Scott Philipp uses GUITAR PICKS FROM STEVE CLAYTON, INC.
Staking their claim as modern-day pulp rock minimalists, StoneBaby's Scott Philipp (guitars/vocals) and Tony Schiavo (drums) have collaborated on a shimmering new 7-song EP, Illuminated. Following 2007's Delusions of Grandeur and Philipp's Just Another Day (2008), the new independent release finds the band stripping away the layers to get to the essence of their songs. "We consciously tried to simplify things, to get to the heart of the songs, to be as straightforward as possible," says Philipp. "We didn't want to overdo it – we kept it true to what we do live. This is StoneBaby, plain and simple." Drawing on their 25-year history as band mates and collaborators, Philipp and Schiavo's songs point to the pop clarity of The Outfield, the driving energy of The Smithereens, and the quirky song sense of Colin Hay (Men at Work). The duo also draws from the enthusiasm and drive of their newest member, guitarist Bobby Leonhardt, who brings a renewed energy to the band's recorded and live performances. Jason Shainline (bass) rounds out the power-pop foursome, who have been diligently touring the eastern corridor from New York to Baltimore, playing live gigs and doing promotional appearances, including RTN's variety talk show, "On The Couch." With it's roots in Philadelphia and the greater Delaware Valley, StoneBaby's sound owes a debt to superstar acts that grew from the same scene, including Hall and Oates, Bon Jovi, Todd Rundgren, and The Hooters. Philipp even studied guitar with John Lilley (The Hooters) and lists Philly's Tom Gillam and Craig Simon among his influences and mentors. Illuminated is a tight group of original compositions, led by the featured single, "Good Times." The track, like the others on the EP, showcases Philipp's strong, dynamic vocals, and blends a classic rock base with an equal dose of melancholy and optimism. Also included on the EP isa bonus seventh track, a cover of Journey's down-tempo hit "Send Her My Love" from the Frontiers album. StoneBaby used this song as a chance to embellish the quartet, enlisting the saxophone playing of Jay Davidson (Whitney Houston, Cinderella, Billy Preston, Amos Lee) to complement Philipp and company’s take on Journey’s unmistakable sound.