Musical Migrations: Catching up with Creamer
While a religious upbringing set the stage for Philip Creamer’s musical inspiration, it was his recent move to Nashville from Dallas that helped him focus on the songwriting for his upcoming solo album. After stints in bands with his brother and friends for the past decade, Philip embarked out on his own, but not without the help and support of his friends and family. We had a chance to catch up with Creamer to learn more about his move, the influential Dallas-Fort Worth music scene and when we can expect to see his solo album dropping, produced by Wilco alum, Pat Sansone.
How did you originally get into making music and what inspired you to start playing?
I grew up in a religious family, spending much of my youth in church, singing the hymns, and listening to the songs of the older generations. I got into making music when I was 12 years old, starting on guitar and singing along. The rich compositions and harmonic content of church hymns were ingrained in the DNA of my songs before I ever wrote a note. The first song I remember learning was McCartney’s “Blackbird.”
You spent a good chunk of time being a part of the Dallas-Fort Worth music scene. With festivals like SXSW and the wider popularity of Austin City Limits, how did you see the Dallas and Texas music scenes evolve during that time?
Dallas/Fort Worth has produced many internationally influential artists stretching back to the Blues of the early 1900’s. The scene has evolved in North Texas, as it has evolved the world over, it’s just now that people are becoming more aware of it.
What went into your decision to uproot and move your family to Nashville, and what was it about the music industry there that drew you?
My wife and I wanted a new place to raise our kids and call home. As an artist I wanted to find some new scenery, and some quiet. Songwriting is about having some space to sit and listen to what’s going on in your mind, and I couldn’t do it in my hometown anymore. I needed to go make the music I hear, without so much of the past layered on me.
There is a pretty heavy country influence on pop/rock in both Dallas and in Nashville. How do you think this country influence has helped create a unique sound from non-country bands? Or is it just one big spectrum between pop, rock and country?
I can’t speak too much to the country music of today. I do love Willie Nelson, but that doesn’t make me an authority on the topic. I would say the influence of “country” on pop/rock stems from earlier acts like The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, CSNY, and The Grateful Dead, finding new audiences through the success of other influencers like Wilco, The Old 97’s, Ryan Adams, and Jayhawks.
Previously you were in a band with your brother and a couple friends, but have since gone on to record as a solo artist. How different is it making music as a solo artist vs. having a band to collaborate with?
I had the good fortune of collaborating with my brother and other members of my old band on this new record, so while the songs and decisions were on me and the producers, I had the comfort of our recording history.
Late last year you went out on tour opening for Wilco, and Pat Sansone from Wilco also co-produced your upcoming album. What was it like working with such an influential figure in the music industry and now being able to tour with them?
Pat Sansone is totally brilliant musical mind, and having his interest in my music was a real thrill when we got rolling. He’s also one of the nicest, most genuine guys you could hope to meet. Working with Pat, and touring with Wilco have been the high water mark of my career. I still wake up and have to remind myself that it’s all really happening. Working with someone who pours their soul into every second of the songs and recordings, and can then execute the artist’s vision is an inspirational thing.
When can we expect to see your newest album drop and where can we find your music?
Expect to see the first single, “Drugs No More”, along with the music video, in May of this year. The full album is slated to release in the Fall. You can currently hear our track, “Magic” on Spotify, Apple Music, and all online retailers.