Tis the season to look back, reflect, and give thanks for all the great things life has to offer. Last year, I was fortunate enough to immerse myself in making art and music. I met lots of new friends, worked on a bunch of great records, and committed myself to projects old and new. 2012 was one of the most productive years I’ve ever had in my career, and 2013 looks to be just as exciting. But for now, here’s a look back at some of the highlights for me. Enjoy:

In March, Meg Mackey released her debut album ‘Eat Your Heart Out’ to very warm reviews in Alaska and beyond. Working with Meg kicked my producing career into high gear, and watching her develop and shine has been an absolute pleasure.

In April, I released my 3rd solo album, ‘Goodnight My Dearest Stranger‘. This album was written over the course of 5 years touring with The Whipsaws, Easton Stagger Phillips, and solo. It also marked the first time I’d ever recorded and mixed my own album from start to finish. I even simplified things (or complicated them?) recording and mixing in Garageband, and using nothing but a $99 USB microphone a friend had given me a few years ago. I also made a video for one of the singles off the album (see below). This was kept simple as well, using just an iphone.

May saw the release of The Super Saturated Sugar Strings debut album, ‘Harmonic Toast‘. I co-produced this album, and was very impressed with the bands level of creativity and work ethic. SSSS are certainly a band to watch in 2013…

Summer Solstice is one of the most anticipated yearly events for Alaskans, and The Whipsaws did their part by celebrating with some great shows with our best friends. Highlights included playing the Brown Bear Festival with Emma Hill, Melissa Mitchell & Spiff, as well as Portland rockers Truckstop Darlin’, to name a few. The next weekend we rolled down to Hope and Moose Pass to play shows with our rock and roll pals, Jack River Kings. None of us got much sleep, but what do you expect when the sun barely dips below the horizon?

Reed Lakes (cult status?) released an EP titled ‘Blind Art Collector‘ and followed it up with an Alaskan tour in July. This album is probably one of the most creative, bizarre, and brilliant albums I’ve ever worked on.

August was the month of the music festival, and I got to play a memorable set with The Whipsaws at Salmonstock in front of a huge and amazing crowd. Other crowning moments included killer sets by Todd Snider, Ghost Hands, The Modern Savage – all capped off by a nice weekend with my dad at our Ninilchik cabin. Other August highlights for The Whipsaws included playing a show with Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, as well as a performance on NPR’s Mountain Stage.

Monolith Agency capped off the Alaskan summer by throwing a raging party at The Taproot in September. The Second Annual Monolith Agency Showcase was a massive success with 2 sold out shows, and every band COMPLETELY destroyed. You can read a review by The Anchorage Press here. Another September highlight for The Whipsaws was playing a show with Dr. Dog at The Beartooth Theater.

October brought shortened days, cold nights, and an article about the Anchorage music scene by SPIN Magazine. You can read that here.

November marked the 10th Anniversary of The Whipsaws, and we celebrated by releasing our long awaited 3rd studio release, eponymously titled ‘The Whipsaws‘. We played a bunch of crazy shows at rowdy bars all over the state and had a great time as bandmates and friends.

December finally rolled around and I released my 3rd album of the year. ‘Evan & Molly‘ is the debut album of my collaboration with cellist and songwriter, Molly McDermott. We had a great Alaskan tour and have plans to record another album, as well as do more touring in 2013.

So that’s it folks. Thanks for all the great memories, and here’s to a fantastic 2013. Peace and be well.


After a year+ of planning, cellist Molly McDermott and myself recorded an album of sparse and experimental folk. You can listen or buy it here. You can also see us perform next Thursday, December 13 at Out North Theater at 7:30pm. Tickets will be $10 at the door (no advance tickets). This will be our ONLY public performance in Anchorage so make sure and come!

Photo Credit: Joel Adams

Welp, looks like we are making our second album in January! So excited! We did it!

The Story

In the winter of 2008, Tim Easton (Nashville, TN), and Leeroy Stagger (Lethbridge, AB), and Evan Phillips (Anchorage, AK) got together in a cabin in Girdwood, Alaska to do some recording. The three roving troubadours wanted to capture a collection of songs that had a ‘front porch’ feel. The result was a full length album, ‘One For The Ditch’ and the beginning of a new band, Easton Stagger Phillips.

ESP released their debut album in the fall of 2008, touring Alaska as well as Ireland and Europe. After that, the band went separate ways, each of them focusing on their respective solo and band careers.

Four years have passed since ‘One For The Ditch’ was released. With the band’s personal and professional lives getting busier by the year, it seems there’s no better time than the present to get together and make some more music. That’s why ESP has decided to make a new album now.

In January, 2013 Tim and Evan will pack their things and fly to the barren, windswept prairies of Lethbridge, Alberta to record at Leeroy’s basement studio, The Rebeltone Ranch. Once there, they’ll spend 2 weeks recording and mixing a brand new batch of songs they’ve been writing over the last 4 years. The band’s artistic bar is high, and the goal is simple: to make the best record possible for themselves, and for their fans.

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