Rory Phillips (NSW)
Instantly recognisable by his signature hat, 12 year old Rory Phillips from Tumut has been described by one of Australian Country Music's greats, Bill Chambers (accomplished solo artist and father of Kasey Chambers), as "always displaying a professional enthusiasm way beyond his years, and definitely has a way with an audience".
Rory fell in love with music at a very early age and (some may say surprisingly), it was the music of Joe Walsh (the "Eagles", "James Gang"), which initially hooked him. Drawn to Joe's rock and blues guitar sound, Rory was captured by the instrument and consequently, was given his first guitar at age five. Fast-forward to 2015, to an Eagles concert in the picturesque setting of Hanging Rock in regional Victoria, and young Rory shared a moment in time with his hero that he will never forget. Holding up a rain-soaked sign which read, "Hey Joe, I play guitar because of you", Joe saw Rory's sign during the final song, smiled and waved at him, then took two guitar picks from his pocket and asked the security guard to give them to him.
Rory's influences span blues, country and rock and his performances reflect that. An aspiring songwriter, a live set is often sprinkled with some original tunes. Rory's debut six track EP, Cars and Guitars, containing three original songs, was released at the Tamworth Country Music Festival in January 2017 and has enjoyed radio airplay across the country and overseas.
Rory has appeared with Australian blues legend Lloyd Spiegel (named by Australian Guitar Magazine as one of the Top 50 Australian guitarists of all time) and Bondi Cigars front man, Shane Pacey. He has supported Australian country artists such as ARIA nominated Bill Chambers and Golden Guitar winners The Bushwackers, Bennett, Bowtell & Urquhart, Catherine Britt, Amber Lawrence and Fanny Lumsden. Rory has shared the stage with former AC/DC bassist, Mark Evans, and has even played the maracas with Carlos Santana at the Byron Bay Bluesfest in 2017!
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