Over the last 30 years, Sam Phillips has had one of the more unusual and varied careers in what can broadly be called pop music. Her first success came in the early ’80s via contemporary Christian music, under the name Leslie Phillips; she was, regrettably, marketed as “the Christian Cyndi Lauper.” Flash forward to 2013, and the alternative Lauper-less sounding artist is self-issuing Push Any Button, her first physical release of new material in seven years. It’s not a radical change in style, but it’s livelier and more fun than anything she’s done since her Virgin era. Many of the 10 songs contain hints of that intersection of rockabilly and country that the other Sam Phillips made his name with, and some include almost countrypolitan string arrangements. Phillips will be guest editing on magnetmagazine.com all this week. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that her prose and reflections are just as interesting and evocative as her songwriting. Read our bran new feature on her.
Phillips: This LP from Excello Records has some of my favorite songs by Slim. I love “King Bee,” “I Got Love If You Want It” and “What A Dream.” I don’t use any kind of drugs to get to an ecstatic place of feeling. I have found that art, love, music and the beauty of the world get me there … maybe a bit more slowly, but I get there. I bring this up because when I was distraught about some things in my life a few years back, I would listen to Slim Harpo over and over again, and he helped kill the pain. Sometimes I would listen to him while watching footage from space on the NASA channel; sometimes I would just walk around listening to him and looking at the beautiful, crazy world.
Video after the jump.