The American folk, blues and rock ‘n’ roll music of the sixties. “What inspired me then to make music myself, was the guitar-songwriters who captured the spirit of their time and expressed it on the basis of folk and blues.” Starting from there, Michael Phillips, over the years, has disclosed an own form of musical expression for himself, which combines elements of various musical styles in an independent way. His music, today, also betrays quite a weakness for rock’n’roll as well as for classical music forms (instrumentals).
Michael has never swum with the tide, when it comes to concessions to short-lived vogues and trends in music. In his uncompromisingly off-mainstream songs of love and “world review” that more than once feature a biting bitterness, sometimes even irony and scorn, he sheds a critical light upon the multi-facetted aspects of human existence, mirroring himself, as an individual, in his environment. In most cases the needs, desires and anxieties described are contrasted with the skin-deepness and alienation in a fast-living world which is bent on buying and consuming, and ruled by status-seeking, mindlessness and hypocrisy. Written with great care – often with a roguish and self-ironical wink as the artist’s loophole – his lyrics lay proof of a keen poetic wit and a fervent love of – the American – language. His songs are hardly ever mere descriptions of atmospheres, moods, or emotional states: they are devoted to some specific subject and have a story, with a beginning and an ending. This being so, the listener cannot resist the impression that it is the passionate search for truth and the striving for artistic authenticity what his songs are all about.
Following the folk tradition, he is self-taught, exclusively playing by ear.