Over the years guitarist Phil Heywood’s lyrical, groove-oriented fingerpicking has made him a performing partner of choice for such acoustic guitar greats as Leo Kottke and most recently Tim Sparks. Last fall Phil released Rollin’ On, his sixth solo CD, which brings together a repertoire of rootsy (think Leroy Carr or Rev. Gary Davis) and contemporary songwriters’ material – the title track is a Mark Knopfler piece – and even includes a 3-song instrumental suite of Bob Marley songs. Heywood is no one-note Johnny; his strong arrangements and original pieces traverse a gratifying emotional range, with a groove for every mood. A soul-satisfying instrumentalist, Heywood draws listeners in with his voice as well, singing in a warm, plainspoken baritone that blends smoothly with his rock-solid guitar work.
Heywood is a former National Fingerpicking Champion and winner of the American Fingerstyle Guitar Festival Competition. He has appeared on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion with guitar legend Chet Atkins, and shared the stage with a host of great players, including Leo Kottke, Norman Blake, John Renbourn, Pat Donohue, John Hammond, Chris Smither, Greg Brown and Spider John Koerner.