 13 years apart; the group plans to release a live album from some dates in Europe this year, and Phillips is hoping more shows and maybe even some new music are in the offing.

"That's hard to say, but I think there's potential for that," he notes. "At the moment we've really been focused on going to Europe during the summertime for the festival season. We're not with a label at this point, so whatever we do has to be very stealth and cheap -- most importantly cheap.

"But, I sort of like that, that kind of economy we're imposing on ourselves these days. It turns out to be a lot more enjoyable. It's more like a fruit stand than a corporation at this point, which I thing suits us better."

Grant Lee Phillips and Glen Phillips perform Sunday, Oct. 28, at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call 248-544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.

Web Site: www.themagicbag.com

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