On September 4th, veteran singer-songwriter Grant-Lee Phillips released his latest album, Lightning, Show Us Your Stuff. Inspired by a dramatic backyard invocation towards the sky by his daughter, the record’s title represents the risk Phillips takes in writing songs.
“Whenever you throw yourself into anything, you’re sort of asking to be struck,” says Phillips. “Hopefully not struck down, but to be struck with inspiration. So, it is kind of a two-sided prayer there: be careful of what you ask for, I guess.”
Supported by renowned session players such as Jay Bellerose, Jennifer Condos, and Eric Heywood, the album marks a return to Phillips’ native state of California. His authentic style of recording all the tracks live also allowed for the tracks to be recorded, mixed, and mastered in just under a week.
“To be honest I don’t really have a choice these days,” says Phillips. “If I wanna work with a band, then I kinda have to think in terms of my budget. And how much time do we really need?”
The bouncy, rambunctious track “Gather Up” is a proud return to Phillips’ early inspiration of country gospel and blues in northern California. It serves as an urgent reminder to pay close attention: “The ground, it trembles underneath your feet / Awaken to the warning bell.”
“On the one hand, it’s a very deadly serious song,” says Phillips. “But I’m hoping that it’s put forth in such an entertaining, infectious fashion that it will allow you to welcome these ideas of, ‘Man, we better get going, we better deal with some of our pitfalls before us.’”
Hear Grant-Lee Phillips play songs from the new album Lightning, Show Us Your Stuff and the full interview in this Home Studio Session.