The Music of Shane Philip

London Free Press, London ON

Shane Philip might be the picture perfect college bar band– except he does it all on his own.

His acoustic meshing of classic- and blues-rock is solid and he’s also got the foreboding rocker voice down pat. Initial impressions will have you thinking about Tom Cochrane and his theory that life is a highway, but whatever dirt roads Philip has travelled, he’s actually picked up some essential items on the way.

Figuring prominently on some of his tunes is the didgeridoo. That’s the wind instrument from Australia (yes, the one from season two of Survivor) that’s capable of providing eerie undertones.

Yet on the track How Could You Know, those menacing warbles are employed to almost symphonic effect, but still reminding you this ain’t no pristine concert hall.

Supporting his tribal urges are the aslatua (a set of African twin rattles) and a djembe (the African hand drum). Still there’s room for straightforward acoustic guitar coffeehouse jams like Sweet Ocean, where reggae rhythms stimulate those reefer reflexes; after all, Philip is based in Vancouver Island.

It’s a far cry from his stint as a high school social studies teacher, but he’s coming back to school: Philip plays the Outback Shack at Fanshawe on Friday night at 10 p.m.