All Over The Place: The Return of Glen Phillips

The front man for ‘90s band Toad The Wet Sprocket brings his solo show to Garwood this Sunday.

[There is a Spotify playlist featuring the music of Glen Phillips and Toad The Wet Sprocket here.]

Toad The Wet Sprocket leader Glen Phillips returns to the area to play a solo show at The Crossroads in Garwood this Sunday at 6 p.m. His most recent appearance was with Toad at the Union County MusicFest last September.

Phillips is excited about playing the show. “I have a great time doing the solo shows. It’s been great to be in a rock band and get to deal with that energy with Toad. But I love doing something that’s more intimate. Since I don’t have to stick to a set list, it can go where it needs to go,” stated Phillips.

Phillips is touring to support a solo album he released last month titled Coyote Sessions. He considers it to be an experimental record.

“I wanted to do a really quick, really open record. I enjoy capturing the moment. It was recorded on one stereo mic. Not a lot of records sound like that anymore. If someone was too loud, I would ask them to move back a couple of feet. Musicians really have to show up and concentrate in a different way. You have to make it happen right then. You can’t change anything later,” said Phillips.

Phillips also had other reasons for recording a solo album. “I suffered some nerve damage in my left hand four years ago. I’m slowly getting my confidence back on the guitar. The idea of doing a completely live record was a challenge. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to play guitar well enough to pull off a recording like that again. I’ve had to relearn.”

Phillips is very appreciative of his current situation. “As a solo artist, I have no label. I have a booking agent and that’s it. The fact that I can feed my family as an indie artist with that little support I owe entirely to the fact that I was on a major label in the ‘90s.”

In the meantime, Toad The Wet Sprocket remains active, having reformed in 2006. (The band had previously broken up in 1998.) They are doing some touring and are going into the studio at the end of this year.

“We have the will to make a new record at this point. There was a period where not all of the hatchets had been buried. I think we were finally able to do that and feel like we were on a team together. I don’t think we’ve had that since we broke up. We hadn’t even had that for a while before we broke up. Once we got that back, it actually felt possible. We finally realized we need to set studio dates to make it happen,” said Phillips.

In the meantime, the band can survive on touring revenue.

Said Phillips, “We’ve been able to make a living touring as a band. We feel really lucky for that. To be able to bring some new music into that is gonna be great. I don’t know if there’s some huge resurgence for us. We weren’t an insignificant band of the era, but we weren’t top of the pops either. There are lot of other bands who sold a whole lot more records than we did.  We were lucky to have had a certain amount of radio success.”

Glen Phillips is appearing at The Crossroads in Garwood on Sunday, October 7. The show begins at 6 p.m. with Steevan Mars opening. Tickets are $20.

Toad The Wet Sprocket is appearing at the Landis Theater in Vineland on Friday, October 12 at 8 p.m. with Jonathan Kingham opening. Tickets are $32-$50.

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