(LOS ANGELES) Phil Celia just released his latest CD entitled “THE PCB SESSIONS” (2015)
Singer/Songwriter Phil Celia, Los Angeles Music Awards 2014 Americana Artist and Male Vocalist of the Year, recorded his follow-up to 2012’s acclaimed “Circus Town” at EPM Studios in North Hollywood. The new record, “The PCB Sessions” was recorded by Lynne Earls and produced and mixed by long time collaborator, brother Perry Celia, also a band member. The new record features 8 new original songs written by Phil and recorded live in the studio with Phil’s current ensemble, The Phil Celia Band. Influences perhaps include folk favorites Blitzen Trapper, Iron and Wine, or even some of the folksier songs from legends of the past. Lyrics inspired by ordinary experiences, nature, and an adventurous spirit round out Celia’s latest CD “The PCB Sessions” “The PCB Sessions”, a collection of eight new songs recorded in the studio by The Phil Celia Band. The album is promising to be toe-tapping, uplifting and heartfelt. A short 30 minute documentary “In The Family Room” will be available for a free HD download to accompany the album. It features interviews with band members Lelah Simon, Abby Posner, Cara Batema, David Celia and Perry Celia and acoustic in-room performances of 4 of the albums new songs.
The CD stars off with “Toe The Line” which smooth harmonies, inviting rhythm section and a captivating yet rock steady vocal performance from Celia. Being a professional event planner, I cannot get out of my head the idea that many tracks on this CD filling almost any Folk or country-rock function. All 8 songs on “The PCB Sessions” have a whimsical feel that makes the world seem right but there’s an underlying sense of hope that your future looks brighter than your past. Just when you think you got this guy and his band down you get blindsided by more songwriting depth that goes very deep. This leads us right into my favorite track on the CD “Ordinary Day.” “I Hate the Rain” has got more of a short but sweet message, still possessing a powerful style and grace. Not only is Celia a capable musician, his contribution to the writing and arrangements of all these songs is of paramount importance. Nothing more than a guitar and voice – it’s in this up close and personal setting true talent either flourishes and fails to show up. Here Celia delivers in spades, which is to say nothing of the pervasive and contagious chemistry he shares with the other musicians present. Phil Celia – Vocals, Guitar, Perry Celia – Guitar, Vocals, Lelah Simon – Bass, Vocals, Abby Posner – Mandolin, Banjo, Vocals, Cara Batema – Accordion, Vocals, David Celia – Drums. As a whole the band plays like a well oiled machine. I might add there are songs here for old school Americana fans as well like myself and a few for Folk-Rock fans. Indeed Celia aims to please new listeners as well as his songs are also placed in a near perfect arrangement – 8 solid pieces. Notable standouts for me are “Rock me on Your Knee”, “I Hate the Rain” and “Ordinary Day.”
Criticism – The cover art is a wasted marketing opportunity to say the least. For the style of up close and personal music it feels extremely distant and misses the mark altogether. Also I Wish there were more songs – feels like a extended play EP.
Despite the above the CD as a whole provides a wonderful almost acoustic unplugged setting and an earthy musical ambience straight from the heart. Another hit for me is “Toe the Line” a killer opener. Phil Celia reminds me of James Morrison, Josh Ritter, Nick Drake. The PCB Sessions is a rock solid release that upholds the classic Americana-folk and jam band standard as the title suggests. I eagerly want to hear more music from Celia soon.
Purchase Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/phil-celia/id266473874