Featured Artist of the Week – Bo Phillips



Bo Phillips started his musical journey at the age of 9 years old when his grandparents bought him his first guitar. Using a Mel Bay “Learn Guitar” book with three chords, Bo began teaching himself the instrument. Never having had any musical training in his life, Bo credit’s “Austin City Limits” on PBS as a guide for learning guitar. “It [PBS] was one of three stations we got on the old antenna,” Bo says. “I’d sit in front of the TV with my ‘axe’ and stare at the players left hands. Watching Willie, Waylon, and even a little Stevie Ray, helped me out immensely.”

One of Bo‘s younger brothers, Stoney LaRue, was jealous of him getting a guitar and Stoney not. Finally after years of begging and extra chores, Stoney got a guitar as well. “I taught him a little, and on those rare occasions dad came to town, he’d show Stoney a little as well.” Stoney got the fever and devoted his life to music from that point on. Bo decided it was best for him to do something nobody in his family had ever done…go to college.

After two years at Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton, Oklahoma; Bo made his way north to Stillwater, Oklahoma and got to witness several of his friends pursue music. “I remember seeing Cody Canada, Jason Boland, Stoney LaRue, and Mike McClure when they were just starting out on “The Strip” in Stillwater.” After finishing his degrees, Bo went on to be a high school agriculture teacher for six years. The bug wouldn’t quit biting though, and after six years of using his degree, he decided it was time to make the commitment… Bo decided to pursue the dream that had always been at the back of his mind… MUSIC.

Having already played at dozens of venues across Texas and Oklahoma, Bo has received numerous invitations from club owners to play as far as Indianapolis, Chicago, and even the Big Apple. Here is a list of some of the musicians with which Bo has shared the stage:

Wade Bowen, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Kevin Fowler, Jason Boland, Stoney LaRue, Bleu Edmondson, Micky and the Motorcars, Jackson Taylor Band, Chris LeDoux’s Western Underground, Reckless Kelly, Mike Mancy, Chris Knight, Randy Rogers Band, Asleep at the Wheel & Mike McClure to name a few.

The style that Bo has is not harnessed by one particular genre. He incorporates all areas of music into his life. Red Dirt seems to be the best describer of what he does. “Red Dirt is not a genre, but rather a state of mind with music,” says Bo. From old-school country, classic rock, even a little gospel every now and then, listening to Bo just once will make you wonder why it took so long to try him out.


TRD: Who do you consider your influences?

BP: I grew up listening to John Anderson and old Alabama tapes. I guess that was my first memories of music, that and of course Merle, Waylon, etc.

TRD: What was your first Gig?

BP: Rooster’s in Stillwater, Oklahoma. I still play a weekly acoustic gig there on Thursday nights. Anyone who knows me knows that I am extremely loyal to those who help me when I’m struggling.

TRD: What groups or singers do you listen to now?

BP: I listen to my friends who are into music. Wade Bowen, Randy Rogers, CCR, Boland, and a guy named Stoney.

TRD: What is your favorite venue you have performed at? Why?

BP: I’d have to say that the Snorty Horse in Springfield, MO is my favorite. Those folks are thirsty for Red Dirt music and really show their appreciation when you bring it to them.

TRD: If you could perform only 1 more show, anywhere in the world, where would you want to play? Why?

BP: The Tumbleweed in Stillwater. I worked there as a bouncer and bartender for 10 years. See question #2 about loyalty.

TRD: What is your favorite song you have recorded? Why?

BP: “Dirt Road” on my Live @ Roosters CD has gotten the most radio, but I’ve got a song called “Perfect Girl” that’ll be on my next CD that we have a blast with and is getting a lot of attention.

TRD: When you’re not performing what do you like to do with your spare time?

BP: During the week, I work as a technology trainer. I teach people how to use technology. I like building things and other “manly” things around the house. And who doesn’t like a cool evening with a fishing pole?

TRD: If you could perform with any other artist, who would you like to share the stage with? Why?

BP: There are too many great artists out there to pick only one. I really enjoy those rare occasions when Stoney and I get to play together. Our schedules usually prohibit us from meeting up very often, so it’s a treat when we do.


  • Live @ Roosters


Enjoy! And check back next week when our featured artist is the Cory Morrow

Published in: on August 5, 2007 at 8:41 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I see you still have the same hair style you had in BV!

  2. […] check the full story here […]

  3. DO you play for private parties (wedding reception)? How much?

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