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Grant-Lee Philips: His Latest Tale

Civil Rights activist Percy Sutton attends the 80th anniversary celebration of Harlem's Schomburg Center at Lincoln Center in New York, in this Oct. 6, 2006 file photo.
AP Photo/Rick Maiman, File
Since parting ways with the band Grant Lee Buffalo in 1999, folk-rock singer Grant-Lee Phillips has carved out an impressive career as a solo artist.

Known for a sweet near-baritone voice and a poignant storytelling style, Newsweek termed his last album "a triumph."

Now critics are raving about his new CD, "Virginia Creeper," which was released this week. You can hear him sing three song from it on The Saturday Early Show's Second Cup Café.

"I also like the idea of words as vines, songs as vines and as a symbol for my life, weaving persistently. It may not appear that there's any movement going on, but nevertheless there is," says Philips, who adds that he likes the metaphor. "There's also something vaguely antique-ish about the title, which suits my obsession with all things decaying and the ghosts that have come to dwell in my songs."

According to his label, Zoe Records, it only took a week of tracking and another of mixing his new album at Hollywood's Sunset Sound Factory with Grammy Award winning recording engineer S. Husky Höskulds.

"I didn't want to approach it with excessive overdubs, and I couldn't have made this album alone, by myself," explains Phillips. "I'd done that with my last record, 'Mobilize.' This time, the songs had a simplicity that would best be served by taking them into a studio with feeling, responsive musicians."